Storms Cause Widespread Flooding in Austin (Updated)

May 25, 2015

Update Tuesday 4:30 a.m. Several additional area school districts have announced changes to their schedules for today because of flooding and road conditions:

  • Classes at Taylor High School have been canceled because of flooding in the building. All other Taylor ISD schools will operate on a two hour delay.
  • The following districts are operating on a two hour delay: Hutto, Jarrell, Luling, Lockhart, Manor (two hour delay for students; staff report at regular time).

Because of some track washouts, Capital Metro's MetroRail will operate only between the Howard and Downtown stations on Tuesday. Cap Metro says road conditions may also cause some bus route detours.

Earlier: After storms wreaked havoc through Central Texas Sunday, the area was hit again Monday afternoon, flooding roadways and causing power outages in Austin and surrounding areas. After reported tornado touchdowns mid-afternoon in several Central Texas counties, storms deluged the already-saturated Austin area with rain, causing flooding all over the city.

9:45 p.m. The City of Austin's Emergency Operations Center says it has no word of any fatalities or missing people in the city due to flooding at this point. Crews are staging equipment to clean up major arteries like Lamar Boulevard, once Shoal Creek recedes completely. Engineers will assess the roadway and bridges, and any needed repairs will be made as soon as possible.

Austin Energy has abut 400 customers still without power.

Also:

8:30 p.m. Several Central Texas school districts have canceled classes for Tuesday, due to the weather. Bastrop, Smithville, Elgin, Blanco and Wimberley ISDs are all closed. Austin ISD says it will operate as normal.

The City of Austin has instituted a temporary ban on watercraft on Lady Bird Lake, due to flooding and debris, through noon on Tuesday.

6:35 p.m. Two shelters are open in Austin for people seeking refuge from flooding.

6:20 p.m. Many roads are impassable. 

Update 5:55 p.m. Austin Pets Alive is reportedly flooded. 

Update 5:50 p.m. Austin Energy is now reporting that about 4,500 customers are without power.

Update 5:20 p.m. Flooding is causing significant delays for CapMetro buses. CapMetro says it will be providing updates on delays and detours at capmetro.org, on its facebook page and via its twitter account.

5:05 p.m. More than 2,000 Austin Energy customers are without power.

5:00 p.m. Reports of widespread flooding in Austin. 

4:10 p.m. There is flooding all over Austin. Try to avoid the roads.

4 p.m. Severe thunderstorm warning in Travis and Williamson Counties until 4:30 and flash flood warnings until at least 7 p.m.

3:45 p.m. Tornado warning has ended for Travis County.

3:35 p.m. Many flooded areas and road crossings in Austin. Check atxfloods.com if you have to go out on the roads at all today.

3:20 p.m. Take shelter if in Bee Cave or Pflugerville. Rotation on radar, moving toward Northeast.

3:17 p.m. Tornado warning in Travis County until 3:45 p.m.

3:08 p.m. Tornado warnings canceled for Hays and Williamson Counties. Travis County still under tornado warning, focused in area near Bee Cave.

2:55 p.m. Funnel cloud reported in Georgetown.

2:30 p.m. New tornado warning for Travis and Hays Counties until 3:15 p.m. Tornado watch in effect until late tonight.

2:25 p.m. Nearby areas are reporting heavy rain, hail and circulation.

2:11 p.m. Wimberley ISD has canceled tomorrow's classes.

2 p.m. Tornado warning in Travis, Hays, Burnet, Williamson Counties now until 2:45 p.m.

1:50 p.m. A flash flood warning is in effect for Burnet, Hays, Travis and Williamson Counties until 4:45 p.m.

1:40 p.m. Blanco ISD announced that school is canceled Tuesday. The area is currently under a tornado warning and anyone there should take shelter until at least 2 p.m.

Update 1:30 p.m. National Weather Service confirmed a tornado across Rock Mountain.

A tornado warning was also issued for East Lampasas County. Those in affected counties are urged to find shelter.

Update 1:15 p.m. There is now a tornado warning across Blanco, Burnet and Llano Counties through 2 p.m.

Update 1 p.m. A new tornado warning is in effect for Blanco and Gillespie counties now until 1:15 p.m. If you are in Blanco County, the National Weather Service urges you to seek shelter now.

A flash flood watch is in effect for the Central Texas area until Tuesday at 1 a.m., and there is a tornado watch in effect now for many Texas counties until 4 p.m. today.

The Red Cross says this on its website:

"The grounds are already saturated, so we are even more susceptible to flooding and flash flooding,” Marty McKellips, Chief Executive Officer for the American Red Cross Central & South Texas Region, said. “Red Cross volunteers are standing by and resources are strategically placed across the region to help anyone affected by flooding this weekend.”

One fatality was reported in Texas Sunday as a result of the flooding. Twelve people — from two families — are still reportedly missing in Hays County near Wimberley.

San Marcos Emergency Management Coordinator Kenneth Bell says the group of 12 had met up to celebrate the Memorial Day weekend together but are not all from Hays County. Bell says more than 50 people from Texas Task Force One and local teams are searching.

“We have aerial photography that’s going on in a very finite way. First thing this morning they launched. We have drone capability that we are bringing into this this… thermal imaging…you name it, we’re bringing it to bear,” Bell says.

Governor Greg Abbott has declared a state of disaster in 24 counties, including Bastrop, Caldwell and Hays. The declaration authorizes the use of additional state resources to help out communities hardest hit by storms and floods. Abbott visited Wichita Falls this morning and is scheduled to be in Wimberley this afternoon, with a press conference scheduled for 1 p.m.

The Red Cross encourages people from the area to register as Safe and Well here, and if you're looking for neighbors and loved ones, you can search for them there as well.

Wimberley Independent School District has canceled classes for Tuesday.

A flooded road crossing in Driftwood Monday.
Credit KUT News

If you or loved ones are in need of shelter, the Red Cross has several locations open:

  • Northwest Fellowship Church — 13427 Pond Springs Rd., Austin, TX
  • Luling Junior High School – 204 S. Hackberry Ave., Luling TX
  • San Marcos Activity Center – 501 E. Hopkins St., San Marcos, TX
  • Camp Wood First Baptist Church – 813 Nueces St., Camp Wood, TX
  • Wimberley High School – 100 Carney Rd., Wimberley, TX

You can also call 1-800-RED-CROSS to find shelter or other resources. You can also check here for a longer list of phone numbers and apps and websites if you're seeking help and for ways to help pitch in or donate to relief efforts.

We will be updating this post throughout Monday.