AUSTIN (KXAN) — A series of storms dumped up to seven inches of rain in Austin Thursday night and early Friday morning, flooding streets and sending runoff rushing through creeks and ditches.
The rain has moved off to the south, but commuters should plan ahead for the Friday drive as several low water crossings are closed and many streets are covered in debris that was carried in by flash floods.
A Flash Flood Warning was in effect for the early morning hours Friday for east central Travis County and south central Williamson County as roadways became submerged. The warnings have since expired but not before several cars were swamped and a handful of drivers had to be rescued from cars stalled out by high water.
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The First Warning Weather team says KXAN’s radar indicated up to 7 inches of rain fell in the Waller Creek area and in the area near US 183 and Airport Blvd. Parts of Central and East Austin have seen significant flash flooding. Debris litters the roadways near 38th and Guadalupe Streets. The Hyde Park neighborhood saw significant flash flooding, as well.
While some areas have seen more than 4 inches of rain, parts of Austin have only received 0.25 inches of rain.
Dozens of low water crossings were closed at the height of the flooding. Many, including those along Spicewood Springs Road, have reopened. ATXFloods officials remind drivers to be cautious when crossing. Click here for an updated list from ATXFloods.
Capital Metro announced trains would not be running between MLK and Downtown due to flooding. Busses will be used to help get riders to their normal stops.
Waller Creek comes to life
The Easy Tiger Bake Shop and Beer Garden sits along Waller Creek at 6th Street, where some of the flash floods were reported. KXAN crews reported water rushing through the creek rose quickly however limited damage to a couple of ping pong tables. The water level dropped significantly as the morning wore on, however our Kevin Schwaller reported the water was still flowing quickly.
Emergency crews kept busy
As of 4:00 a.m., the Austin Fire Department reported it was responding to more fire alarm calls due to heavy rain and lightning tripping the alarm systems. A spokesman said they hadn’t been called to any additional water calls.
Around 3:15 a.m., Austin Police assisted with rescuing drivers from a flooded roadway in the 12400 block of Mellow Meadow. No Injuries were reported.
As of 2:30 a.m. the Austin Fire Department reported it has been on 12 water assist calls and three water rescues but there are no reports of any injuries as a result. The majority of the rescue calls resulted from drivers who encountered flooded intersections and stalled vehicles.
Around 12:45 Friday morning, medics also responded to a home in the 4900 block of N Imperial Drive to reports of water rising inside a residence. Medics helped the residents evacuate without injury.
Austin police warn drivers to use caution driving in poor conditions and that if they see any flooding to not attempt to cross a low water crossing. It is illegal to drive around barricades at a flooded low water crossing.
More than 5,000 Austin Energy customers were without power in east central Austin at the height of the storm. Click here for a real-time outage map.
While Thursday and Friday’s rain fall will help with our ongoing rainfall deficit, Jim Spencer says the majority has fallen in areas that will not eventually flow into Lake Buchanan or Lake Travis. Most of the river will flow down stream and eventually wind up in the Gulf of Mexico.
Southeastern Williamson County saw significant rainfall and that runoff will flow into Lake Georgetown which is the source for Round Rock’s water supply.
KXAN has crews following this situation throughout Central Texas. We’ll update this post throughout the morning and are boradcasting live on KXAN.