AUSTIN (KXAN) - Sunday's early morning downpour of 5 to 12 inches of rain around Austin forced dozens of people in Sunset Valley to evacuate their homes, prompted water rescues and road closures.
"I was ready to go to sleep when I saw the red lights flipping and I found out my neighbor was being hauled out of 4 feet of water out of her house," said City Council Member. Mickie Powers.
Sunset Valley police said they had to close all the streets of "Old Town" off of Jones Road because they were under water. Police said several homes flooded and they had one water rescue.
"The rain really picked up at 1:30 a.m. we had a couple on Lone Oak exit, they didn't' see the water, drove into it, they were in a Volvo the water started pushing the car off the road," said Lt. Rich Andreuuci with the Sunset Valley Police Department.
Andreucci said they were able to break the back window and get the man and woman out. Police said a wrecker came in time to pull the car out before it was washed away.
Powers told KXAN that Police Chief Ford cut his hand on the back window but continued to work at the shelter all night. Another officer hurt his knee and was sent home for the night.
Police said 24 people spent the night at City Hall, where they put out cots for people to sleep on. Eleven officers were on duty monitoring all the different low water crossings to make sure no one went through, or to help people get out.
Powers said she's been in Sunset Valley since 1976 and has not seen flood waters like this. She said she was around for the Memorial Day flood in 1981 and even then water did not come up as high as it did on Sunday. Other residents echoed the same story.
"I've been here since 1973 and Williamson Creek which crosses under Westgate is higher than I've ever seen it and so it's flooded some out buildings that we have," said Glen Wilkerson who lives in the area.
Dozens of apartments and homes back up to that creek. People off of Indio Dr. near Westgate woke up to find their cars under water, flooded stairwells and debris that flowed down the creek.
The front of my house is three feet deep at least if deeper and it was like a raging river going through," said Calvin Mckinney who lives in the area. "I couldn't get out of my house because it was such fast water."
Powers said she expects the weekend flood to be the topic of conversation at city council this week. She said she recognizes there's an issue with the way rain water flows.
"We've talked to the city of Austin before about the Westgate Bridge because big Williamson goes under there and that bridge was really built too small to handle that kind of flow so it backs up into our smaller creeks which have to try to empty in that area," said Powers. "But they can't because Big Williamson can't get under there to accept our smaller creeks so it impedes our water flow because of that."
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