Thu May 12, 2011
Rain Drenches Central Texas, Delays Flights, Cuts Power
A large area of rain and thunderstorms moved into Central Texas this morning bringing much needed moisture to our drought stricken region. Almost two inches of rain fell at Camp Mabry this morning with another one to two inches on the way. A flood advisory was issued until noon. A flash flood warning was issued until 1:30 pm. A severe thunderstorm watch is in effect until 3 pm.
Austin Energy is working to restore power outages across the city. At one point, more than 11,500 customers in 140 different locations had no electricity. Check the status of outages on this Austin Energy map.
At Austin Bergstrom International Airport, the weather caused flight delays of up to four hours or more. For example, an American Airlines flight to Chicago that was supposed to depart at 8:25 am is now rescheduled for 12:45 pm. Check real time flight status here.
The flight delays created a backlog that forced people to stand in line for hours trying to rebook their travel arrangements.
"It's looking like there's only one person at the counter, and there's people who have been here since 4 am trying to get a ticket, and it's probably going to be [awhile] before I can get to the counter," said one traveler who identified herself as Christine.
But for people who have been praying for rain in the midst of what has been a historic drought across Central Texas, the rain - though annoying - was the answer to their prayers.
"I really love it," University of Texas student Alex Au said as walked off Guadalupe St. drenched in rain. "Austin's been really dry lately, so seeing rain makes me happy."
Even though we are in exceptional drought status, the rain will help matters a bit.
"It will probably take our drought category down at least a notch," Lower Colorado River Authority meteorologist Bob Rose told KUT News. "The fire danger will be reduced for awhile."
Rose said it's not enough rain to cause a major change in river and lake levels. As of this morning, Lake Travis was still almost 18 feet below its historic May average.
Travis County, meanwhile, says that in spite of the rain, you are still prohibited from burning things outside. The vast majority of the state remains under a burn ban.
As a precaution, Baranoff Elementary School evacuated its portables. Third grade students were moved into the main building.
A chance of rain will continue well into this evening. You can see the hourly forecast for Austin here on WeatherUnderground.com.