Lake levels rise after rain

October 10th, 2011 at 1:00 pm by under Weather

The weekend rain was heavy enough in the Hill Country so the Highland Lakes received runoff. The levels at Lake Buchanan and Lake Travis rose some Sunday and Monday but still remain well below their normal monthly elevations.

Here’s more information in the LCRA‘s River Report:

Widespread, soaking rains fell over portions of the Texas Hill Country on Saturday and Sunday. The heaviest rains, generally 5 to 6 inches, were observed between Llano and Brownwood above lakes Buchanan, Inks and LBJ. On Monday, runoff from the heavy rainfall is still flowing into the Highland Lakes.

Operations Summary
Oct 10 2011 8:26AM
On Monday, runoff from the heavy rainfall in the Texas Hill Country over the weekend is still flowing into the Highland Lakes.  At 8 am, flow is elevated at the Colorado River near San Saba, and the Llano River at Llano. 

Crests at selected locations above the Highland Lakes on Sunday: the Llano River at Llano crested at 8,100 cfs on Sunday at 04:45, Pecan Bayou near Mullin crested at 3,500 cfs on Sunday at 10:00, San Saba River near San Saba crested at 2,600 cfs on Sunday at 11:30, and the Colorado River near San Saba crested at 8,100 cfs on Sunday at 20:00.  Sandy Creek near Kingsland and the Pedernales River at Johnson City have very little flow.

As of 8:00 this morning, the level of Lake Buchanan was rising at 988.31 ft msl, which is about 23.0 feet below its historic October average of 1,011.35 ft msl. Lake Travis was rising at 628.87 ft msl which is about 37.3 feet below its historic October average of 666.20 ft msl. The total combined storage in the Highland Lakes two water storage reservoirs, Buchanan and Travis, has increased slightly to 759,000 acre-feet, or 38 percent of capacity. The surface water temperature of Lake Travis as measured near Mansfield Dam is 78 degrees.

Releases will be made for a short period today at Buchanan Dam.  Releases may occur at Inks Dam, Wirtz Dam and Starcke Dam to maintain lake levels.  Releases will be made today at Mansfield Dam, mostly for City of Austin water supply.  Releases from Lake Austin, for downstream users and environmental needs, will be passed through Tom Miller Dam.  Releases for emergency generation could occur at any time at any of the Highland Lakes dams.  Releases from Lady Bird Lake through Longhorn Dam are controlled by Austin Energy, the electric utility for the City of Austin.

The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) may call upon LCRA for hydroelectric generation at anytime without notice.  Lakeside residents and lake users immediately downstream of the dams should take necessary precautions against possible high flows and higher lake levels.

Streamflow in the Colorado River below Austin is ranging from 670 cubic feet per second (cfs) at Bastrop to about 610 cfs at Columbus. Further downstream, flow at Wharton is 460 cfs while flow at Bay City is variable due to agricultural diversions.

To see real-time hydrologic data, please go to: http://hydromet.lcra.org/.

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