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Effects Of San Antonio Flood Widespread, Live Oak Tornado Confirmed

Joey Palacios

Officials are monitoring the weather situation throughout the San Antonio area Sunday as a flash flood watch remains in effect until the early evening hours.

Emergency Management Coordinator Larry Trevino and others are meeting throughout the day to track the weather. At a press conference Saturday, Trevino said any amount of additional rain could spell disaster.

"Any kind of water is going to be kind of like another flood event," he said.

Reports from the National Weather Service said the rain Saturday set a record for May 25, with 9.87 inches, beating the old record by 1.66 inches for the day, set in 1933. The report also said it breaks the all-time daily record for the month of May of 6.82 inches, set on May 31, 1937.

May 25, 2013 is now the second-wettest day of all time in San Antonio. The wettest day on record is Oct. 17, 1998 with 11.26 inches recorded, according to NWS.

The National Weather Service also confirmed a reported tornado in the town of Live Oak. The tornado caused minor building damage, downed power lines and knocked trees down. It was reported at 5:25 a.m. Saturday.

A teenage boy has been reported missing in the town of Schertz after reports said he tried to cross the swollen Cibolo Creek. Divers from San Marcos are expected to resume their search as soon as possible.

Two deaths have been confirmed from the storm. One of the deaths, officials said, was a 29-year-old woman whose car was swept away after being pinned against a drainage culvert. Her body was found several hours later near Hwy. 281 and Nakoma.

The other death happened when rescuers were attempting to save a 60-year-old woman atop her car. Fire Chief Charles Hood said teams were face to face with the woman when the currents grabbed her and carried her away.

Officials did not yet know how much damage the storm caused in dollar amounts. Bexar County leaders are expected to begin that assessment on Monday.

Other teams are already at work.

Bexar County leaders report that the Bexar County Community Resources Department, American Red Cross and Volunteer Organizations Active in Disasters (VOAD) are in talks about both short- and long-term recovery efforts.

A Bexar County news release said the VOAD is mobilizing to help with removing debris.

"The team will first have to assess the damage and needs to aid in the long-term recovery efforts. The VOAD team members include Texas Baptist Men, United Methodist, Latter Day Saints and the Texas Division of Emergency Management," the release said.

Further north of San Antonio, the city of New Braunfels announced the Comal and Guadalupe Rivers reopened at noon Sunday. The city still urged water recreation users to be careful as conditions may be unsafe. Southeast of San Antonio, Wilson County residents were told to leave their homes Saturday.

Reports said people were being allowed back on as of Sunday morning.

The San Antonio River in that area was expected to crest at 60 feet early Sunday morning. Instead, it crested about eight feet below the prediction, at 52.3 feet. Flood stage there is 35 feet. No damage was reported. Officials expect the water level to slowly begin falling and could drop below flood stage by Sunday evening.

Officials say roads and bridges are still dangerous, and that the impact the flood had on crops and pasturelands is devastating.

Animals have been affected as well.

San Antonio Pets Alive!, which houses from the city’s Animal Care Services facility off Hwy. 151, said outdoor kennels for its medium and large dogs onsite had been flooded. The animals had to be moved inside.

Executive Director Ellen Jefferson said the kennels are saturated.

"We are asking the community to come and take a big dog home for the weekend,” she said.

As water levels recede, cleanup begins, but while the threat of severe weather remains, officials say it’s better to stay home than to go out.

On Saturday, Mayor Julián Castro said people often ignore the warnings of low-water crossings and put themselves and rescuers in unnecessary danger.

It also could cost violators. Moving barricades carries a $2,000 fine and potential jail time of 180 days. Rescues themselves could cost up to $400 per person.

Ryan Loyd was Texas Public Radio's city beat and political reporter. He left the organization in December, 2014.