Saturday, October 20, 2018

Weather Stats, Mansfield Dam and Some Pictures

Let's look at the rain and weather issues.  I'm sure you are getting good updates from all the media coverage so I won't be sending out too many updates.  Currently Lake Travis is at 704.12 feet.  Full pool is 681 so we are 23.12 feet into the flood area of the lake.  The highest I've seen on the LCRA website was 704.39, so we are going down a little bit.  Of course the continuation of the decrease depends on any rain in the watershed zone.

So far we have received 8.6 inches in October, and 24.46 since September 1.  A lot of rain for the Hill Country!  

June 25, 1997 - Lake level 705.11
If you get a chance, go down to Mansfield dam and view the 4 floodgates open.  It is impressive!  Here's a picture I took from a plane the last time they were open.  It smells like sewer - that is normal because of the naturally occurring hydrogen sulfide gas that is produced off the bottom of the lake.  

Here is a link to the LCRA hydromet that gives current lake levels.  

I've taken a few pictures at Graveyard Point, but just today.  Here is a link to those pictures on Sky Pictures > Recent Pictures.  It's illegal to fly a drone at the dam because of national security issues, some are doing it.  Tomorrow the weather is supposed to be better and I'll try to post some more pictures.

Here's a video link of some of Graveyard Point - It is a LARGE file so be patient! 

Another video file of the Graveyard Point area.

Monday is the first day for early voting, please make a good choice for those that will continue to keep Lakeway great.  I am supporting Glenda Engert and Betty Haley, I think they are solid candidates that have Lakeway in their heart.  They are not single interest candidates.  I would appreciate it if you would cast your vote for them.  Please VOTE!  25 years ago, well over 50% of the citizens voted in Lakeway elections, let's do that again!

More tomorrow if I can get time.  If you want to be added to my email list, send a note to and I'll get you added.  Thanks for reading the blog.  If you have questions or suggestions, I always read and usually answer all my emails!

Joe Bain

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Special Weather Alert from LCRA

This is directily from LCRA:

LCRA ALERT: Flood operations at Mansfield and Tom Miller dams will begin at noon today.  Because of high, fast-moving floodwaters, LCRA also has closed lakes Travis, Marble Falls, LBJ, Inks and Buchanan until further notice. More information is available at 1-844-523-5663 or the Flood Operations Report on This is a serious flood; please take precautions to protect people and property. We encourage you to monitor local news media and NOAA Weather Radio for updated information about changing weather conditions.
Travis is now at nearly 675 - 5 feet increase today.  Rain is continuing in the Western areas that feed the Highland Lakes.

More as I find out about this weather event!

Joe Bain

Sunday, October 14, 2018

More Weather Lake is UP, Wildlife Committee, Engagement and Editorial if You Want It!

What a difference a couple of weeks make!  today, Lake Travis is at 666.50 this morning, 30 days ago it was at 655.32.  It's up 11.8 feet and is now +2.10 feet above normal.  Since the 1st of September we have received 20.12 inches of rain (.24 yesterday) and it looks like some more is on the way.  It's either feast or famine in Central Texas!  Just FYI, it looks like Fall is going quickly.  Monday's high is predicted to be 54 degrees?  Rain is predicted...  As always, you can check current conditions on my weather station.

Thursday, Sept. 13 the Wildlife Advisory Committee met at City Hall - here is that agenda.  The new Wildlife Biologist gave a presentation on the process he wants to follow including a "survey" to determine an estimate of the number of deer and the carrying capacity of the area.  He also explained the management options available.  Less than 20 in attendance.  I had another commitment and had to leave before the meeting was over.  I learned that Ms. Cross stated that I said there would never be a census - that is incorrect.  In fact, I had several conversations with City Manager Steve Jones to start the process of hiring someone to do a survey.   When the Wildlife Biologist was interviewed for the City position, he stated that he was required to send his report in "Word" format and he does not know if the report the city has is accurate.  We need to have accurate information to make good decisions about the deer and if in fact we need to manage the herd and the process we will use. 

Friday there was a meeting of the Engagement Committee. Here is that agenda.  Not many in attendance - Betty Haley and Glenda Engert were there to learn.  They did have some information about the survey, about 2,412 were filled out  and one interesting tidbit was 64% of the folks filling out the survey were between 40 and 70 years old.  I may be off a little but the senior folks in Lakeway still show a lot of interest!  A lot of discussion and I want to give this group kuddo's for trying to get their arms around an issue that plagues not only our city but many others.  How do you communicate?

TxDOT had an open house on Wednesday from 5-7 PM about the upcoming improvements to RR 620.  They had the entire route laid out on tables with pens for folks to write down issues or suggestions.  It was very well attended, of the 20 or so I've attended across the CAMPO area, this was by far the best - I think about 80-100 folks.  I am glad council was able to get this project moving and was also able to get $70M in funding approved.  

I'm going to do my election editorial a little different.  If you want to read it, here's a link.  If not, ignore it.  I am passionate about our little city - let's make sure we support Lakeway's lifestyle and heritage.

Thanks for reading the blog!  I expect to do some updates this week because of the expected weather changes.  If you want to be added (or removed) from my email list, send a note to and I'll get it done.  As when I was on Council and Mayor, I try to answer all emails if there are questions - I don't always have the answers though.

