Energy and Environment Reporting for Texas


halloween floods

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Where Will Austin Go For Water Next?

The Highland Lakes, the main reservoirs for over a million people in and around Austin, are only a third full. They could reach their lowest levels in history this summer. As the shores of those lakes receded during the Texas drought, businesses dried up and water quality declined. If you take a trip out to […]

Near-Catastrophe During Flooding Highlights Issues at Dam in Austin

A lot of people who walk or drive past Lady Bird Lake in downtown Austin probably assume it’s a natural feature. They appreciate the trails and parks that line the lake’s 416 acres, unaware of the series of floodgates on the Longhorn Dam that hold its waters in. But recent flooding along the waterway has […]

How a Photographer Captured Stevie Ray Underwater During the Halloween Floods

The floods that hit Austin in the early hours of Halloween morning killed at least five people and damaged more than 500 homes. Some parts of the city received nearly 10 inches of rain in a 24 hour span, and Austin’s rivers, creeks, and streams rose to historic levels. One of the lasting images from […]

Why Flood Insurance Is Likely Going to Cost More in Texas

It’s been three weeks since a flood swept through Richard Rivera’s Austin, Texas home. There’s still a dead car, washed up by the waters, deposited on his front yard. A crack has formed on his concrete driveway. A result, he says, of the deluge. He doesn’t know where his air conditioning unit floated off to. […]

How Austin Lost Two Flood Gauges When It Needed Them Most

Early on the morning of October 31st, as waters rose to historic levels in Onion Creek, two of the flood gauges that officials rely on to monitor water levels weren’t working. The flooding heavily damaged more than 600 homes and killed five. One gauge was completely submerged by water, damaging the equipment, which isn’t waterproof. But […]

‘Like A Bomb Went Off’: Scenes from the Halloween Flood Recovery

After the floods on Halloween morning destroyed their home in Bluff Springs, a community just across the Austin city line in unincorporated Travis County, Debbie Lozano and her boyfriend slept in a tent in their yard. “We got this creek right here, Boggy Creek, and then it runs in the back of the property into […]

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