A giant debris pile that had formed on Lake Travis has broken apart. Efforts to clean it up stepped up on Friday.
The largest debris field on Lake Travis can be found wrapped around Pace Bend Park. Among the debris; were several boat docks that came from upstream and out of the Pedernales River. Some docks were smashed into rock walls - others remain stuck in the middle of the lake. They were all trapped in a thick layer of muddy brush and trash.
"When the Pedernales starts to run, it has a lot of cubic feet per-second and it takes everything, it takes docks and all kinds of things and it just takes one or two docks to break loose and they go down stream and hit other docks and them you have 6 then 12 and before you know it takes out the marina at ridge harbor and heads to Lago Vista," said Thomas Maione, owner of Briarcliff Marina.
The break in the weather Friday provided an opportunity for some dock owners to recover what broke away. Travis County Deputies were also on the water Friday. They gathered up anything considered to be a hazard to navigation and towed it away before it could floated on downstream
"It's not overwhelming, after a big storm like this we get lots of debris, so were kind of use to it, the first couple of days it was impassable further up the lake, so this is all settling in," Said Sr. Deputy Russell Thompson.
What couldn't be pulled to shore is being marked with warning buoys. There are also reports of heavy debris in lakes LBJ and Marble Falls. Officials with LCRA suggest that boaters avoid using the Highland Lakes at night until conditions improve. Lake managers also say it will take a couple weeks before all the debris sinks and larger items move to the shoreline. The lake remains open but authorities advise people should not to get into the water, or ski on it, because of high levels of bacteria.
Downstream from the Briarcliff community there is a little less debris in the water. Nina Wood took advantage of that. She got in her kayak and paddle straight to one of the waterfalls that's helping to refill Lake Travis
"I knew it. Cause I come here 2 or 3 times a week and I knew the water will come back up," said Wood.
Rainstorms that may roll in later will continue to pump more water into the lake and they may also help wash away the remaining debris.