Lower Colorado River Authority manages Lake Travis levels with floodgates at Mansfield Dam

Rainfall this month has pushed Lake Travis levels up 4 feet, and to manage the increased inflows and protect the area from flooding, the Lower Colorado River Authority opened two floodgates at Mansfield Dam.

Lake Travis rose 4 feet to almost 685 feet above mean sea level from May 2 to May 11. LCRA opened one floodgate on May 9 and one on May 11 to manage the levels. Flood operations also called for floodgates to be opened at Buchanan, Tom Miller, Wirtz and Starcke dams. Over several days starting May 3, LCRA opened a total of seven floodgates along the Highland Lakes chain.

As LCRA discharges water downstream, lake levels drop to more normal ranges, and earlier this week plans were to close all floodgates by the weekend.

On May 14, LCRA closed open floodgates at Buchanan, Wirtz and Starcke dams.

On May 15, one Mansfield floodgate was closed at 6 p.m. and about an hour later one of two floodgates is closing downstream at Tom Miller Dam. Plans are to close the other in a few days.  

The Lower Colorado River Authority opened two floodgates at Mansfield Dam May 9 and May 11 to manage the rising Lake Travis levels. This photo was taken on May 14. LYNETTE HAALAND