After hours of water rescues, Central Texas emergency workers are assessing the widespread damage caused by the overnight storms.
According to the City of Austin, up to 625 home across Travis County may need to be evacuated with some homes taking in as much as eight feet of water. A pet-friendly evacuee shelter has been opened at Parker Lane United Methodist Church (1100 Cumberland Rd).
A spokesman for Austin/Travis County EMS said medical crews have responded to 312 rescue calls since 11:30 p.m. Wednesday night. He also said they are not just looking after those who are rescued, but also other emergency workers. In some cases, rescue workers are swimming to save people from the floods.
The spokesman asked all residents who are not affected to stay indoors as spectators could be swept away themselves, putting more people in danger.
At a noon press conference, Austin Police Chief Art Acevedo reminded Austinites to respect all barriers and avoid running water. If you are searching for a missing friend or family member, call police and keep yourself safe.
Austin City Manager Marc Ott said 15 Austin Energy crews are still working to restore power across the city. About 8,500 customers were out of power overnight with much of the outage located in the hard-hit Onion Creek neighborhood.
Ott said homeowners who rely on well water should have their wells tested. Municipal drinking water has not been affected by the storm.
The Austin Parks and Recreation Department has closed South Austin’s Big Stacy Pool and delayed the reopening of Barton Springs Pool which had been scheduled for Thursday. All city-maintained trails have also been closed until further notice.
All commercial or navigational boats are prohibited from the waters Barton Creek and Lady Bird Lake. A city spokesperson said any boats found illegally on the waters could be impounded.
Cash donations can be made to the Red Cross of Central Texas and Salvation Army.