Monitoring the River Levels

Created: 04/30/2014 6:57 PM
By: Justin Thompson-Gee

(ABC 6 NEWS) -- With all of the rain we have received over the past several days, most waterways are running high prompting law enforcement to check river gauges. “When we see significant rainfall or snow melting those are the times that we’ll start to come out and check them periodically,” says Austin Police Lieutenant John Mueller.


Austin has picked up two inches of rain over the past three days, with other cities in our area seeing more. This has caused most rivers and waterways to run high, “if they begin to rise then we have a scale that we follow that tells us how often we should be checking whether we’re in an alert, or a warning or whatever the case might be,” Mueller says.


The National Weather Service checks automatic gauges, but law enforcement likes to check them manually as well says Mueller, “we like to come out and check the gauges so our officers are seeing physically what the water condition is, how fast it is rising, that type of thing.”


Officers check four gauges in the city of Austin and four rural gauges, “the reason we check rural gauges is so that we know in advance what is coming into the city,” Mueller says.


Right now waterways are running high, but not a concern for flooding. If flooding were occurring or imminent a flood warning would be issue and law enforcement officers would sound hi-low sirens and verbal direction over the police public address system.


Photo: ABC 6 News