Friday, October 30, 2015

Weather Update

We're getting hammered here in Central Texas. Between 3:00 a.m. and 8:00 a.m. we received 4 1/2 inches of rain. It's serious, but not as bad as this headline would lead you to believe.

Catastrophic & Historic Flooding Underway in Parts of Central Texas
It has been an incredibly busy morning across Central and South-Central Texas. Several tornadoes and catastrophic flash flooding are underway across Hays county (30 miles NE of us)... Some locations across Comal and Hays counties have recorded a foot of rain this morning. This is an extremely life-threatening situation comparable to the historic flooding we saw in May. Many roads are closed and its only going to get worse.

A level 2 possible severe weather risk remains in effect through the late afternoon hours across South Texas, Central Texas, and Southeast Texas... The primary severe weather risk will be isolated tornadoes... As a warm front makes slow progress north we could see the severe weather threat also spread into more of Central Texas... For the past hour the front has stalled out around Austin which is helping to create extreme rainfall rates.

... additional thunderstorms will form this afternoon and evening across the Big Country and Concho Valley. That activity will move east towards Interstate 35 from D/FW south through the San Antonio Metro area. Some of these storms could be severe with the possibility of damaging wind gusts and a couple tornadoes. By far the most significant threat will be flash flooding. Parts of South Austin into San Marcos and Wimberly are receiving six inches of rain an HOUR. This has been going on for a while now. This is truly going to be a catastrophic and probably historic event...
Several reported tornadoes left damage in small towns near San Antonio, Texas, on Friday morning. In those areas, as well as near Austin, a flood emergency forced people to evacuate their homes.

The flash flood emergency was in effect for much of Comal County, as well as parts of Hays and Bexar counties, according to the National Weather Service. This includes areas like northern San Antonio and New Braunfels.

Near (South Austin), Onion Creek quickly rose to a new record level. Before noon Friday, water levels at that part of the creek were already above the previous record of 25.1 feet, and the waterway was expected to continue its rise.

More than 10 inches of rain fell in a two-hour span near the creek Friday morning. Multiple people were rescued from floodwaters in Travis County earlier Friday morning.
South Austin (US 183 from the TX 71 overpass for those of you familiar with the area)
The rainfall became so extreme that the airfield of Austin-Bergstrom International Airport had to be closed late Friday morning, the airport announced.
Evacuations were ongoing in the Wimberley area Friday morning, as a bridge over Cypress Creek may be threatened by rising floodwaters. Rain was falling at rates of up to 6 inches per hour Friday morning in Texas, storm reports showed.

In Austin, boats were being deployed by the Austin Fire Department to help with water rescues.

Areas near the Blanco River were also being evacuated Friday morning, and the bridge over the river at RR 12 in Wimberley was closed.

San Antonio officials reported more than a dozen road closures Friday morning as heavy rain caused flooding. In eastern Bexar County, a school bus with children inside got stuck in high water, and crews were able to successfully remove everyone inside, the Bexar County Sheriff's Office said via Twitter.

New Braunfels officials warned residents to take flooding seriously and get to safety. A civil emergency message was issued for Comal County, warning residents that river flooding along the Comal and Guadalupe rivers was imminent, and residents in low-lying areas should evacuate...
The towns of D'Hanis and Floresville took the hardest hit from the early Friday suspected tornadoes. There were also reports of damage near San Marcos as the severe weather pushed northeast.
I truly feel for the poor folks living along the Blanco River in Blanco and Wimberly. They're still dealing with the aftermath of the Memorial Day flood that killed at least nine people (nine bodies have been recovered - two people are still missing). Now they're facing that same nightmare again.

We're located approximately 25 miles NW of San Antonio, and about 70 miles SW of Austin, so we're pretty much in the middle of all that stuff. Our property slopes from front to back. When I got up this morning the runoff had pooled in front of the house and was about 6 inches from our front door. We have drains in place to channel the runoff around the house, but they were clogged with debris, so I had the pleasure of cleaning them out while being pelted with rain. On the bright side, I didn't need to take a shower this morning.  :-)

The back of our property slopes down to a dry wash. In the 15 years we've lived here it's only had running water a handful of times. This morning there was a good-sized stream running down the wash, complete with whitecaps.

The heavy rain stopped a couple of hours ago, but we're still getting off-and-on showers. The forecast is for continued rain through today and tonight, with it tapering off tomorrow.

Overall, however, we're in good shape. It'll take rain of Biblical proportions to flood us out. We may get isolated by high water and road closures, but we've got enough food and adult beverages stockpiled to last us for quite a while.

Of course, all this rain comes on the heels of a historic multi-year drought. But that's Texas weather for you. Kind of like life in general, you either get too much of something, or not enough.


The Comal River flooding under the IH 35 bridge in New Braunfels.

The Comal River in New Braunfels as seen from my son's back yard. The rock walkway extends for several more feet (now underwater) before what is usually a five foot dropoff to the river. In other words, the water level is approximately ten feet above normal.


Old NFO said...

Stay safe my friend...

CenTexTim said...

Thanks for your concern. I don't plan on going anywhere until things dry out.

Well Seasoned Fool said...

Hope some of that runoff is going into reservoirs.

XS3mdrvr said...

My heart aches for the good people of Texas who are affected by this devastating weather.
Maybe the words regarding "...rain in due season..." in Leviticus 26:2-13 will be enlightening
at this time. May God's grace attend and console all those in need currently and
enceforth as a result of these events.

XS3mdrvr said...

Gaah! (h)enceforth. Mutters something regarding (mostly) absent mind.

CenTexTim said...

WSF - San Antonio and surrounding towns get their water from the Edwards Aquifer. Its recharge zone is NW of us. While that area got some rain, most of the heavy rain and flooding occurred east of the recharge zone. Some of the area lakes got lots of runoff, some didn't. But we'll take whatever we can get.

XS3 - thanks for the kind thoughts... and don't worry about the fumble fingers on the keyboard :-)