LLANO COUNTY, Texas - As all the water causing flooding in Junction and Mason makes its way downstream, it's expected to impact the City of Llano.
Officials there are keeping a close eye on additional rainfall while preparing for flooding in low-lying areas.
Llano County Emergency Operations Manager Ron Anderson said originally the belief was that the water would reach the City of Llano around 6 am, but, because the swollen river has been moving much more quickly than expected, they are now thinking it could cause significant flooding around 2 Tuesday morning.
“What will happen is the serene river…will peak at about 23 feet at least and, while we consider that a significant flood event, we do not consider it a catastrophic flood event,” said Anderson.
Lower Colorado River Authority Executive Vice President of Water John Hofmann said as the river flow spreads out, it will likely be less severe than what was seen upstream, but people along the Llano River will still need to be prepared for some flooding.
“If you're in low lying areas that’s definitely something you should be pay attention to,” said Hofmann.
While it is not unusual for the Llano River to reach flood stage, it has been some time since people in the city have seen it as high as what is predicted.
“The last time we had a rise in the Llano River of this magnitude was probably 2007 and maybe also in 2004,” Anderson said.
Anderson reminds drivers the importance of staying off flooded roads.
“All of the low-water crossings that cross the Llano River from the west all the way down to Kingsland in the east will be closed sometime within the next 12 hours, and will stay closed for at least 48 hours as the river is swollen for at least a couple of days,” Anderson said.
County officials urge people to stay a safe distance away from the riverbank.
“We are concerned that folks do not try to get near the river to sightsee, or otherwise. The water will be rising by thousands of cubic feet per minute and it can quickly overcome you or leave you with no way out of what you thought was a safe situation,” said Anderson.
To help mitigate flooding, the LCRA will be opening flood gates at Wirtz Dam and Starcke Dam.
The good news is excess water will eventually give Lake Travis a boost as well.
“Lake Travis will probably rise 2-3 feet over the next several days as a result of this storm event,” Hofmann said.
Authorities suggest people who live in low-lying areas sign up for emergency alerts by visiting warncentraltexas.org.