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A Story of Survival: One Year After the Halloween Floods

It was still dark the morning of Halloween 2013 when hundreds of families in Onion Creek, a neighborhood in South East Austin, woke up to rising water in their homes.

Bene Jacobs and her family survived the flood by taking refuge on their neighbor's roof.

She remembers that morning clearly.

Bene and her partner Lawrence waded through the waters with their three children in tow. Ten-year-old Isaac was in Lawrence's arms. Isaac was born with special needs. His wheelchair would have been swept by the fast moving waters. Alyssa was five at the time and Acelee, a toddler.

Bene says "people ask you: "how are you doing? How is the recovery?" I can tell them, [we are at] 90 percent: I have a place to live, I have a car to drive, the kids have clothes [and] they have beds. But there will always be that part of you that says: "I remember when we survived the flood"."

The family of Bene Jacobs is just one of more than six hundred stories of survival that came out of the Halloween Floods of 2013.

Five people died in the disaster.

As of today, the city of Austin has demolished 70 of the flood-damaged homes.

Listen to Bene Jacobs' story one year after the flood.

Texas Standard reporter Joy Diaz has amassed a lengthy and highly recognized body of work in public media reporting. Prior to joining Texas Standard, Joy was a reporter with Austin NPR station KUT on and off since 2005. There, she covered city news and politics, education, healthcare and immigration.