Residents in San Antonio, Texas spent the weekend dealing with flash flooding caused by torrential rainfall. The flooding claimed the lives of two people and resulted in the rescue of dozens stranded in vehicles and homes. In all, the city’s fire department conducted over 230 water rescues across San Antonio with some being made by inflatable boats.
Some homeowners living in low-lying areas of the city reported that they had four feet or more of water in their homes. The water was so deep and fast moving that it even swept a city transit bus away. Firefighters using a boat were able to pluck the three passengers and driver out of the bus so that no one was hurt. The airport in San Antonio recorded 9.85 inches of rain since midnight Friday which is what caused every stream and river in the area to experienced outrageous flooding. The most rain recorded since Friday midnight was 15 ½ inches in Olmos Creek at Dresden Drive.
There was a flash flood warning in effect for 24 Texas counties Saturday as forecasters were warning that up to 5 inches of rain could fall by Sunday morning. Residents of San Antonio took the warnings seriously as they remember all too well the deadly flooding that occurred in October of 1998 when 30 inches of rain came down in a 48 hour period. That flooding claimed the lives of 30 people.
The dramatic flash flooding that struck San Antonio over the weekend put the area under a flash flood emergency. The mayor of the city urged residents to stay at home because of the many dangers that are associated with fast moving flood waters. He told people that if they have to travel by car to observe high water warnings and to use common sense.
During the peak of the rainfall Saturday, over 12,000 people lost power and dozens of streets were closed due to flooding in San Antonio. Saturday’s heavy downpouring of rain was San Antonio’s second wettest day in history and if forecasters are right, Sunday may be a record-breaker as well. The National Weather Service warns that “heavy downpours” could drop another four inches of rain overnight Saturday to cause more flash flooding on the already very saturated ground. Some areas could see six inches of rain. There is an 80 percent chance of rain through Sunday.