Sunday Update: Flood Recovery Underway; 3 Confirmed Dead; Flood Threat Continues for Bastrop

Oct 30, 2015

11:00 a.m.: The Austin Independent School District has announced classes are canceled Monday, November 2, at Palm Elementary because some classrooms in the school sustained heavy water damage during the storm.  Faculty and staff should report to campus Monday. Two parent meetings will be held Monday to provide more information.

10:15 a.m.: Austin Bergstrom International Airport officials say passengers can expect fewer flights delays and cancelations on Sunday as the flight schedule begins to return to normal. The airport's air traffic control tower and radar approach control facility were damaged in Friday's storms and flooding.

8 a.m. The heavy rains have stopped in Central Texas but the threat from those rains has not completely subsided. A flood warning remains in effect for the Colorado River in Bastrop, near Smithville, and below Luling. The river in those spots is not expected to drop below flood levels until later today or tomorrow.

Residents in Austin's Onion Creek neighborhood were allowed to return home Saturday and start inspecting the damage. City officials say the Dove Springs Recreation Center on Ainez Drive will be open Sunday afternoon for city and Travis County residents impacted by the flooding. Click here for more information about services available as well as information about donation opportunities to help flood victims.

Saturday 10 p.m. A river flood warning is in place for Bastrop County until Tuesday Nov. 2 at 1:10 a.m.

4 p.m. The National Weather Service predicts a warm, dry Halloween afternoon and night. Meanwhile, ATCEMS is still helping to rescue and transport Central Texans who were displaced or stranded by Friday's floods. Evacuees who've been allowed to return to their homes are in recovery mode; cleaning supplies are still available at the Dove Springs Recreation Center for those who need them. Most low water crossings have reopened, as have all the City of Austin trails. In Bastrop County, shelters are still open for those who need them; find more information on that here.

12:30 p.m.: City of Austin officials say cleaning supplies, face masks, and water bottles are available at the Dove Springs Recreation Center for use in flood cleanup. Bastrop County emergency officials are asking evacuees in Bastrop County to go to First United Methodist Church on Main Street in Bastrop for shelter. Red Cross officials will be on hand.  Elgin First Baptist Church is now closed as a shelter.

10:40 a.m.: The City of Austin says power has  now been restored to the Onion Creek neighborhood so residents are being allowed to return to the area. 

9:15 a.m.: The City of Austin reports that a delay in restoring power to the Onion Creek neighborhood has delayed the return of residents.

8:45 a.m.: The City of Austin says residents of the Onion Creek  neighborhood can begin returning to their homes starting at 9:00 a.m. Saturday. The Dittmar Recreation Center will stay open to provide shelter and basic support services for people whose homes have been heavily damaged by flooding.

8:00 a.m.:  The National Weather Service says flood warnings continues for many area rivers and creeks. The Colorado River in Bastrop has risen well above its flood stage of 23 feet to over 31 feet and is expected to rise to 35 feet by Saturday afternoon. Flooding has been occurring ,and several Bastrop neighborhoods, including Riverwood Drive, River Front Drive, Shoreline Drive, RV Park at 969, and Riverside in Tahitian have been asked to evacuate. Flooding is also happening in Smithville, where residents of Hidden Valley Estates, Doty River Estate, and Pecan Shores Estates were asked to evacuate. The Elgin First Baptist Church on 2nd Street has been set up as a shelter.

3:00 a.m.: The National Weather Service has issued a Flash Flood Warning for much of Central Texas until 9:00 a.m. Saturday. Another 1-3 inches of rainfall is possible during the early morning hours. Residents of the Citation Circle neighborhood in southeast Travis County were asked to evacuate early this morning. Texas State University has canceled classes at its San Marcos and Round Rock campuses for Saturday.

Friday 7:32 p.m. The National Weather Service is extending a Flash Flood Warning until 10:15 p.m.

"Additional rainfall amounts of one inch are possible in the warned area," the NWS says. "Even though rain is dissipating, runoff form earlier storms will continue to cause flooding." 

Meanwhile, people trying to drive from Austin to Bastrop are struggling to find a path not blocked by road closures caused by flooding. 

