‘Rain bomb’ re­cov­ery gets un­der­way in area

Ex­pect slight cold front later in week to drop temps into mid-80s.

Austin American-Statesman - - FRONT PAGE - By Bran­don Mul­der bmul­der@ac­n­news­pa­pers.com Con­tact Bran­don Mul­der at 512321-2557.

Red Cross and Austin dis­as­ter re­lief work­ers were help­ing 25 fam­i­lies Sun­day af­ter rains drove San Gabriel River out of its banks.

The rain­wa­ter that pushed the San Gabriel River above 24 feet Sat­ur­day left as quickly as it came.

By the af­ter­noon, the flood­wa­ters that dis­placed sev­eral fam­i­lies from an RV park and trapped dozens of peo­ple at a wed­ding venue near Lib­erty Hill had re­ceded.

“It re­ally and truly is a wave of wa­ter that goes through” the river, said Jarred Thomas, Williamson County’s emer­gency man­age­ment direc­tor.

By Sun­day, re­cov­ery was un­der­way as Cen­tral Texas Red Cross and Austin Dis­as­ter Re­lief Net­work teams helped roughly 25 fam­i­lies from the Shady Oaks RV Park find tem­po­rary hous­ing.

“We were able to find a place for ev­ery­one,” said Michael Shoe, Williamson County’s deputy emer­gency man­age­ment co­or­di­na­tor. “A lot of peo­ple in the county were waiv­ing fees and de­posits.”

All told, the “rain bomb” that fell in Cen­tral Texas dropped nearly 3 inches in Ge­orge­town over the week­end, ac­cord­ing to the Na­tional Weather Ser­vice. In Austin, the Fire Depart­ment’s fi­nal res­cue op­er­a­tion oc­curred about 5 p.m. Sat­ur­day when crews helped four peo­ple who were stranded by ris­ing wa­ter at the Bar­ton Creek Green­belt.

Over the week­end, the weather ser­vice mea­sured nearly 2 inches of rain at Austin’s main weather sta­tion, Camp Mabry, bring­ing the monthly rain­fall to­tal to 6.5 inches. Williamson County, how­ever, has had the high­est rain to­tals this month, hav­ing re­ceived over 9 inches as of Sun­day af­ter­noon. San Mar­cos has re­ceived 6.8 inches this month.

To what ex­tent the week­end’s rains have im­proved drought lev­els in Cen­tral Texas re­mains to be seen. As of Thurs­day — when the Na­tional Oceanic and At­mo­spheric Ad­min­is­tra­tion made its weekly up­date to the drought mon­i­tor — most of Williamson County was in mod­er­ate drought con­di­tions, while Travis, Hays and Bastrop coun­ties had ab­nor­mally dry con­di­tions, the low­est marker on the drought scale.

This month’s rainy streak is ex­pected to con­tinue into this week, me­te­o­rol­o­gists say. A 20 per­cent chance of rain is ex­pected for Austin on Mon­day and again Tues­day night. Be­gin­ning Wed­nes­day, chances of thun­der­storms jump to 70 per­cent for two days, although fore­cast­ers say they can’t pin­point where the heav­i­est rain will fall. The week­end’s rain chances drop to 40 per­cent.

The mid­week rains will also bring a slight cold front across the area, the weather ser­vice said. High tem­per­a­tures are ex­pected to be in the low to mid-80s with lows around 70 de­grees for the rest of the week.

RI­CARDO B. BRAZZIELL / AMER­I­CAN-STATESMAN

The Randy Mor­row Trail and the walk­way across the San Gabriel River are closed be­cause of de­bris and flood­ing. Ad­di­tional wet weather is in the fore­cast.

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