ROLLINGWOOD, Texas (KXAN) — A Rollingwood police officer who was nearly swept away in Thursday morning’s flash flood has been released from the hospital and is recovering. Officer Josh Odom was putting up a barricade in a low water crossing along Eanes Creek and Bee Cave Road when a woman in a Volvo tried to swerve around him to make it across. She and her car got swept away, and the officer went in after her. The woman eventually made it to safety about 300 yards downstream, but OOdom was trapped in a nearby tree — clinging for life for 20 minutes.
He radioed for help, but because it came at the same moment of the Travis County deputy rescue effort, there was some difficulty.
“He got on the radio to call for help, but because of the other ongoing rescue there was some confusion. Most of the other rescue teams were tied up,” Rollingwood Police Chief Dayne Pryor explains.
Eventually, with the help of a sturdy rope, Mustang Ridge Police Officer Blair McCall, West Lake Hills Police Officer Scott Campos, and Austin Officers Stefin and Fallon were able to pull Odom to safety. Odon was taken to Seton South ICU in critical, but stable, condition and remained there for about 24 hours.
These kinds of incidents anger police.
“It’s frustrating in a flash flood. You get barricades in place, and still, motorists go around them because they say they ‘just had to get there,'” says Pryor.
While the creek Odom got caught in is called Eanes Creek, most people in Rollingwood also know it as “Dry Creek.” That wasn’t the case on Thursday.