Austin City Limits Finale Cancelled Due to Unexpected Flash Flood

75,000 people were expected to gather at this spot (which happens to be very near my home) today for the finale of Austin’s two-weekend signature live music event, “Austin City Limits Festival”, known locally as “ACL”.

A series of thuderstorms overnight dropped as much as ten inches of rain on Austin. The final day of ACL was cancelled. Businesses large and small lost revenue; I imagine some insurance companies got socked as well.

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Such local flood events are not unprecedented in Texas, but they are nevertheless rare. While losing a day of ACL will cause quite a bit of financial disruption (and is very bad luck for a few musical bands) on the whole life in the city is not terribly disrupted.

The flooding rain was very local and does not greatly improve the deficit upstream at the reservoirs which serve Austin and the lower Colorado River water management region of Texas (not to be confused with the Colorado that runs through, well, Colorado), which remain at barely over 30% of capacity. So Austin has managed to be in flood and drought at the same time.

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