Over the Memorial Day holiday weekend, more than 12 inches of rain led the Blanco River to crest at 40 feet, causing significant flooding and damage to Blanco State Park. After more than two months of closure for cleanup and repairs, the popular site is reopening portions of the park to visitors Saturday, Aug. 1.
Park guests will now be allowed to camp and use the south side of the park for day use activities such as picnicking, fishing, hiking and biking. All other parts of the park, including the north side day-use area near the dam, will remain closed to the public until the grounds can be made safe for visitors. Due to damage to the dam the water level is very low, and is not flowing over the dam at this time.
“Although the park has been closed over the past couple of months, park staff and volunteers have been working hard to get the park back open at least partially,” said Ethan Belicek, Blanco State Park superintendent. “We’re excited to get visitors back in the park to enjoy for the remainder of the summer.”
Due to damaged check valves in the dam, which resulted in water loss in the swimming area, Belicek cautioned visitors to call the park to check water levels prior to arrival. “We hope to make that repair within the next few weeks, which will allow the swimming area to resume normal levels,” he said.
Meanwhile, looking at the statewide picture, only four Texas state parks remain closed out of more than 50 that were impacted during May flooding events; Cedar Hill State Park, Lake Somerville State Park (all units), Lake Whitney State Park, and Ray Roberts Lake State Park (all units). Damage assessments and repairs are under way at those sites. The latest updates on these parks can be found online at http://tpwd.texas.gov/state-
“While several of our flagship parks have been impacted for most of the summer, other nearby parks have been open and offer a variety of recreational and outdoor activities to enjoy,” said Russell Fishbeck, TPWD State Parks Division deputy director. “For those parks impacted by the floods, our Infrastructure Division team has been conducting assessments and are now in the process of trying to determine actual impacts, estimated costs and timeline to repair and make ready.”