Joe Bain

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Weather and Lake Update, More!

Looks like the rain is over for now, at least for a couple of days.  We've had a total of 19.88 inches since September 1st.  The October total is 4.02 so far (included in the 19.88 number).  The good news is a lot of rain fell in the Lake Travis watershed.  What does that mean?  It means the Lake is rising!  Travis is already at 663.48, up about 4.5 feet from last week, 74% full.  this is going to get us at the "average" level for this time of year.  Full pool is 681, we are still 17.52 feet below full.

More water coming downstream, flood gates are open on Starke and Wirtz dams, sending the water down.  You might have seen the floodwaters in Llano on the news.  This will continue to bring the lake up.  

As always, you can see the current conditions on my weather station 
Social media has had some comments about the candidate forums not being recorded and broadcast on the internet.  The Lakeway Civic Corporation (LCC) normally did the candidate forums in past years in the normal election month of May.  This was a non partisan forum and the city recorded and televised this forum.  They chose not to do a forum in this special election.  Since this is a non-profit that serves the city in many ways, the city was able to video and broadcast this event.

Individuals have come forward to hold individual candidate forums on their own, they are welcome to video and post those forums if they wish.  

I suggest that if you would like more information from the candidates, either call them or email them.  You need to decide if you can trust what they say.  

I think this will be the last Special for the week.  More this weekend - it looks like we will have some great weather for a while!

Thanks for all the support and notes!  

If you would like to be added to my email list, send a note to and I'll get you added (or removed).  More pictures soon!

Joe Bain 

Monday, October 8, 2018

Special Edition - Weather

We have had over an inch of rain (1.28 inch at this time, 6:00 PM) already today and are now under an Urban and Small Stream Advisory from the National Weather Service.  Looks like more rain on the way.  

The good news is that it's going into the lake.  More rain West of us and in the watershed for Lake Travis.  

Remember - Turn Around, Don't Drown!

Flood operations at Wirtz and Starcke dams will begin Tuesday morning, not this evening. The flood operations will move floodwaters downstream into Lake Travis. More information is available at the Flood Operations Report at Please monitor local news media and NOAA Weather Radio for updated information about changing weather conditions.

Sunday, October 7, 2018

Rain Update and New Pictures

Rain Update:  We got another .76 inches of rain today so far.  That brings the total for October to 1.11 inches.  More coming.  Lake is at 658.74 - steady.

There are some new area construction pictures, update on La Quinta, Jason's pad, New Office Project on Flintrock Rd. at 620 and a couple of nice views!  Enjoy! 

That's it for now.  Thanks for all the nice emails!  They are appreciated.  

Joe Bain

Saturday, October 6, 2018

Rain?, Lake Info, ZAPCO and More!

Wow, another week already gone.  September was a banner month for rain, the final total was 15.86 inches at the 15th Tee of Live Oak.  So far October has been dry - it usually averages 3.9 inches, about the third highest rain month.  Actually raining right now, see the rain totals at this link.

What about the lakes?  Travis is at 658.83 (full pool is 681) still 5.57 inches below normal for this time of year and about 80% full.  Friday the Highland Lakes inflow was 775 acre feet.  What is an acre foot/  It's one acre of area 1 foot deep, about 325,851 gallons.  Travis released 649 acre feet yesterday, so a net of 126 acre feet stayed in the lake.  We need some more rain North and West of us to fill the lakes.
Linda Bradshaw, Nana's Secret Recipe

The Lakeway Players will be presenting "Showtune: Celebrating the words & music of Jerry Herman" at the Lakeway Activity Center.  Here is a link to their poster.  We have our own local "Star" Linda Bradshaw of commercial and Nana's Secret Recipe fame.  Check it out!

It's time again for the "Back the Blue" gala.  Here is a link to more information - let's back our GREAT police force! 

ZAPCO met in regular session Oct. 3rd, here is that agenda.

5)  Discussion of a possible storage facility on the property between the Police Facility and the MUD storage tank on Lohmans.  The developer is doing a marketing study and wanted to get an idea of what ZAPCO thought.  Mostly positive from what I saw.

6)  An amendment to the SUP for Serene Hills Independent Living.  They want to change the commercial space.  Passed with one decent, no reason given.  Will be recommended to council.

7)  Final plat recommended to city council.

8)  Re-plat recommended to council.

9)  Zoning from R-1 to R-3 was recommended to Council.  Staff needs to watch this to be sure plan shown is what is done.

Four more items on the agenda, but I had to leave.  I suspect all were approved, if not, I'll update this later.
Next weeks city schedule:
10/8 Big Band Bash - Activity center - More Info

10/10 TxDOT Open House, Activity Center, More Info

10/11 City Building Commission - 9:00 AM City Hall
10/11  Wildlife Advisory Committee - 6:30 PM City Hall

10/12  Public Engagement Advisory Committee - 10:00 AM City Hall
Construction (site work) has started on the property that straddles the old Flint Rock Trace road just North of Flintrock Road.  I will try to get some pictures up in the next day or two.

That's all for now. We got .35 inches of rain this morning.  Keep those sign ups coming, send a note to and I'll get you added!

Don't forget to visit my site, - more pictures soon!

Joe Bain