Texas Department of Transportation

"Historic" flooding along Llano River, Lake LBJ in the Hill Country

8-12 inches of rain have fallen since Sunday

October 16, 2018 - 9:10 am

AUSITN (KJCE) -- Heavy rains over the western Hill Country in the past 48 hours have set up near-record flooding on the Llano River, forecasters say.

The Llano River at Llano crested at 39.96 feet just after 6 a.m. Tuesday morning, just shy of its all-time record of 41.5 feet set back in 1935. It's the second highest crest ever recorded, and the highest the river has been since 1997. Forecasters say the river will rise again Wednesday morning, but earlier forecasts for an even higher crest than Tuesday morning have dropped. The river is expected to drop below flood stage by Thursday.

LCRA Hydromet gauges along the Llano River Watershed show totals of more than 10 inches have fallen since Monday morning.

Residents within a quarter mile of the Llano River were being urged to evacuate; some residents near Marble Falls were being encouraged to evacuate as well.

TxDOT says the FM 2900 bridge in Kingsland over Lake LBJ collapsed after being overtaken by flood waters.

The Llano River flows into Lake LBJ in the Highland Lakes chain. Downstream from Lake LBJ, nine floodgates were open on Wirtz Dam and all 10 floodgates were open on Starcke Dam, pushing water into Lake Travis, which quickly filled up to its "full" conservation pool stage of 681 feet. Forecasters say Travis could reach as high as 695 feet in the next 48 hours, although some releases into Lake Austin and the Colorado River downstream are being made.

LCRA officials said the entire Highland Lakes chain is closed until further notice. The City of Austin has also banned recreational usage of waterways including Lake Austin, Lady Bird Lake, and the Colorado River downstream of Longhorn Dam.

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