Central Texas gearing up for possible flooding

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Central Texas has had an enormous about of rain this fall and more is on the way.

“We have the scattered showers today but the heavy rain that becomes more widespread is going to be coming in 2 rounds, one during the day Friday and then one Friday night, that’s when we’re going to get the bulk of the 2 to 4 inches of rain,” said Fox 7 Austin Meteorologist Zack Shields.

Zack says there could be 5 to 6 inches in some isolated spots.  

He expects the highest rain totals to be south and east of the Austin area. “I know we haven’t seen a whole lot of rain in the last couple of weeks but when you get 2 to 4 inches of rain in a 24-hour period, that’s more than what we normally get during the entire month of December.  So you’re going to get some runoff,” he said.

The LCRA says it’s too early to tell whether they’ll need to open any floodgates but with heavy rain and full lakes, it’s possible. The Graveyard Point neighborhood off of Lake Travis frequently floods…on Thursday we spoke with one woman who told us she’s not taking any special precautions, she’s just hoping the rain will miss them.

For the Austin area, unlike the upstream flooding that happened in October, if the rain totals add up, this could be more of the typical flooding situation we’re used to.

“This is a different scenario, this is going to be a rain event that’s going to be on top of us.  We won’t be dealing with the runoff from water coming off of the lake we’ll be dealing with a flash flood from flooding that’s happening in a major rain event that happens very, very quickly, the water rises extremely quickly and then it dissipates quickly as well but when it’s coming through it will take your car,” said Kristen Dark, public information officer with the Travis County Sheriff’s office.

Dark says deputies are gearing up to patrol low water crossings.

“If there’s any water over the roadway we’ll barricade them off.  And I want to make it clear that it is illegal to drive around barricades.  If we’ve barricaded the road and you drive around them we will deal with that,” Dark said.

Dark points out water is deceptive.  Even just a few inches will move a car.

“We don’t want to see anybody in that situation and we beg you not to put first responders in a position where they’re having to try to save you,” she said.

Case in point a Leander school bus driver who recently drove around a barricade on County Road 177 — the bus was swept away.  The driver and a little boy had to be rescued.  That driver was arrested.