The National Weather Service has issued a Flash Flood Watch for a portion of South Central Texas. The watch includes the following counties: Hays, Blanco, Caldwell, Bexar, Comal, Gonzales, Guadalupe and Travis.
Residents of the above counties should monitor weather advisories and warnings at weather.gov/austin
A flash flood watch means that conditions may develop that lead to flash flooding.
Last year, the greater Hays County area was hit with historic flooding during Memorial Day weekend, May 23 through May 24. Most of this rain fell from Saturday afternoon into the overnight hours of early Sunday morning, leading to a rapid rise in the Blanco and San Marcos Rivers The Blanco River at Wimberley crested at 36.52 feet.
On October 30, nearly 5 months after the Memorial Day weekend floods, another historic flood, along with a tornado, caused immense widespread property damage to the greater Hays County area. The Blanco River at Wimberley crested at 37.45 feet, becoming the highest the river had been since a 40 foot crest in 1929.
The flash flood watch will be in effect from 10 a.m. Sunday until 10 a.m. Tuesday.
Until Tuesday, residents can expect high rainfall amounts leading to river and flash flooding, along with 3 to 6 inches with isolated pockets of 8 to 12 inches of water
Rivers and creeks will swell quickly with localized higher amounts. Flash Flooding is also likely, especially in urban areas. Low water crossings can be quickly overwhelmed.
Hays County Emergency Management is closely monitoring the situation to determine what county response might be needed.
-All Hays County emergency information will be posted to haysinformed.com
-All San Marcos flood information will be posted to sanmarcostx.gov/smtxflood
-All residents should register their phone to receive emergency notifications
Governor Greg Abbott announced that the Texas State Operations Center will be elevated to Level 3 at 7:00 a.m., Sunday, April 17th as heavy rain and potential flooding is forecasted to impact various parts of Texas.
State resources are available for rapid deployment as needed to assist local officials during this significant weather event. Texans are also encouraged to prepare for severe weather in their area.
According to Governor Abbott, current resources available include:
Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS): Texas Highway Patrol personnel and aircraft can provide assistance as needed, including rescue efforts.
2-1-1: Personnel will be monitoring school late openings, closures, and providing information to callers as needed.
Texas Parks & Wildlife Department (TPWD): Game Wardens in all regions of the state are on alert for the possibility of flash flooding/water rescue events and deployment.
Texas Military Forces (TMF): TMF provides aircraft, high-profile vehicles, and personnel to support flooding-assistance efforts in impacted areas.
Texas Task Force 1 (TTF1): Ready with boat rescue squads for rapid deployment.
Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT): TxDOT crews are prepared to respond to flooding conditions with barricades, water pumps and heavy equipment.
Tips from Ready.gov:
–Build an emergency kit and make a family communications plan.
-Elevate the furnace, water heater and electric panel in your home if you live in an area that has a high flood risk.
-Consider installing “check valves” to prevent floodwater from backing up into the drains of your home.
-If feasible, construct barriers to stop floodwater from entering the building and seal walls in basements with waterproofing compounds.
-Be aware that flash flooding can occur. If there is any possibility of a flash flood, move immediately to higher ground. Do not wait for instructions to move.
-If you must prepare to evacuate, you should do the following:
-Turn off utilities at the main switches or valves if instructed to do so. Disconnect electrical appliances. Do not touch electrical equipment if you are wet or standing in water.
-Secure your home. If you have time, bring in outdoor furniture. Move essential items to an upper floor.
-Be aware of stream, drainage channels, canyons and other areas known to flood suddenly. Flash floods can occur in these areas with or without typical warnings such as rain clouds or heavy rain.
If you have to leave your home, remember these evacuation tips:
Do not walk through moving water. Six inches of moving water can make you fall. If you have to walk in water, walk where the water is not moving. Use a stick to check the firmness of the ground in front of you.
Do not drive into flooded areas. If floodwaters rise around your car, abandon the car and move to higher ground if you can do so safely. You and the vehicle can be swept away quickly.
Do not camp or park your vehicle along streams, rivers or creeks, particularly during threatening conditions.