Marble Falls Orders Evacuations As Llano River Reaches 'Historic' Flooding

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The Llano River reached near-historic levels of flooding Tuesday, prompting officials in Marble Falls to order evacuations and open shelters for displaced residents. Southern portions of Burnet County – including Horseshoe Bay, Marble Falls and Granite Shoals – are under a flash flood warning until 9:30 p.m. 

Ron Anderson, the Llano County emergency management coordinator, said there had been “no fatalities, no injuries related to the flood” reported.  

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At a news conference Tuesday, he said residents would not be able to return to their homes for 24-36 hours because the river was expected to rise again. He called the situation “absolutely hazardous” and said law enforcement would be on patrol.  

KUT’s Mose Buchele was at the First Baptist Church in Marble Falls, which was being used as a shelter.

Certain parts of the area have seen as many as 12 inches of rain in the past three days, and that sustained downpour pushed the Llano River to 30 feet above flood stage this morning. In Kingsland, floodwaters swept away a bridge across the Llano River on FM 2900.

The river topped out at nearly 40 feet this morning, but the National Weather Service expects waters to surge tomorrow morning to a projected 37 feet. 

In a Facebook post, the Llano County Office of Emergency Managment called the flooding “historic.”

The Lower Colorado River Authority has closed until further notice lakes Buchanan, LBJ, Inks, Marble Falls and Travis as a result of flooding along the Colorado River. It warned people within the Highland Lakes Watershed to “take action to protect people and property.” The authority opened floodgates at Wirtz and Starcke dams. It opened three floodgates at Mansfield and Tom Miller dams, and said a fourth floodgate could be opened by 6 p.m. Operations at Buchanan Dam were to begin tonight or early tomorrow, depending on conditions.  

In Austin, the Austin Fire Department has issued a ban on recreational activity in all waterways within the city limits until Thursday at noon. The city has closed Barton Springs Pool, the Barton Creek Greenbelt and the Ann and Roy Butler Hike and Bike Trail.

Gov. Greg Abbott said this morning that the state is prepared to send resources to areas affected by flooding.

Forecasts suggest the sustained rains could continue over the next two days.

This post has been updated.