Floods In Central Texas Kill Two And Force Evacuations

CREDIT: Deborah Cannon/AP

More than a foot of rain fell across Central Texas Thursday, killing two and prompting dozens of rescues.

The rains caused widespread flooding, with one region southwest of the state’s capitol drenched with 14 inches of rain. Emergency responders in Texas fielded more than 100 rescue calls, some harrowing, as the AP reports:

Around 4 a.m., rescuers near Little Bear Creek spotted a man and his girlfriend in trees about 200 yards from the roadway. Fire Capt. Craig Odell said rescuers encouraged the pair to “hang on” until the helicopter arrived. The man and woman, whose names were not released, estimated they were in the water about four hours before they were hoisted to safety, Odell said.

Two men in Texas were killed by the flooding, and the storms, which stretched down through Kentucky and Tennessee, were also blamed for the death of a 9-year-old boy, who was shocked by downed power lines.


CREDIT: AP/San Antonio Express-News

The rains caused creeks and rivers to rise to record levels — Onion Creek, which starts in Hays County, Texas and empties into the Colorado, reached an all-time high of 41 feet, forcing the surrounding neighborhood to be evacuated. In all, 500 to 600 homes in Texas were flooded by the storms, according to officials.

“We saw very significant flooding,” Austin City Manager Marc Ott said Thursday afternoon “In some cases people cut holes through rooftops to have access to the outside.”

Sections of the Colorado river in Travis, Bastrop and Fayette counties are still under flood warnings.

The torrential rains come after what water officials have called the worst drought in Central Texas’ history. Climate change makes precipitation events more intense and extreme, even amid drought.


CREDIT: Ricardo B. Brazziell/The Austin American-Statesman/AP