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Lake Austin braces for busy holiday weekend

Posted: Fri, 1 Jul 2011 12:13 PM - 7,405 Readers

By: Jade Mingus



Low water levels at Lake Travis have some boaters spending the holiday weekend at Lake Austin. Boaters lined up Friday to launch from the Walsh Boat Ramp on the south end of Lake Austin.

Ashley Flores and a group of friends rented a boat on Lake Austin. The drought’s impact on Lake Travis deterred them from facing boating hazards.

“Lake Travis is really low this time of year. There's been no rain recently,” Flores said.

Lake Travis is 54 percent full and 22 feet below the average for this time of year.

The owner of Top Notch Boat Rentals says Lake Austin is one of the most popular places to spend the Fourth of July.

“This year Lake Travis is really low, so I think a lot of people are gravitating this way,” said Cole Regitz.

The Austin Police Department will enforce a no-refusal initiative this weekend. The department is doubling the number of officers patrolling Lake Austin during the holiday.

“We want you to have a good time, but also be very responsible in your boating,” APD Lake Patrol officer John O’Donnell said.

If you swim at Lake Travis the LCRA warns to be extra careful because of the changing water levels.

“Some swimmers are tricked into thinking they have more shallow water, but in fact at Lake Travis, its a very uneven bottom,” LCRA spokesperson Clara Tuma said. “So you could be in knee deep water and the next step, you are in water over your head.”


*  Story Contributed by: Jade Mingus



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