The Brazos River forms on the Llano Estacado at the junction of its Salt and Double Mountain Forks, northwest of Rule, Texas; it then flows northeastward to Seymour before angling southeast toward the Gulf of Mexico. En route to the Gulf, the river passes through three major reservoirs: Possum Kingdom Lake, Lake Granbury and Lake Whitney; it also flows through Waco, passes west of College Station and flows west of Houston before emptying into the Gulf of Mexico at Freeport, Texas.
While the Brazos itself is 840 miles long, its watershed stretches back to eastern New Mexico; from its most distant tributary to its mouth, the River's watershed is 1280 miles in length, making it the 11th longest stream in the United States. Over the past few weeks, heavy rainfall across the Brazos watershed has led to severe flooding, especially below the above mentioned reservoirs. Not designed for flood control, these lakes must be partly drained as they fill in order to prevent catastrophic dam collapse.
As of this morning, the Brazos crested at 54.6 feet in Richmond, Texas (southwest of Houston), shattering a Century-old record by almost 4.5 feet; unfortunately, more rain is forecast across the watershed in the coming days. To date, at least 6 individuals have been killed by the flooding and 31 Texas Counties have been declared disaster areas. See also Texas: Land of Drought & Flood.