Waterways reopen as receding river brings some relief
As Central Texas dries out from weekend storms associated with Hurricane Harvey, communities along the Colorado River in Bastrop and Fayette counties on Tuesday waited for the swollen waterway to return its banks.
Hope for recovery brightened when the National Weather Service on Tuesday canceled its flood warning for areas along the Colorado near Smithville, where 23 inches of rain had fallen in the past week, according to the Lower Colorado River Authority.
The river at Smithville crested at 31.9 feet around 3 a.m. Monday, but by 10 a.m. Tuesday, the water dropped to below flood stage, which is 20 feet. The river was expected to return to pre-Harvey levels as early as Wednesday afternoon.
Meanwhile, La Grange remained under a flood warning until late Wednesday. The area saw the Colorado crest to a historic 54.2 feet on Monday after weekend storms related to Harvey dumped more than 26 inches of rain there.
On Tuesday afternoon, the river remained as much as 17 feet above flood stage but was receding at a steady rate. The weather service expected the river to fall below flood stage, or 26 feet, by late Wednesday morning. One thing to watch for Wednesday: The forecast for La Grange includes a 20 to 40 percent chance of rain throughout the day as Harvey, now a tropical storm, makes a second landfall in Louisiana. In other developments:
Austin officials canceled a waterway ban that was issued last Saturday as Hurricane Harvey swept into Texas. Austin’s creeks, Barton Creek, Bull Creek, Lake Austin, Lady Bird Lake and the Colorado River were reopened for recreational use.
New Braunfels police reopened the Comal and Guadalupe rivers after a recreational ban. Officials said minor amounts of debris were cleared from the waterway.