Texas – Floods Prompt Disaster Declarations, 330mm of Rain Falls in 48 Hours

Severe flooding in Central and South Texas has prompted Texas Governor Greg Abbott to declare a state of disaster in 18 counties.

Some areas recorded more than 13 inches (330.2mm) of rain in 48 hours to 16 October, causing river levels to jump dramatically. The Llano River at Llano rose by around 35 feet in just 24 hours to reach near-record levels.

“Texas is taking immediate action to respond to the threat of recent severe weather and flooding across the state,” said Governor Abbott. “We have made available all necessary resources to respond as quickly and effectively as possible to this disaster, and to assist those in harm’s way. I thank all our first responders and local officials on the ground in these communities for their efforts to assist fellow Texans during this dangerous event.”

Counties included in the disaster declaration are: Bastrop, Burnet, Colorado, Fayette, Hood, Jim Wells, Kerr, Kimble, La Salle, Live Oak, Llano, Mason, McMullen, Nueces, Real, San Patricio, Travis, and Williamson.

Evacuations have been carried out in several areas including Kingsland, Marble Falls, Cottonwood Shores and the City of Burnet. Raging floodwaters have destroyed a bridge over the Llano river in Kingsland, Central Texas.


Local media reported that a body was found on Tuesday 16 October near the eastern shore of Lake Lyndon B. Johnson in Burnet County. The lake is situated where the Llano and Colorado rivers meet.

At least 4 people have now died in flooding in Texas over the last week. Four people were washed away last week when the South Llano River, which becomes the Llano River downstream, overran an recreational vehicle park in Junction, Texas. As of 16 October, 3 bodies had been recovered.

Rain and Rivers

NWS Austin / San Antonio said the flooding of the Llano River at Llano is the result of 8-10 inches of rain in the 48 hours over the river basin. Valley Spring in Llano County recorded 13.24 inches in 48 hours to 16 October.

U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) said that, as of early 16 October, 38 USGS streamgages were above flood levels, as water continued to rise at 172 gauges throughout Texas.

The Llano river at Llano rose around 35 feet (10.67 m) in just 24 hours, reaching 39.91 feet early on 16 October. This is the highest level since the floods of 1935 when the Llano reached 41.5 feet (12.64m). Major flood stage is 26 feet (7.92 m).

The Colorado River at Lake Travis reached 694.4 feet (211.65 m) on 17 October, just below major flood stage of 695 feet, prompting a Flash Flood Warning for the Lake Travis area.

Llano River at Llano, Texas, October 2018. Image; NWS
Colorado River at Lake Travis, October 2018. Image: NWS

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