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LCRA earns ‘storm ready’ designation for fourth time


The Lower Colorado River Authority has earned a fourth consecutive StormReady designation from the National Weather Service for its efforts to prepare employees for hazardous weather.
“LCRA was one of the first organizations in the Austin-San Antonio area to be named StormReady, and it is still the only river authority in Texas with the designation,” said Paul Yura, warning coordination meteorologist for the Austin/San Antonio National Weather Service Office. “By being StormReady, LCRA shows it recognizes the importance of being prepared for the sometimes wild weather we see in Flash Flood Alley in Central Texas.”
The National Weather Service sponsors the StormReady program to recognize organizations and communities that proactively improve operations to be better prepared for weather emergencies. The program helps reduce risk and increases community resilience.
“Safety is our top priority at LCRA, and weather safety is an integral part of that,” said Bob Rose, LCRA chief meteorologist. “We are proud to go the extra mile to keep our employees and visitors safe in any kind of hazardous weather.”
LCRA first earned its first three-year StormReady designation in 2008. LCRA earned renewed designations in 2011, 2014 and 2017.
The weather service recognized LCRA for its multiple ways of providing information to employees at its Austin offices during a weather emergency, including:
• Maintaining multiple 24-hour centers capable of receiving and distributing information about severe weather.
• Operating LCRA Alert, a 24-hour text and email service through which LCRA can provide employees with immediate information about severe weather, office closures or other emergency situations.
• Maintaining access to National Weather Service warnings and weather statements through multiple channels, including in-house meteorologist Bob Rose.
• Maintaining a hazardous weather plan that includes multiple ways of notifying critical facilities of emergency conditions, including a 900-megahertz radio system, phones and an emergency notification system.
• Providing annual severe weather training to its employees.
In addition to working to keep its employees safe, LCRA also has multiple programs in place to help keep the community safe during flash flooding, including:
• Maintaining the Floodgate Operations Notification Service, or FONS, a free service that will call, email or text subscribers when floodgate operations begin at any of the dams along the Highland Lakes, or Lake Bastrop. Registration is available at lcra.org/fons.
• Operating sirens on each of the dams along the Highland Lakes to alert anyone nearby when floodgate operations are beginning.
• Providing real-time updates on ongoing floodgate operations and current conditions through lcra.org, social media, LCRA’s Hydromet system and area media.
About LCRA
The Lower Colorado River Authority serves customers and communities throughout Texas by managing the lower Colorado River; generating and transmitting electric power; ensuring a clean, reliable water supply; and offering access to nature at more than 40 parks, recreation areas and river access sites along the Texas Colorado River, from the Hill Country to the Gulf Coast. LCRA and its employees are committed to enhancing the lives of Texans through water stewardship, energy and community services. LCRA was created by the Texas Legislature in 1934. For more information, visit lcra.org.