Stormy Weather: 2016

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Central Texas is soaked. For almost two weeks, a stationary low pressure system pumped huge amounts of moisture into the area. The Austin airport reported 15.80″ of rainfall last month, making for the wettest May on record. Downtown Austin had no major flooding, but many homes were affected both downstream and upstream from the city.

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On Memorial Day, the unsettled weather wreaked havoc with the Life Time Tri CapTex. The swimming part was cancelled a few days earlier when muddy runoff poured into Lady Bird Lake. Bill and I were awakened early on race day as a thunderstorm rolled through downtown. Triathletes took cover  in the parking garage and under the First Street Bridge until the storm passed. Due to dangerously wet roads, the bike stage was also cancelled. Finally around 10 AM, a 5K/10K run was held, but it looked like many participants had already left.

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Lady Bird Lake was closed to boating when the flood gates further upstream were opened. The huge release of water created whitewater rapids near the old Seaholm Intake Plant.

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After more than a week of rainy days, the last storm came through on Saturday evening. By the next morning, the low pressure system had finally moved eastward.

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This morning Bill and I biked around the lake on the Butler Hike-and-Bike Trail. Parts of the path are still submerged. The Texas Rowing CenterBarton Springs Pool and Barton Creek Greenbelt remain closed due to flooding.

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Water is still moving through the Colorado River system, so the boat ban will remain in effect for several more days.

© Austin Downtown Diary, 2016. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Austin Downtown Diary with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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