Many residents in one neighborhood have a close eye on Lake Travis as rain and floodgate operations continue an area where some homes are already partially underwater.
Arnie Waden has lived in the Graveyard Point neighborhood near Lake Travis for more than 25 years and looking around at flooded homes is something he said is all too familiar. “I've been down here since 90’ and we've seen a lot of floods since then,” he said. The area flooded back in 2007, and was really hit hard during the infamous Christmas floods. “Christmas of 91’ my house was on the ground, and then it had 8 1/2 feet of water in it so I took it away, and built a house 18-feet in the air,” Waden said.
Because of recent rain events and floodgate operations dozens of homes are partially underwater and many more are at risk of being flooded. Many residents gathered their belongings and left, while others are keeping a close eye on the rising waters. “I won't say that we are used to this, cause I don't think this is something you could ever actually get used to, but we're savvy enough and been through it enough times that we know, we know what to do, and when to do it,” Waden said.
LCRA officials said while Lake Travis is above capacity, it's designed and constructed to provide flood protection for the City of Austin and communities downstream. John Hoffman is the Executive Vice-President of Water LCRA Flood Control “We have an additional 33 feet of storage that is dedicated to flood protection. That equates to 787,000 acre feet of additional flood storage. This is in effect our insurance policy for Central Texas from floods,” he said.
Waden said he is happy with how LCRA officials have been handling floodgate operations this year. “They've kept this lake out of my yard is what they've done, cause it very easily could've been in my yard,” he said. For those people that the water has become their yard, Waden said they are family, old residents and new. “There's plenty of the rest of us that have helped, helped them kind of prod them along and tell them when they have to do things and what their options are and that kind of thing. You know it's just what we do, we take care of each other down here,” he said.
Residents in the area said a lot of people coming down just to see the flooded homes. But there's one road in and out and some of their roads are completely flooded. People are trying to move their stuff, so they are asking everyone to please stay away.