Drivin’ in the rain

Flash floods are often initiated by heavy rain or debris blocking a waterway and cause a rapid rise of water over low-lying areas. Flooding can occur miles from the site of the initial rainfall.

Although April showers have come and gone this year, the risk of flooded roadways has not evaporated. There is no “season” for flash floods, and a flooded roadway can occur with as little as 3 to 4 inches of water in a particular location, according to Jarred Thomas, Williamson County Emergency Management coordinator. Williamson County is experiencing an elevated flood risk because of recent rainfall, Thomas said, and­—unlike in dry times— it will not take as much water to flood an area.

Known flood risks and low water crossings


The city of Austin Flood Early Warning System team monitors weather and road conditions and maintains a listing of roadways susceptible to flooding. This map depicts low water crossings but is not comprehensive.

Risks of a flooded roadway


6 inches of water
Six inches of fast-moving floodwater can knock over an adult.
Water may be moving more rapidly than it appears.
Tires can lose traction.

12 inches of water
One foot of rushing floodwater can sweep away a small car.
Tires can act as flotation devices, lifting vehicles.
Water may rise even higher in the time it takes to cross a flooded road section.

24 inches of water
Most vehicles, including trucks and SUVs, are at risk of being carried away.
Water may hide potholes or gouged roadbeds and may be deeper than it appears.
It is often more difficult to judge water depth at night.

Flash flood safety tips


• Do not drive during heavy rainfall.
• Check www.atxfloods.com to see if any roads have already been flooded.
• Be alert for water covering the road.
• Do not attempt to cross flooded roadways.
• Avoid known low water crossings.
• Stay away from creeks and drainage infrastructure during rainfall.
• During stormy weather, do not park along streams.


MOST RECENT

Minnesota-based Rockler Woodworking and Hardware will open a location in La Frontera in late September. (Brooke Sjoberg/Community Impact Newspaper)
Rockler Woodworking and Hardware coming to Round Rock

Minnesota-based Rockler Woodworking and Hardware is coming to La Frontera in Round Rock in late September.

The proposed Wild Ridge master-planned neighborhood northeast of downtown Dripping Springs would include 960 homes on 40- to 60-foot-wide lots. (Courtesy City of Dripping Springs)
Master-planned neighborhood in Dripping Springs to bring 960 homes, new roads

The proposed development by Meritage Homes would feature amenities such as a disc golf course.

Georgetown's contract with Capital Metro will expire at the end of September. (Community Impact Newspaper staff)
GoGeo fixed-route bus service in Georgetown to end Oct. 1

Paratransit services offered for residents with disabilities will continue.

Q&A: Greg Smith, executive director of Fast Growth School Coalition

Greg Smith is the former superintendent of Clear Creek ISD and became executive director of Fast Growth School Coalition in December 2020. 

Williamson County Sheriff’s Office
Sheriff’s office requests pay increases during Williamson County budget process

The Williamson County Sheriff's Office said its officers are paid less than law enforcement officers in city departments countywide.

Williamson County courthouse
Williamson County proposes lower tax rate ahead of final budget vote Aug. 31

The tax rate will go to support a recommended $440.5 million total operating budget.

Photo of a doctor with a pregnant woman
Austin health experts warn delta variant could pose higher risk for pregnant women

Maternal medicine doctors across Central Texas have seen increasing numbers of pregnant women coming to the hospital with breathing issues and pregnancy complications as a result of COVID-19.

Wayback Burgers makes cooked-to-order burgers and hand-dipped milkshakes. (Courtesy Wayback Burgers)
6 eateries open or coming to Cedar Park, Leander; Trudy's North Star reopens in Northwest Austin and more Central Texas news

Read the latest business and community news from the Central Texas area, including Tiff's Treats opening in Hutto.

student writing on paper
Texas Legislature allows parents to opt for students to repeat grade levels or courses

Senate Bill 1697 is effective for the 2021-22 school year.

Photo of medical professions in a hospital
Health officials warn ICU space is critically low as Travis County sees its 900th COVID-19 death

As the delta variant drives transmission rates up, local hospital systems warn that ICUs are strained.

At Blue Gecko, a Texas Taco comes with seasoned ground beef, lettuce, tomato, sour cream, cheese and bacon. (Courtesy Blue Gecko)
New taco spot opens in Four Points; roadwork for Austin's Zilker Eagle continues and more Central Texas news

Read the latest business and community news from the Central Texas area, including news on when Lou Neff Road will open in Central Austin.

TheraWave Vibrant Wellness is located at 1616 Williams Drive, Ste. 107, Georgetown. (Courtesy TheraWave Vibrant Wellness)
TheraWave Vibrant Wellness now open in Georgetown

The business is focused on offering pulsed electro-magnetic frequency therapy.