Recent rain good, need more for long-term effects

Recent rain good, need more for long-term effects

Credit: Jessica Vess / KVUE

Bull Creek at Loop 360



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Posted on January 9, 2013 at 6:10 PM

Updated Wednesday, Jan 9 at 7:08 PM

AUSTIN -- Creeks across Austin are filling up. In the past 12 hours most have gone up about two inches. 

The Lower Colorado River Authority (LCRA) monitors creek levels. According to LCRA data, over the past 12 hours: 
  • Walnut Creek at Webberville Road is up just over 2 inches
  • Onion Creek at Highway 183 is up 1.8 inches
  • Barton Creek at State Highway 71 near Oak Hill is up more than 2.3 inches
  • Bull Creek and Loop 360 is up just under 2 inches
  • Barton Creek and Loop 360 is up 1.8 inches
  • Cedar Creek near Bastrop is up almost 2.5 inches

“It's a good thing. We need the water so we can go swimming for the summer,” said Joel Torres.

Despite the extra inches, Austin-area creeks are still well below flood stage. At Shoal Creek the water moved fast through rocks, but fell short of the banks that encompass the neighborhood. Drivers made it easily through parts of Bull Creek at Loop 360.
However the water in other areas puddled up on roads, forcing drivers through slick patches.
“I saw a lot of cars out there kind of slipping around on little puddles because they were going too fast,” said Anthony Grassia. “[But] overall I think [the rain is] a good thing. It's about time we got some.”
Austin managed to avoid heavy winds and lightning throughout the evening Tuesday. Only a couple of power outages were reported overnight.
A Flash Flood Watch remains in effect until 6 p.m. Wednesday, but experts say it likely won’t make much of a dent in the drought index. The LCRA says Lakes Buchanan and Travis are still just 41 percent full at combined capacity.
"Ultimately it's not going to bring water levels up, it's not going to keep spring flow high in Barton Springs, but it does set the stage by putting mosture in the ground. If we get another rain in a week or two we could see some significant run off," said Brian Smith, senior hydrogeologist with Barton Springs/Edwards Aquifer Conservation District.
Homeowners will benefit with a break from watering their lawns. Experts say it only takes a couple of inches to soak down into deep tree roots.