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Texas Hill Country Weathers the Deluge [VIDEO]

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Texas Hill Country Weathers the Deluge

By Max McNabb
     Photo: kj97.com

Severe flooding made trick-or-treating an impossibility for many Hill Country residents this Halloween. Over the last few days, Texas cities like Austin and San Antonio have suffered through extreme floodwaters as storms drenched the state. Half a dozen tornados were reported to have touched down as well, adding to the devastation.

Flash floods swept several people to their deaths amid power blackouts. Dozens of water rescues took place, saving stranded motorists and those watching rising waterlines from rooftops. The floodwaters come after remnant storms from Hurricane Patricia had already left the Texas soil drenched and unable to absorb another deluge so soon. The slow-moving storms caused the National Weather Service to issue flash flood warnings.

A number of houses along rivers in the Austin area were evacuated, the homeowners taking shelter in local high schools. Floodwaters carried away a man inside his car, the flood ultimately taking his life. Also in the Austin area, a woman perished when her home flooded. Portions of Interstate 35 between San Antonio and Austin were closed to traffic. Many vehicles were left submerged along other roads.

Over 16 inches of rain fell in Austin. Mighty winds wreaked havoc as well, ripping off roofs and carrying a tractor trailer crashing down on top of a three story hotel. Gusts of 70 miles per hour were felt. Almost half a foot of rain, falling in a single hour, flooded the first floor of the Austin Air Traffic Control Tower. All flights were suspended. Schools closures in the Austin area were common.

Meteorologists believe the strength of El Niño will result in lots of moisture this winter. We can only hope the Texas Hill Country has seen the worst of it for a while. Many survivors, though fortunate to be alive, are now homeless and forced to find a way to pick up the pieces of their lives after the deluge.