Mon October 14, 2013
Austin Dries Off After Storm, Flooding – But More Rain On the Way (Update)
Update: The Red Cross is keeping an eye on weather conditions in Central Texas over the next few days. So far, they’ve responded by distributing supplies like clean-up kits.
“We are working closely with local emergency management to respond and assist families who have been affected by flooding in their homes,” Red Cross Central Texas Region CEO Marty McKellips says in a statement.
The Red Cross shares four tips for making it through extreme weather:
- Similar to a fire, residents should prepare a disaster plan with escape routes, shelter, and evacuation. Agree on a meeting place and be ready to leave quickly.
- Bring along an emergency kit filled with food and water, medication, and important family documents. Keep radios and flashlights nearby with extra batteries.
- Remember, a flood watch means potential flooding in an area, while a flood warning is currently happening or will be soon. Watch the media for weather updates and get to higher ground if a flood or flash flood watch is issued.
- When relocating, stay away from flooded areas. Drivers should completely avoid flooded roads and leave the car immediately if water stops it. If the water rises above ankle-height, find another route to high ground.
So far, locals don’t need shelter – but the Red Cross says it is ready to provide for families displaced by flooding.
Original story (12:10 p.m.): After parts of Austin received a foot of rain this weekend, the city’s attempting to dry out. But half an inch is expected today – and much more may be coming Tuesday.
Austin-Bergstrom International Airport saw 3.16 inches of rain on Saturday. Camp Mabry saw 4.22 inches, and other areas in the Austin regions reported far, far more than that. Flooding also closed Lake Creek’s wastewater station and Austin Water’s wastewater plant, and shuttered Barton Springs pool. See more on the storms’ impact here.
But while light rain is expected for the rest of today, by late Tuesday evening heavier rains could be here. The National Weather Service is predicting a flooding threat for Austin and surrounding regions:
A cold front will combine with moist Gulf air to produce a threat for heavy rain and flash flooding on Tuesday, especially Tuesday night into early Wednesday morning. Rainfall will average 1-2 inches, with some spots receiving up to 4 inches of rain.
“That front could have local heavy rain and we could have some more flood problems,” says National Weather Service forecaster Mark Brundrett.
Heavy rains in South Austin – where the most rain fell over the weekend – could bring more flooding because the ground is saturated.
“If we got two to four [inches] in North Austin, it might not cause as much damage or problems,” says Pete Baldwin, Travis County emergency management coordinator. “All we can do is monitor the situation and when the rain starts falling, we will have all our public safety people in play, checking low water crossings and making sure things are safe. It’s a potential flooding event and we will treat it as that.”
For now, the city of Austin is asking people to call 3-1-1 to report flooding or to report clogged storm drains to prevent future flooding.
Meantime, the Lower Colorado River Authority says the weekend rains have had a little impact on lake levels. As of this morning, Lake Travis was up about two feet – while Lake was a up a little more than an inch. Lake Travis is still more than 40 feet below its average for October.