UPDATE: National Weather Service issues new flash flood watch for Austin Metro

The Mansfield Dam divides Lake Travis from Lake Austin.

The Mansfield Dam divides Lake Travis from Lake Austin.

Update: 10:16 p.m. Oct. 23

The National Weather Service has issued a flash flood watch for several Central Texas counties from 1 a.m.-7 p.m. Oct. 24. The watch area includes Travis, Williamson, Hays and Comal counties.

The NWS said rainfall amounts of 1-3 inches can be expected, with some areas receiving 4 inches in the Hill Country and Austin Metro west of I-35. The rain is predicted to end by Thursday with warmer temperatures and sunny skies in the forecast, according to the NWS.

Update: 12:23 p.m. Oct. 23

Barring any severe weather events, Austin officials expect the boil water notice to end in a “handful of days” according to a city spokesperson.

Earlier in the day, Travis County emergency management officials estimated the boil water notice to last between 10-14 days. Bryce Bencivengo, spokesperson for the city of Austin, said although the city is planning for the worst, on-the-ground reports say the notice will last much shorter.

Bencivengo would not get more specific on the timeline; however, he said severe weather events could set that timeline back and that the storm expected to hit the area on Wednesday was a “big variable.”

Bencivengo continued to urge the public to cut back on its water usage and said to expect conservation mandates to last beyond the boil water notice.
Christopher Neely provided this update.

Original post

Travis County Chief Emergency Management Coordinator Eric Carter told the Commissioners Court the boil water notice for the city of Austin could last up to two weeks.

"We aren't necessarily at a water shortage," Carter said at Tuesday's meeting. "We have to take an extra step in order for the water to be safe to drink. Our initial estimate is that this situation could go on for 10-14 days, as the water system tries to settle."

Carter said roughly 880,000 Austin residents are affected by the notice.

Austin residents have been asked to reduce its water usage. Any water used for consumption from the tap needs to be brought to a rolling boil for 3 minutes to be considered safe.

Other information about the notice is available here.

Declaration backed by commissioners

Commissioners Court approved the disaster declaration by County Judge Sarah Eckhardt last week. A unanimous vote also transferred $100,000 earmarked for future disaster relief.

Travis Gatlin, Travis County budget director, said the money will be used if needed. Gatlin said there isn't a current plan or need for it, but with more rain in the forecast, the county is being proactive in case funds are needed.

Gates closing northwest of Lake Travis

All floodgates at Buchanan Dam are closed, according to an LCRA update. Flood operations continue at Inks, Wirtz, Starcke, Mansfield and Tom Miller dams. If conditions remain the same, LCRA said it could close the floodgates at Wirtz and Starcke later in the week. The National Weather Service said measurable rain is in the forecast the next couple days in the Hill Country and Austin.
By Joe Warner
Joe Warner is executive editor of Community Impact Newspaper. He previously served as managing editor for Central Texas and senior editor of the flagship Round Rock, Pflugerville and Hutto newspaper. He came to Central Texas from Metro Detroit, where he was editor and general manager of several daily and weekly publications. He is the former president of the Michigan Press Association and was on the MPA board of directors for nine years.


MOST RECENT

Oct. 23 is the last day Texas voters can apply for a vote-by-mail ballot. (Courtesy Pexels)
Tackling Texas' vote-by-mail system: Applying, delivering, tracking your ballot

Oct. 23 is the last day Texas voters can apply for a vote-by-mail ballot.

Details about the cases at the New Braunfels Municipal Court were released in an announcement, and the court is expected to reopen next week. (Ian Pribanic/Community Impact Newspaper)
New Braunfels Municipal Court to close temporarily after employees test positive for COVID-19

After two employees tested positive for COVID-19, the New Braunfels Municipal Court announced it will be temporarily closed until Oct. 28.

Comal and New Braunfels ISDs have been open for in-person and remote instruction since mid-August. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
New Braunfels ISD reports 139 COVID-19 exposures; Comal ISD reports 170

One day after the implementation of a new policy that changed the definition of “close contact” among students, New Braunfels ISD reported 139 exposures on Oct. 20, down from 423 on Oct. 14.

Capital Metro celebrated the opening of a renovated and expanded downtown Austin MetroRail hub Oct. 19. (Courtesy Capital Metro)
Capital Metro opens downtown Austin station and more Central Texas news

Read the latest business and community news from the Austin area.

The public-access lagoon will serve as the centerpiece for more than 1 million square feet of commercial development, including a full-service hotel and conference center planned for the property. (Rendering courtesy city of Leander)
'Game changer' development with lagoon coming to Leander and more top Central Texas news

Read the most popular news from the Austin area from the past week.

Comal County has recorded 8,845 in-person votes in the first two days of early voting. (Lauren Canterberry/Community Impact Newspaper)
Comal County sees big gains in early voting compared to 2016

Numbers from Comal County elections officials show there were 10,574 total in-person votes cast Oct. 13-14, the first two days of early voting in Texas.

The public-access lagoon will serve as the centerpiece for more than 1 million square feet of commercial development, including a full-service hotel and conference center planned for the property. (Rendering courtesy city of Leander)
4-acre lagoon coming to Leander and more Central Texas news

Read the latest business and community news from the Austin area.

Mail-in ballots have increased by 37.9% in Guadalupe County from the 2016 election. (Courtesy Pexels)
Guadalupe County sees surge in mail-in ballots compared to 2016

Guadalupe County has received over 4,000 mail-in ballots so far.

The Upper Brushy Creek Water Control and Improvement District issued an $85 million bond proposal to fund several flood safety projects, including a new dam and drainage improvement efforts. (Community Impact Newspaper staff)
Voting at P. Terry's and possible new dams: Central Texas election news

Read recent election stories from Central Texas.

New Braunfels City Council voted to create a plan to allocate nearly $1 million of the city's CARES Act funding. (Courtesy Fotolia)
New Braunfels officials pursue creation of plan for nearly $1 million of its CARES Act funding

New Braunfels City Council voted Oct. 12 to create a plan to allocate nearly $1 million of the city's CARES Act funding.