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Weather System Moving Out Of South Texas After Record Rainfall

UPDATE: Sunday, 11:00 A.M.

The National Weather Service says the system that brought heavy rain to South Texas and the Southern Plains will continue to move eastward on Sunday into the western Gulf Coast and lower Mississippi Valley.

In South Texas it will be mostly cloudy Sunday with a high of 64 to 69 degrees. There’s a chance of showers and gusty winds early in the day.

Cloudy weather continues tonight with a low in the upper 50s.

Then look for mostly sunny skies Monday with highs in the 70’s. 

A New Record

San Antonio has broken its record for rainfall, according to the National Weather Service, news that was shared just as organizers for the city's Luminaria arts festival announced its postponement to a yet-to-be-determined date.

The NWS San Antonio took to Twitter to share the broken record which has been set in 2004 with a daily rainfall of 3.53 inches. San Antonio has seen 3.54 inches so far today, and the rain has yet to let up.

Luminaria, the city's signature arts festival which boasts art and performances indoors and outdoors, was canceled after organizers decided to err on the side of safety. A new date for the event has not yet been set.

bullis_park_edited.jpg
Credit Shelley Kofler
Water near entrance of Bexar County's Bullis Park on Blanco Road.

Flash Flood Watch

The National Weather Service has issued a flood advisory for Southern Bexar County, southeastern Medina, Wilson, Frio and Atascosa counties will remain in effect until 2:15 p.m. today.

Bexar County, as well as Comal, southwestern Guadalupe and southeastern Kendall counties, remain under a flash flood watch until Sunday morning, according to the NWS.

This afternoon Doppler radar showed heavy rain that was causing some minor flooding in the advisory area, according to an update on the NWS’s website. Flooding is expected in numerous cities including Pearsall, Pleasanton, Floresville, Devine, Dilley, Jourdanton, Poteet, Stockdale, Moore, St. Hedwig and Somerset.

The  forecast also calls for more rain with another inch expected in this same area. A flood advisory means river and stream flows are elevated, or water is ponding in urban areas. The weather service is cautioning area residents and driving and warning that standing or running water is often deeper than it appears.

Doppler radar shows a line of storms producing heavy rain from San Marcos to San Antonio and slowly moving south. Rain gauges have collected 3 to 5 inches of rain so far.

Flash flooding is expected to continue with another band of heavy rain moving through the area from New Braunfels to San Antonio to Hondo. Expect another inch of rain over the next hour, the NWS said.

Flooding is also expected in San Antonio, New Braunfels, Medina, San Marcos, Seguin, Kerrville, Universal City, Lockhart and Fredericksburg. Also Boerne, Hondo, Castroville, Comfort and Wimberley, the latter was heavily effected by heavy rains over the Memorial Day weekend.

Flood waters are moving down the San Antonio River and it is already flooding around Loop 410 on the city’s south side. The river is currently at 14.6 and flood stage is 12 feet. The level is expected to rise.

Be safe

The weather service and area emergency officials are urging residents to stay home unless absolutely necessary to go out. Safety tips include:

  •      Move to higher ground now.
  •      Stay away or be swept away.
  •      Turn around, don’t drown. 

 Even in shallow water, tires can act as flotation devices lifting up even large vehicles and sending them downstream, according to the City of San Antonio Emergency Operations Center (EOC). "A vehicle may stall out in just a few inches of water and a foot or two of water is enough to float a 3,000-pound car," the city EOC said.

Residents are reminded that driving around a barricade when there is water on the road carries a maximum penalty of $2,000 and 180 days in jail. If a rescue is required, a fee of $640 per person in the vehicle can be levied.

Forecast

The category 5 Hurricane Patricia made landfall in Mexico Friday night with Texas feeling the effects with its remnants interacting with tropical moisture creating heavy thundershowers, according to the NWS.  A cold front will enhance heavy rains across the Hill Country along and east of Highway 281 through midday today and shift east of Interstate 35 this evening.

The NWS is also reporting that gauge reports show up to 3 inches of rain has fallen across San Antonio between the hours of 2 a.m. and 5 a.m. with another 3 to 7 inches expected as the storm system moves through the area.

Man, 41, still missing after being swept away by high water

With the overnight heavy rain, the San Antonio Fire Department ha already responded to 30 calls by 6 a.m. that were believed to be weather-related, and the search for a man swept away into a drainage ditch and tunnel system had to be called off after two hours of searching, Christian Bove, SAFD’s spokesman said.

Just after 3 a.m., the fire department responded to a call near Babcock Road and Fredericksburg after a 41-year-old man on foot was swept away trying to find his dog. Firefighters trained in high water rescue searched for the man where the drainage culvert exits at Woodlawn Lake but were unable to find him before more bad weather moved into the area, Bove said. The man has not yet been found and the search was called off until emergency calls subsided. When the search resumes, it will be a recovery effort, he said.

Road Closures

The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) is warning of high water at Interstate 35 southbound at Cassin Road, and San Antonio has closed 20 streets already. The lower level of I-35 near downtown was closed but has been reopened as of 8:45 a.m., and the upper level also remains open.

The southbound main lanes of I-35 at Salado Creek have also reopened after emergency crews were able to clear the lanes after an 18-wheeler jack-knifed and crashed.

Loop 1604 eastbound at N.W. Military has reopened after a crash and water over the road temporarily closed the lanes.  For the complete list click here. For a complete list of highway closures check here.

Power Outages

CPS Energy is reporting just over 400 homes affected by power outages this morning. To see which areas are affected click here.

Around South Texas

Some residents in Boerne are reporting getting 3 inches of rain so far. And Kerr, Gillespie and Kendall counties are reporting no road closures or emergencies related to the weather. Emergency officials are still monitoring the rain.

In Wimberley, folks are hunkering down but so far, there has been no evacuations or rescues needed. The area has seen 2 to 3 inches of rain since midnight and the storm has now moved over Bastrop and Caldwell counties.