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Potential for more rain poses threat to Lake Travis businesses

With significant rain forecasted to hit Austin on Friday and Lake Travis already at capacity, some businesses along the lake fear they can’t afford to close again. (CBS Austin)

With significant rain forecasted to hit Austin on Friday and Lake Travis already at capacity, some businesses along the lake fear they can’t afford to close again.

Across the lake from the Lakeway Resort and Spa, the Gnarly Gar has been able to operate as a full restaurant and bar on a marina for 12 years.

Owner Todd Hynes said 60 percent of their clientele come in by boats where they’re able to dock at the restaurant. So when there’s a watercraft ban or bad weather that keeps people away from the lakes, Hynes said the Gar takes a pretty substantial hit to their business.

This October was especially hurtful them. “The five weeks leading up to (October) where it rained every single weekend, between that and closing in October we were down almost $200,000 in revenue,” said Hynes. “It can be a bit terrifying, we’ve already taken these hits... can we take another one? We’re looking at a danger zone here. Not just for us but for other businesses out (on the lake.)”

The LCRA said they’re watching Friday’s forecast closely. As of Tuesday, Lake Travis is at 100 percent full and Lake Buchanan is at 95 percent.

The National Weather Service forecasts that if there is 2.7 inches of rain in one hour in Travis County, there could be a flash flood threat. And there would have to be 3.5 inches of rain in three hours and 4.6 inches of rain in six hours for the NWS to issues a flash flood threat.

In October, streams and inlets in the Hill Country played a significant role as they flowed into the Highland Lakes, creating flooding which led to an unprecedented boil water notice. The LCRA said that will be something they’ll be monitoring as we approach Friday.

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