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Much-Needed Rain Provides Some Relief

Rainfall over the weekend was the heaviest Austin has seen since June.
Photo by Caleb Bryant Miller for KUT News
Rainfall over the weekend was the heaviest Austin has seen since June.

This weekend's rain is helping to replenish the Highland Lakes - at least a little bit.  In the Austin area, most places got 1.5-2 inches of rain. Cedar Park and Leander got 2-2.5 inches. Further northwest in the Hill County 4-6 inches of rain fell. Lower Colorado River Authority Meteorologist Bob Rose says that was good for the Highland Lakes two water storage reservoirs.

He told KUT News, "Believe it or not we’re going to get a small boost in the lake levels. Lake Travis has come up a little bit. We’re expecting once all the water does reach the lake it will come up a whole foot and Lake Buchanan looks like it’s going to come up about two feet”

While the lakes are getting a small benefit they are still only 38 percent full. Rose said the weekend rain was the heaviest Austin has seen since June 22. He says much of that rain soaked into the ground instead of running off. But while the ground’s moist and temperatures have cooled, Rose says it will take a lot more rainy days to end the drought.

Meanwhile Travis County remains under a burn ban. Lieutenant Jim Baker with the Austin Fire Department is asking people not to get a false sense of security from the rain.

He said that residents “just need to remain very vigilant about fire safety, not going out and starting campfires that could get out of hand, all the park rules are still in effect as far as no outdoor burning, making sure that cigarettes are put out properly that’s a huge thing.”