Google Maps indicates heavy traffic headed from Austin to Bastrop.
Credit Google Maps

Highway 71 eastbound was closed at SH 130 because of flooding. The Bastrop County Sheriff's Office says Highway 21 at FM 535 is closed because of high water. Earlier, US 290 was closed for the same reason, but the sheriff's office says it is now open. 

However, if you take US 290 and then head south on TX 95 to get to Bastrop, expect long delays. Traffic appears to be crawling, and Twitter reports back that up.  

5:30 p.m. Some parts of Central Texas have received 14 inches of rainfall today. And with more rain expected tonight, officials urge people to stay off the roads as much as possible, and to make sure to check for flooded road crossings [here], and road closures [here], and if you encounter a road closure while driving, Turn Around, Don't Drown.

If you're looking for ways to help those affected by flooding, find more information here.

5 p.m. A man's body has been recovered in Travis County at the 10300 block of FM 1625, officials say. The man, who'd gone missing earlier, has been identified, but his identity's not being released at the request of his family. At least one woman is still missing in Travis County.

You can find more flood information from the County here.

4 p.m. Bastrop County Judge Paul Pape has declared a state of disaster for the county.

3:30 p.m. A flash flood warning’s in place until 4:15 p.m. for Travis, Bastrop, Williamson, Guadalupe, Caldwell and Hays Counties.

2:09 p.m. The Texas Department of Transportation is reporting that I-35 at the Blanco River is partially open, though traffic is slow. Still, Hays County is warning drivers to avoid the roadway on Twitter.

1:45 p.m. The National Weather Service has extended the flash flood warning for the Austin-Round Rock area and San Marcos until 4:15 p.m. 

Credit National Weather Service

North and southbound lanes of I-35 at the Blanco River in San Marcos have been closed, according to Hays County. For a more complete list of closures, including schools and services, view our list here.

12:50 p.m. The FAA said in a statement that, due to ground-floor flooding in the Austin Air Traffic Control Tower and Terminal Radar Approach Control, flights at ABIA will be spaced out more, which will result in delays. Those with flights into or out of Austin today should check their flight status with their airline.

12:13 p.m. The National Weather Service has extended the tornado watch in Travis, Williamson, Caldwell, Bastrop, Lee and Fayette counties until 7 p.m. tonight. Onion Creek has reached 31 feet.

12:07 p.m. The City of San Marcos and the Hays County Office of Emergency Management have ordered evacuations along both the San Marcos and Blanco rivers. The San Marcos Activity Center at 501 E. Hopkins has been designated as an evacuation center for those displaced. Officials expect downstream swells at around 1 p.m. today. Those in the area can receive updates on the Hays County emergency notification website or on San Marcos' Twitter or Facebook page.

11:43 a.m. The Austin Police Department has announced additional evacuations east of Onion Creek and South of William Cannon. 

11:10 a.m. From the City of Austin: 

Austin/Travis County public safety officials have designated some City of Austin Recreation Centers as places of refuge for any residents who feel unsafe or uncomfortable.

Residents of South Austin and Onion Creek area are urged to go to the Dittmar Recreation Center, located at 1009 W Dittmar Rd, Austin, TX 78745.

Public safety responders are evacuating some neighborhoods located near William Cannon and I-35, in the Onion Creek community.

Designated available Recreation Centers are:

Public safety urges residents to avoid non-essential travel. Stay tuned to public safety social media and monitor local media for update.

11 a.m. Cesar Chavez is closed at Lamar; Lamar is closed at 12th St.

10:45 a.m. A new tornado warning has been issued for areas Eastern Travis and Northern Bastrop Counties until 11 a.m. A five-county flash flood watch has been issued until 6:45 p.m.

Onion Creek is reportedly flooded in Driftwood, expected to top at 27 feet. Barton Springs Road is reportedly "blocked in both directions at Lamar."  Barton Springs pool is closed. Severe thunderstorm warning until 11:45 for Bastrop, San Marcos and Giddings. 

Various CapMetro routes are down or rerouted. CapMetro is keeping its twitter up-to-date with information on specific routes.

10:30 a.m. From Austin ISD: "To ensure the safety of our students we are relocating students from Perez and Palm Elementary Schools to the Burger Center. Notices to parents are being sent now."

10:15 a.m. CapMetro has suspended MetroRail service because of extreme weather.

