Lakes Latest: Barton to Open, Travis Stays Closed

Will Lake Travis be open for the weekend?

The rains are (mostly) gone, but the waters are still high. The Lower Colorado River Authority is going to be keeping Lake Travis shut for boating until at least Friday, and they'll reconsider then.

Travis is down from a worrying 701.52 feet above mean sea level last Friday to a still unseasonal 695.02 feet today (that's still 14 feet over what the LCRA calls full.) But if more rains come, or the ground run-off or the overflow from further upstream keeps coming, it may still stay closed over the weekend. That means Lake Austin, Town Lake, and the Colorado below Longhorn dam are closed too, as the LCRA tries to manage water levels without flooding out homes downriver.

Lake closures mean park closures too. The LCRA has shut Turkey Bend, Shaffer Bend, Grelle, Gloster Bend, and Muleshoe Bend and Narrows. Travis County has closed Bob Wentz, Cypress Creek and Pace Bend Parks, plus the Loop 360 park on Lake Austin. But good news for swimmers and naturists: Barton Springs pool should be re-opening Friday, as will Hippie Hollow and McGregor Park.

And, just to repeat, the lakes are closed for a reason: the flood water is filthy and filled with bacteria, it's fast-moving, and there's some wicked under currents, especially near the dams. Just ask the two tourists out canoeing illegally on Town Lake this week who got sucked through Longhorn dam.

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