Williamson County approves study of dams

Williamson County commissioners authorized hiring an engineering firm Feb. 21 to study three dams within the county, two of which suffered damage by flooding in recent years.

The $130,000 contract with Freese and Nichols Inc. will assess the damage and determine what can be done to repair Berry Springs Park Dam and the San Gabriel Ranch Road Dam.

The Berry Springs Park Dam, located in northeast Georgetown in Berry Springs Park and Preserve, was damaged by flooding from Tropical Storm Hermine in September 2010.

Another dam that experienced erosion from flooding in the past several years is the San Gabriel Ranch Road Dam in Liberty Hill. In addition to designing repairs for this dam, the county is also creating an emergency action plan as required by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. A plan will also be developed for the Twin Lakes Dam in Cedar Park as a part of the contract, Williamson County Engineer Joe England said.

Also at the Feb. 21 regular Commissioners Court meeting, commissioners approved a resolution acknowledging that Feb. 19–25 is Severe Weather Awareness Week in Williamson County.

Jarred Thomas, Williamson County emergency management coordinator, said the Austin area has received 16 inches of rain since December, making it susceptible to flash floods.

"We want to urge everyone that they stay diligent and aware of the weather situations around them," he said.

Thomas said people with cell phones can sign up to receive emergency notifications through the Capital Area Council of Governments website at https://wireless.capcog.org/ENS/Intro.aspx.

Cheryl Schneider, director of animal services, also said people should make plans for their pets in case of an emergency. She suggested placing a bag containing items such as a carrier, food, tags and medical information and putting it in a place that can be easily accessed.



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