Flooding

Martin do Nascimento / KUT

Severe weather is headed to Central Texas. To keep you up-to-date, we've collated a list of resources to turn to during weather events.

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

Friday, while millions of Americans recovered at home from Turkey-induced torpors, the Trump administration released a report on climate change that forecasts a grim future for Texas. 

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration came out with an analysis this fall that found Austin and other parts of the state should expect more flooding in the future. And, as it turns out, Texas may see even more flooding than the Atlas 14 study suggests.

Emree Weaver/KUT

Austin Water officials have lifted a boil-water notice for all its customers that’s been in place since Monday. They say the water is now safe to drink straight from the tap.

Salvador Castro for KUT

Austin Water officials say they hope to call off the citywide notice to boil water by Sunday.

"We're hopeful that Sunday we can get there, and that's what we're targeting," Ginny Guerrero, Austin Water's public information officer, told KUT.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

As the old saying goes, “You don’t miss your water till your well runs dry.”

But rather than sit around missing your water, it may be wiser to ask some simple questions: “Why did the well run dry?” “How did the well work in the first place?”

Emree Weaver for KUT

As problems with Austin’s water supply continue, the recommendation is to boil tap water for three minutes before consuming it. Most other uses are fine. But there are plenty of people out there who can’t feasibly boil all the water they — or their families — need.

Miguel Gutierrez Jr. / KUT

Austin Water issued a boil-water notice and asked residents to reduce water consumption Monday after historic flooding overwhelmed its water treatment plants.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon

An overnight spike in silt in Austin's tap water triggered an official boil-water notice from state regulators.

The water briefly exceeded the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality’s regulatory standards for drinking water quality, surpassing a limit of 5 turbidity units. The city's earlier boil-water notice was only precautionary.

Julia Reihs / KUT

After a day of uncertainty, Austin officials say the city's boil-water notice could be lifted as soon as this weekend.

Julia Reihs / KUT

A boil water notice remains in effect for Austin Water customers, and the city of Austin is pleading for people to slash their water consumption by 15 to 20 percent. Outdoor water use is being banned as part of what officials describe as an emergency situation. 

Travis County’s emergency management chief said the situation could last up to two weeks.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon/KUT News

Austin Water officials are issuing an "urgent call" for people to reduce water usage immediately, as the utility struggles with debris, silt and mud in the water supply after historic flooding in the Highland Lakes. Lake Travis is the source of Austin's drinking water.

"Austin Water is experiencing reduced water treatment capacity," the utility said in an email. "It is taking more time to remove the higher levels of silt and debris."

The level of cloudiness in the lake water has increased by more than 100 times, according to Austin Water.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

Over the past few days we've been hearing a lot about the Highland Lakes and the system of dams in the area. As all of that water makes its way down the Colorado River, we thought this would be a good time to get an explanation of exactly how that system works.

So we asked KUT's Mose Buchele.

Austin Fire Department via Twitter

Lake Travis, now 146 percent full, is being closely watched by officials deciding whether to open more floodgates on Mansfield Dam. If Lake Travis is forecast to rise to 710 feet, the Lower Colorado River Authority would have to consider increasing the flow of water downstream, raising the risk of flooding including along the shores of Lady Bird Lake in Austin. 

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

Travis County Judge Sarah Eckhardt issued a local disaster declaration Thursday after flooding damaged properties along Highland Lakes.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

Update: The LCRA now says it will not open eight floodgates on Thursday, Oct. 18, but may in the coming days. 

It’s never happened before, but the Lower Colorado River Authority will likely open eight floodgates on the Mansfield Dam above Lake Austin by noon Thursday.

So, what can you expect if you live in Austin?

Andrea Garcia for KUT

Jonathan Hammond has lived in Marble Falls all 30 years of his life. Until yesterday, he'd never seen flooding so bad.

"This is just crazy absolutely crazy," Hammond said, standing on the Highway 281 bridge watching floodwaters rushed by.

Twitter via @TravisCOSW

The Lower Colorado River Authority is advising residents along Lake Travis to be wary of rising water as levels at Lake Travis are forecast to reach near-record highs.

Andrea Garcia for KUT

The Llano River reached historic levels of flooding Tuesday, prompting officials in Marble Falls to order evacuations and open shelters for displaced residents. 

A flood camera helps monitor conditions along the Colorado River in River Hills.
Eddie Gaspar for KUT

After a new study showed thousands of additional homes were at risk of flooding in Austin, the city is preparing to revamp rules on building within a floodplain.

The study, known as Atlas 14, revised the city's understanding of historical rainfall data, adding 3,000 properties to the city's 100-year floodplain – which impacts everything from what people pay for insurance to how they can build homes.

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

A massive update to Austin’s floodplain map shows about 3,000 properties are at higher risk of flooding than previously thought. 

Michael Marks/Texas Standard

From Texas Standard:

Sonora is a place most people only encounter on their way to someplace else. It’s located along Interstate 10, 170 miles west of San Antonio and nearly 400 miles east of El Paso. The town of about 3,000 people is the kind of place that’s rarely in the news. But like a lot of other things in Sonora, that changed on Friday, with an unexpected and catastrophic flood.

Williamson County Sheriff Robert Chody https://twitter.com/SheriffChody

After areas of Williamson County received more than six inches of rain overnight, the South Fork San Gabriel River in Georgetown has reached moderate flood stage. That prompted officials to evacuate some people living along the river including in the lower level of the Shady River RV Resort off East State Highway 29.

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

Around 3,000 more Austin properties will find themselves in high-risk floodplains thanks to a new National Weather Service study called Atlas 14. Those new flood designations could impact everything from what you pay for insurance to how you build your home.

Eddie Gaspar for KUT

Texas leads the nation in flash-flood deaths, with more than 75 percent of those deaths occurring at low-water crossings. Now, a part of the state known as “flash flood alley” is turning to technology to help.

City workers in Austin are visiting creeks at low-water crossings to install cameras that will make images of flooding available to the public in real-time.

@ZachTWesterman/Twitter

From Texas Standard.

Residents living in the Rio Grande Valley have experienced several days of heavy rains this week, which have overwhelmed cities like McAllen and Weslaco.

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

In a letter to construction contractor S.J. Louis, the City of Austin calls the Waller Creek tunnel “diminished” and “defective,” and writes that shoddy construction has reduced “the primary purpose of the tunnel, flood protection.”

That might lead you to think the tunnel won’t serve its purpose to divert floodwaters away from downtown Austin. But in interviews Friday, city staff said the tunnel should work fine.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon/KUT News

From Texas Standard.

A joint investigation by the Associated Press and the Houston Chronicle reveals something about Hurricane Harvey recovery that officials aren’t talking about – massive petrochemical contamination, a toxic impact of the storm that’s far more widespread than previously suspected.

Bureaucracy And Old Data Hobble FEMA Flood Maps

Mar 8, 2018
Gabriel Cristóver Pérez/KUT News

From Texas Standard:

Since Hurricane Harvey, questions have been raised about why so many homes and businesses flooded in the first place. Now a peer-reviewed study in the journal, Environmental Research Letters suggests one possible answer: because the federal flood maps people have been relying on are wrong.  

Gabriel C. Perez / KUT

A website that warns Central Texans about road flooding is getting an overhaul this month. The designers of the new site say the changes should give visitors more detail about flooding near them.

Pages