HISTORICAL OCCURRENCES


Historical evidence shows that areas within the City are susceptible to flooding, especially in the form of flash flooding.

From 1993 to 2014 the City of San Antonio has seen 129 flood events resulting in 16 deaths and 507 injuries. Property damage from these events totaled $14,694,785 and an estimated $228,662 in crop damage. This data was obtained from the National Climatic Data Center (NCDC).

Flash Flood on May 25, 2013 – City of San Antonio

Thunderstorms produced heavy rain that caused flash flooding in and around San Antonio and Bexar County. There was record rainfall in the San Antonio area with the San Antonio International Airport recording 9.87 inches of rain (2nd highest 24 hr. total record) and CoCoRAHS observers reporting over 11 inches.

Most of the rain fell in about six hours with four inches in one hour between 6 and 7 am. A USGS stream and rain gauge on Olmos Creek and Dresden Drive reported 2.58 inches in 15 min between 6:15 and 6:30 am. The gauge reported 6.13 inches in one hour, 9.46 inches in 2 hours, and totaled 15.31 inches in 5 hours.

A 24hr total at this gauge was 17 inches of rain. This led to massive flooding in the Olmos Basin/Creek just inside Loop 410 near the Quarry. Most of the flooding across the city was in north central and northwest San Antonio along and just inside Loop 410. This rain event occurred a day after another heavy rain event with parts of the city receiving over two inches.

This resulted in major flooding of Olmos Creek, the Medina River, Leon Creek, the San Antonio River and Salado Creek, all of which reached major flood stage. There were many roads closed including Hwy 281 at Olmos Creek which remained closed for several days. At 10 am, there was a foot of water over Ingram and Callaghan Rds. San Antonio creeks and streams saw big rises in their levels which led to additional flooding downstream in the southern portion of Bexar County.

Areas that were hit the hardest included the Espada Rd area near the San Antonio River and Loop 410 intersection. A mobile home park on Plumnear Rd off Leon Creek on the southwest side of the city was flooded out. Several hundred rescues and calls for rescue occurred during the morning of the 25th.

Two fatalities occurred inside Bexar County. A woman was killed when her car was swept away in flood waters along Leon Creek at the 5800 Block of US Highway 90. Another woman was killed in her car when her car was swept away in the 400 Block of Rhapsody Drive about 7:30 am. In all, the City of San Antonio and Bexar County Emergency Management agencies found over 350 impacted residences with 15 of those being destroyed and 27 suffering major damage. The other residences suffered minor damages. Most of the destroyed residences were in the Espada area along the San Antonio River in southeast Bexar County.

Flash Flood on October 23, 2002 – City of San Antonio

A line of thunderstorms stalled just after midnight as it moved eastward across Bexar County, producing general 1 inch rainfall with isolated totals to 3 inches. The City of San Antonio reported several rescues along US90 in the downtown area. Numerous roads were closed across the city due to flash flooding through the early morning hours.

Flash Flood on April 8, 2002 – City of San Antonio

Flash flooding erupted over large sections of San Antonio as general 2 inch rain amounts fell over the northern part of the county, with up to 4 inches in the north central portion. Damage was mainly to roads across the city.

Flash Flood on October 17, 1998 – City of San Antonio

In advance of a very slow-moving upper level trough of low pressure over West Texas, a cold front drifted slowly southeastward into West Central Texas during the evening of Friday, October 16th. Deep moisture was in place across South Central Texas as the two systems approached, being fed at the mid and upper levels by two nearly stationary hurricanes, Madeline near the tip of Baja Mexico, and Lester, anchored just off Acapulco, Mexico, and in the low levels by a strong flow from the Gulf of Mexico.

A very moisture-rich environment was in place across South Central Texas as the event developed. Near 3 am, with the cold front still west of San Angelo, scattered showers and thunderstorms began to break out over Bexar County beneath the mid and upper level moisture plume. They quickly became widespread as a low level rain-cooled boundary formed along the south and east edge of the county. It was upon this boundary that subsequent showers and thunderstorms continued to form and the deep convection became sustained. A level of 10.63 inches of rain was measured at the Airport in the first few hours.

All rivers, creeks, and streams along and east of a San Antonio to Austin line remained at or above flood stage from Saturday, October 17th through Sunday, October 18th, with a majority continuing to flood through Monday, October 19th. The rainfall amount varied from 10 inches as a base throughout San Antonio and reached levels of 19 inches in certain areas.

This event broke rainfall records across South Central Texas, producing 18 floods of record in South Central Texas streams. October became the wettest of any month in climate records for San Antonio since 1885. October 17th became the wettest day and wettest 24-hour period in San Antonio climatic records, nearly doubling both previous records.

The event was widespread and impacted the safety of all emergency service personnel throughout the City of San Antonio. The storm taxed all resources available to the Police and Fire Departments, as well as other public safety entities in the surrounding communities. The SAPD received 5,184 calls for service and handled 123 major accidents. Unlike any other incident, this event resulted in 192 water rescues by the Fire Department, saving 461 men, women, and children from rising waters. Unfortunately, 11 deaths occurred when vehicles in the flooded areas were swept away.

The floodwaters also caused substantial damage to more than 1,150 dwelling units and 49 commercial properties. There was over $115 million in damages to public and private property throughout San Antonio, including utilities, roadways, and communication systems, with more than $71 million to City of San Antonio facilities. The extensive runoff resulted in the collection of 480 tons of debris from 576 miles of street. Also collected were 21,375 tons of debris from approximately 8 miles of channels such as creeks, tributaries, and rivers.

Weather Conditions

Emergency Links

Floodsmart.Gov

floodsmart.gov

Helpful Information

Connect With Us