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Austin Explorer  
#1 Posted : Friday, May 29, 2015 8:44:19 PM(UTC)
Austin Explorer

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An email from the Texans for State Parks contained some good info on the impact of the recent rains and flooding on state parks. Keep safe out there!

Brent Leisure has provided a report of a dramatic conclusion to a holiday weekend as the storm related impacts in parks across the state continue to mount. A park support strike team has been established to organize and systematically assess impacts across the park system, provide some analysis of information to base recovery priority decisions, and establish a process of reporting to support potential cost reimbursement from FEMA. See a preliminary summary of information related to this past weekend’s storms below by park regions.

Region 1 (Fort Davis)
· San Angelo State Park is open with some minor damage. Debris from swollen rivers and huge increase in lake level which was essentially dry before this storm event.

Region 2 (Rockport)
· Lockhart State Park- The park is closed. Trees are down throughout the park. One large tree is blocking the park road and lots of washed up debris throughout the park. Damage to electrical pedestals at campsites.
· Palmetto State Park- The park is closed. Extensive damage expected. Multiple rises in the river with the most recent and largest occurring Monday and today. Park is evacuated. All equipment, office records and computers are relocated off site. Structural, utility, roads, and erosion damages are expected. The entire area is inaccessible at this time.

Region 3 (Bastrop)
· Albert and Bessie Kronkosky State Natural Area - Over 7" of rain as of Saturday. Anticipate service road damage throughout park.
· Bastrop SP - 1.96" of rainfall Saturday night/Sunday Morning. Additional 5” of rain on Monday. Complete breach of Bastrop State Park Lake dam Monday evening. Evacuation occurred in downstream campsites. No injuries other than two pet dogs swept away. Damage to camping RV equipment downstream. Significant damage in the path of downstream flow from lake. This breach resulted in closure of Highway 71. Extent of damages in the park is unknown at this time. All areas of Bastrop State Park are closed with exception of Piney Hill campground.
· Blanco SP - Over 12" of rain, river crested on Saturday night at 40' (broke the gauge), significant flooding and damage. Day Use areas and Maintenance Shop damaged/flooded. Campground is ok. Several pieces of equipment were lost downstream to flooding. Park staff evacuated the park as extraordinary quick rise in river occurred (see below). 70+ campers were trapped across the river in campground and were retreated to the Superintendents residence Saturday night. Visitors and staff are accounted for and safe. Additional heavy rains occurred on Monday. The park has sustained significant damage and remains closed for an extended period.
· Buescher SP - 3.59" of rainfall Saturday night/Sunday Morning. Lake overflowing at spillway. Park Road 1E was closed behind park HQ until 11:00am Sunday morning. Campsites 44-48 in Lakeview closed due to high water levels. Park is open.
· Colorado Bend SP - Park received little storm damage from high winds; few downed trees, and limbs down. Park remained open but was inaccessible due to high water at low water crossing on Cherokee Creek in Bend yesterday (May 24th) from approximately 6am-11:30pm. Park is open.
· Enchanted Rock SNA - The last batch of thunderstorms that went through the area left us with in excess of 2.5" of rain for the day (6" for the week) and have put our bridge in the park at risk of going underwater trapping visitors on the other side until it goes down. All campers have been notified, and the park is closed at this time (Monday). Ranch road 965 just north of the park is under water and unpassable. Most of the water in the area should go down within 24 hours and Enchanted Rock should be open again tomorrow morning (Tuesday) barring no additional heavy rains.
· Garner SP - Moderate rise on the Frio. No flooding damage in the park. We did loose several large trees due to heavy foliage and soft ground. We did relocate about 10 campers as a precaution for a possible river rise Saturday night. Over 15" of rain for May to date. Park is open.
· Government Canyon SNA- 3.5" of rain resulting in trail closures and extended power outage affecting superintendent residence and park hosts only. Site is open as usual.
· Guadalupe River SP - Park closed on May 22 due to high flood waters from the river which crested at approximately 30 ft. above normal levels. Day use area was flooded and the parks ability to treat Wastewater is compromised due to heavy rainfall amounts filling the treatment ponds. The river has receded quite a bit and the initial assessment includes damage to day use area picnic sites with large amounts of debris cleanup needed. No major infrastructure has been damaged at this point. A more comprehensive assessment of impacts will occur when the river fully recedes. Park is closed.
· Hill Country SP - Closed the evening of May 23 due to high water levels at creek crossings along roadways, and reopened with restrictions on the afternoon of May 24. Heavy rain and overflowing creeks resulted in minor damage to the SNA's gravel roads. Park is open.
· Inks Lake SP - Heavy rain and saturated soils caused two trees to fall. Trees have been cleared and no damage occurred. Saturated soils have caused some minor damage to pavement on the interior roads to the park. As soon as the rain stops TXDOT will repair the damage. Since Inks is a pass through lake, flooding is experienced only with localized rainfall. Park is open.
· Lost Maples SNA - Park experienced over 4 inches of rain over the past week resulting in a delayed opening on Saturday and trail closures. Park is open.
· LBJ SP - Heavy rains over eastern Gillespie county: Pedernales River rose but did not leave banks; continue to see roof leak in Visitor Center and the Schumann Residence; no new issues. Park is open.
· McKinney Falls SP - Has received heavy rains the past several days, resulting in Onion Creek rising above flood stage and out of banks. Temporary closure of portions of the Onion Creek trail due to water levels. Water levels continue to fall at this time. Park is open.
· Old Tunnel SP - Heavy rain and road to OT impassable until late Sunday morning. Road is open today, but if we get more rain it won't take much for crossings to flood again. Trail erosion in many places and the composting toilet collection area is flooded, so we can't use restrooms. Park is open.
· Pedernales Falls SP - Heavy rains resulted in rise of Pedernales River which crested Sunday morning at 21 feet. No issues with campground or facilities. FM 2766 to Johnson City is closed due to bridge washed out. FM 3232 down to single lane from damage resulting in park closure per TxDOT while repairs are being made. Expected to reopen on Tuesday.
· South Llano River SP - River crested yesterday (May 24) at about 6 feet in the park, thus we closed the park due to water over the bridge. We still have a small amount of water over the bridge, but we were able to let the overnight campers out of the park. No major damage. Park will open as bridge allows.