CapMetro buses are delayed but operating wherever conditions allow. No flights are going into or out of Austin Bergstrom International Airport. 

Officials have barricaded the intersection at 10th and Lamar in Austin. 

10 a.m. The City is advising motorists to stay off the road due to flooding risks. If you have to go out or already are out, check atxfloods for crossing closures and do not attempt to drive through flooded areas.

Update 9:45 a.m. Tornado warning has been canceled for Austin area, though tornados are still possible. More than 5,000 customers of Austin Energy have reported power outages. Cypress Creek in Wimberley has flooded over; the bridge over the Blanco River on RR 12 in Wimberley is closed.

Update 9:15 a.m. Another tornado warning issued for Austin. The area is also under a Flash Flood Warning until 12 p.m. for Blanco. A Flash Flood Watch for Travis, Hays, Caldwell, Bastrop Counties. 

Austin Energy customers can view and report power outages here. Bluebonnet customers can view outages here and should call 800-949-4414 to report an outage.

Austin Community College has canceled today's classes. Hays CISD is operating on a delay, parents are urged to drive cautiously, buses are now running regular routes, and students won't be counted tardy for arriving late. San Marcos CISD has canceled classes for the day. UT Austin has not canceled classes, though parts of 24th St. are being closed off. Texas State delayed classes until noon.

Update 8:50 a.m. A tornado warning has been issued for Travis, Hays and Caldwell Counties until 9:15 a.m. — residents are advised to seek shelter. A flash flood warning has been issued until 1:15 p.m.

The service is forecasting quarter-sized hail and strong winds.

The storm will be near Austin and Buda at around 8:55 a.m., hitting Onion Creek at 9:05 a.m., the area near Austin-Bergstrom International Airport at 9:10 a.m. and the area of Westlake Hills and Rollingwood at 9:15 a.m. 

Update (8:40 a.m.): A flash flood warning is in effect for Blanco, Comal, Kendall and Hays counties until 9 a.m., according to the National Weather Service. 

Credit National Weather Service

The service says the Blanco River could rise above flood stage by this afternoon. As of 7:45 a.m. the river was at 10.5 feet, and it's forecast to rise to near 23.8 feet this afternoon, with the river subsiding by tonight. Flood stage for the river is 13 feet.

Update (8:19 a.m.): The tornado warning in San Marcos has been downgraded to a severe thunderstorm warning for Comal and Hays County, which is in effect until 9:15 a.m. A tornado watch is still in effect until noon. 

Update (8 a.m.): National Weather Service radar has spotted a tornado over the town of Zorn near New Braunfels, moving towards the Redwood and Hunter areas of San Marcos. The tornadic front is moving at around 20 miles per hour, and the National Weather Service asks anyone in the area to seek shelter in the lowest floor of a sturdy building without windows.

The service has extended a tornado warning for Caldwell County and Hays County near San Marcos until 8:30 a.m. 

A flash flood warning is in effect for the Guadalupe River in New Braunfels until "late tonight," according to the National Weather Service. The service says the river could rise above flood stage by this afternoon. 

Update (7:30 a.m.): The National Weather Service has issued a tornado warning for Hays County until 7:45 a.m. this morning. The service has also extended the flash flood warning until 10:15 a.m. for Comal, Guadalupe, Caldwell, Hays and Travis counties.

The National Weather Service has issued a tornado watch is in effect until noon Friday for Bastrop, Caldwell, Hays, Travis and Williamson counties.

A tornado watch means thunderstorms have gathered in an area that could produce tornados.

A flash flood warning is in effect until 9:30 AM Friday morning for southwest Williamson, southwest Burnet and northwest Travis Counties.

Flash flood warnings are issued when a flash flood is imminent or occurring. If you are in a flood prone area move immediately to high ground.

Flash flood watch is in effect until 10 AM Saturday morning for all of Central Texas for Bastrop, Burnet, Caldwell, Hays, Travis and Williamson counties.

Flash flood watches are issued when weather conditions are favorable for flooding. It does not mean flooding will occur, but it is possible.

Strong thunderstorms and showers are forecast for the Austin area for Friday. Some of those showers could bring heavy downpours. Wind gusts could reach 20 mph.

Drivers are encouraged to use caution during the Friday morning commute. Click here for an upated list of low water crossings closed around Central Texas.