Drought to Flooding- June 6, 2016

Lake Travis is Overflowing Its Banks!

Half of the parking in this lot is covered with water.
Half of the parking in this lot is covered with water.

Current Conditions

Notice the photo to the right. It shows the entrance to a local park on Lake Travis. The ticket booth has been removed from the park entrance and water covers most of the parking area. The lower parking lot, just over the hill, has been closed for several days and is completely under water.

As of today, Lake Travis is 121% full. Boat ramps have been submerged for days. Park signs are barely visible in the distance as waters grow deeper each day. Water is still running off of the surrounding hills and into the lake thus lake levels may increase further. No rain is expected in the next few days and temperatures will approach the nineties this week.

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The boat ramp is under water and the parking lot is flooding.Water water everywhere!Park signs are almost buried in rising lake levels. The picnic tables are out there somewhere.
The boat ramp is under water and the parking lot is flooding.
The boat ramp is under water and the parking lot is flooding.
Water water everywhere!
Water water everywhere!
Park signs are almost buried in rising lake levels. The picnic tables are out there somewhere.
Park signs are almost buried in rising lake levels. The picnic tables are out there somewhere.

The Drought

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This boat ramp was completely dry and unavailable for use in the park. Grass and weeds, yes even trees, were thriving under the hot sun and dry conditions.Not only was the boat ramps roped off, but there was only a small stream of water where the lake used to be.
This boat ramp was completely dry and unavailable for use in the park.
This boat ramp was completely dry and unavailable for use in the park.
Grass and weeds, yes even trees, were thriving under the hot sun and dry conditions.
Grass and weeds, yes even trees, were thriving under the hot sun and dry conditions.
Not only was the boat ramps roped off, but there was only a small stream of water where the lake used to be.
Not only was the boat ramps roped off, but there was only a small stream of water where the lake used to be.

Previous Conditions

Lake Travis was less than 50% full before it began to rain. The area watering restrictions had increased to Level Three with one day of watering during restricted hours. Beautiful homes on the lake lost value as the lake receded. Short trees emerged from the shrinking water and grew tall where lake water once flowed. The entire terrain changed and became overgrown over time. Parks around the lake became unkempt as park maintenance stopped. No fees were being charged by the parks due to closed boat ramps.

Flood Waters

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Water level edging up to the park entrance.Signs fighting lake levels to be seen.Picnic tables, ramp and grassy knoll buried by water.Standing on a hill overlooking the R to the lower level parking/ picnic area. The road and parking area are completely covered by rising waters.
Water level edging up to the park entrance.
Water level edging up to the park entrance.
Signs fighting lake levels to be seen.
Signs fighting lake levels to be seen.
Picnic tables, ramp and grassy knoll buried by water.
Picnic tables, ramp and grassy knoll buried by water.
Standing on a hill overlooking the R to the lower level parking/ picnic area. The road and parking area are completely covered by rising waters.
Standing on a hill overlooking the R to the lower level parking/ picnic area. The road and parking area are completely covered by rising waters.

The Rains

2016 Has been a year of rain. El NiƱo has provided wet weather for several months! The end of May and beginning of June produced many Spring storms and torrential rains. Several storms provided rain totals of several inches in just a few hours. As a result, a lot of water has moved down through our Lake system. It still remains to be seen what record levels from the past will be broken.

The rise in Lake Travis water levels will most likely end this week. The increasing levels have slowed. Drier weather is forecast for the week and four gates in the Mansfield dam are open and releasing water. As of June 6, Lake Buchanan is still releasing water to maintain its 94% full level. Excess water continues to move down the lake system into Lake Travis. At 8:30 a.m. this morning, all recreational boating was banned on Lake Travis and all lakes South of Lake Buchanan. Local officials are concerned about high lake levels, water quality and the increasing amount of debris in the water. These two factors could prove to be dangerous to boaters.

Wet weather is forecast for next weekend. Look here for future updates.

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Don Bobbitt profile image

Don Bobbitt 6 months ago from Ruskin Florida

Good Reading. And Hopefully all of this will pass.

Thanks for the write!

Don

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