Region 4 (Houston)
· Lake Somerville Complex (Birch, Nails Creek, Trailway and Public Hunting Land)- Conservation pool for the lake is 238. Lake level as of Sunday was 251 and rising. All trails, boat ramps and day use areas are closed.
o Conservation pool: 238
o Current lake level: 251 and rising
o All trails, boat ramps and day use is closed in each park
o Most camping loops are closed—approximately 60 sites still available
o Flood water is currently in four structures: the boat ramp restroom at Birch Creek and all three fish cleaning shelters
o The USACE is currently releasing 1,125 cubic feet per second but are closing the gates this afternoon due to flooding on the Brazos River
o With current flood water in the Nails Creek basin, the lake is expected to rise two feet higher in the next 2-3 days
o At this time park is predicting significant damage to the boat ramp restroom at Birch Creek with damage to occur to the Cedar Elm restroom at Birch Creek and the Cedar Creek restroom at Nails Creek should the lake level rise 4-5 more feet
o Multiple roads and levies will be damaged throughout the Trailway and PHL
· Washington on the Brazos SHS- significant rise in the Brazos river with erosion threatening lower portions of the park.

Region 5 (Waco)
· Copper Breaks SP- roof damage at one restroom(big pond) due to 16 plus inches of rain in last 2 weeks. Will evaluate and repair as soon as possible.
· Dinosaur Valley SP- flash flooding of the Paluxy River have caused significant damage to asphalt and concrete interpretive trail causing to be closed to the public. This is the access to the main track site.
· Mother Neff SP- older portion of the park (bottoms) closed due to flooding and river still rising. Visitors evacuated to high ground and utilities turned off. Will evaluate once river recedes.
· Palo Duro Canyon SP- park closed gate to public twice on May 23rd due to large rock slides on hill. Flash flooding caused some evacuations In hackberry camping area. Successfully conducted Search for back country campers that were stranded due to flood waters, all were well they were on high ground. Back to normal operations. May 25th minor damage to door of Goodnight Cabin after small rock slide, repairs underway.
· Lake Arrowhead SP- park itself is in good shape. At least one employee(Joey Hendrix) evacuated May 23rd from his home in Wichita Falls, due to flooding caused by Big Wichita River.

Region 6 (Tyler)
· Cedar Hill SP: Normal conservation pool is 522. Lake level as of Sunday was 533.42, +11.42 above normal. Spillway elevation is 541. Water is at the doorstep of several day use restrooms. Several sewage lift stations are flooded. Multiple roads are covered. Marina has docks broken away, power disconnected. Campsites are underwater.
· Eisenhower SP- Normal conservation pool of lake is 617. Lake level as of Sunday was 642. All facilities with exception of one camping loop is closed to the public. Marina facilities are inaccessible and marina office and workshop are approximately 5’ under water. Public roadway entering the park is deteriorating.
· Lake Ray Roberts SP Complex- All units of the park complex around the lake are closed as well as the trailways except for Elm Point. Lake level was 10’ above conservation pool and rising as of Sunday. Dam releasing water at 7400 cfs. Swim beaches and several restrooms are flooded. Extent of damage TBD.
· Cooper Lake SP- Doctors Creek - Lake level is holding steady at 442 as of Sunday. Facilities closed at Doctors Creek include all day use areas, swim beach and fishing piers.
Other sites across the region are experiencing normal impacts from the high precipitation and severe weather
#2 Posted : Thursday, January 28, 2016 2:08:15 PM(UTC)

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Wow, can't believe all the damage! Here is a link to current conditions:

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