Memorial Day Weekend Brings Storms to Austin & Central Texas, While Lake Travis Jumps Back Towards Capacity

This past holiday weekend saw a series of storms batter Central Texas, bringing with it incredible amounts of rain- this coming after 20+ straight days of rainfall in Central Texas.  Meteorologists  described the circumstances using the analogy of the earth being a sponge already full of water, with water hitting the surface with nowhere to go.

I was with a friend Monday afternoon down in South Austin, when I started receiving the tornado warnings on my phone.  We slowly made our way southbound down Mopac, driving through blinding sheets of rain.  By the time we got to 15th/Enfield, I realized the flooding under the bridge at Mopac & Enfield was impassable and I could not make it to Tarrytown.  I turned east towards my friend’s place in Clarksville, as the rain started to fall even harder.

We continued to watch the news, and monitor the tornado situation.  According to the news an unprecedented amount of rain was falling.  As the storm started to lessen, we decided to put on our ponchos and walk down to Shoal Creek & Pease Park to check out the situation there.  We walked down to Parkway towards Pease Park, and to our surprise found half the neighborhood flooded.  Cars were floating in the water.

Walking up to the bridge over Lamar Blvd on 15th Street, we couldn’t believe our eyes.  Lamar Blvd was gone, and a river was now where the road used to be.

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Looking south down Lamar Blvd, House Park Stadium was completely under water, as was Lamar as far as you could see from the bridge.
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Looking down, we saw a man clinging to the gate right under the House Park sign, waters rushing around him.  First responders were on hand with a boat, trying to lower it onto the choppy waters.  What happened next was truly awesome to watch.

This incredible rainfall has benefitted Lake Travis greatly.  LCRA has continued to open more and more floodgates, including 5 yesterday afternoon from Starke Dam at Marble Falls.  According to LCRA’s Twitter, Lake Travis has will have jumped an astonishing 22 Feet by Wednesday, in just the past week.  The “Sometimes Islands” in the main basin of Lake Travis are starting to shrink.  We continue to follow LCRA’s Lake Travis news, as well as one of our new favorite websites, IsTheLakeFullyet.com.

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DMTX agent Brooke LeMond took the photo to the right below, of the Pedernales River arm at Hwy 71, shortly after the storm Monday.  The photo to the left was taken by me nearly a year ago.

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Despite the much needed relief to the drought we have faced in Austin and the good news for Lake Travis, much of Central Texas has seen destruction- especially those around where the Blanco River and San Marcos River crested.  Our thoughts are with them and their families.  You can donate to the victims of the floods at http://www.adrntx.org/index.php/ways-to-give/central-tx-floods-relief-fund/.

–  Jonathan Berry, Marketing Director for DMTX Realty

Photos & Video by Jonathan Berry