Category Archives: Weather

WILLIAMSON COUNTY EXTENDS DISASTER DECLARATION

WilcoJune 2, 2015 (Williamson County, TX) – The Williamson County Commissioners Court approved extending the county disaster declaration. The declaration begins with the storm on May 8, 2015, that led to flooding in Coupland and extends into the future until the Commissioner Court lifts it.  No dollar estimate is available for damage to private property; however, the total estimated damage to public facilities including Road and Bridge, water controls such as dams, public utilities and recreation facilities, airports, etc. comes to $6,730,774 to date.

In the Memorial Day weekend storms, the county had one fatality, two persons with injuries, and one hospitalization. The storm on Saturday night, May 23, produced two F1 tornadoes that touched down causing damage in Liberty Hill and the Gabriels Overlook neighborhood on the west side of Georgetown according to the National Weather Service.

Throughout the county, there were 159 single family homes affected including three that are considered destroyed and 51 had major damage. There were 41 multi-family units affected, 35 destroyed and three with major damage. There were 14 businesses affected, three with major damage. Due to the low percentage of residences that were covered by insurance, many residents will need assistance for repairs and recovery. Ways to help flood victims can be found at www.wilco.org/oem or www.austintexas.gov/howtohelp

Currently, no homes are isolated due to flooding, although several county roads are still closed due to high water. Roads closures are listed at www.atxfloods.com and on the Williamson County Emergency Services Facebook page.

Water from storms on Memorial Day more than flooded roads, it washed them away! Williamson County Road and Bridge Division closed over 85 county roads due to high water.  When the water subsided, it was found that many of the roads had sustained structural damage.  The damage to seven of those roads was so severe that the road was considered impassable to traffic and closed until repairs could be made. Temporary repairs were made within 24 hours to almost all of the roads with only one county road, C.R. 384, remaining closed due to storm damage. The total estimate of storm damage for Road and Bridge comes to $1,872,590 to date.

Details of response to the weather on Memorial Day:

  • 40 requests for water rescues or evacuations
  • 4 shelters were opened:
  • Hutto Middle School, 1005 Exchange Blvd., Hutto
  • Clay Madsen Center, 1600 Gattis School Rd., Round Rock
  • Leander High School, 3301 S. Bagdad, Leander
  • Oasis Church, 1616 Granger Road, Taylor
  • The Regional Notification System was used to notify residents all along the Brushy Creek watershed east of FM 685 to evacuate due to rising water.
  • The Upper Brushy Creek WCID reports that the auxiliary spillways were engaged at Dam 17, 18, 19, and 21. This means the lake levels are being released through the auxiliary spillways causing additional flows to reach the creeks. In addition, it was discovered on May 29 that Dam 22 suffered damage which caused the earth on the downstream side to slough off or slide down. The Williamson County Road and Bridge Division assisted in constructing a berm on the downstream side to stabilize the dam from additional sliding. The BCWCID also pumped water from the lake in order to draw down the lake level.



  • Rainy Days Add Up!

    This was my rain gauge last Sunday, showing the total up to that point.

    This was my rain gauge last Sunday, showing the total up to that point.

    It’s hard to believe that Friday, a week ago, the ground was bone dry and some formerly grassy areas in our yard were becoming patches of dirt. I was watering the back yard just to keep the grass alive in the area where my granddaughter plays, knowing that sooner or later the rain would return.

    A few days later and everything is green and growing. I emptied the rain gauge a few times. We had 4.3 inches follow by 0.3, then 2.0 and finally 4.0 for a total of 10.6 inches in one week!

    Even the areas under the barn that had no direct rain or drainage flow are soft and muddy. Night time is filled with frog song. Water is a wonderful thing!




  • Williamson County Disaster Summary Outline

    November 20, 2013 (Williamson County, TX) – The Williamson County Office of Emergency Management has put together a preliminary disaster summary outline of the damage caused by the Halloween Flood on October 31, 2013.  In total, approximately 19 homes were damaged or affected by the flood.  The total amount of public infrastructure damage is approximately $1.1 million in uninsured losses.

    Brushy Creek goes way over it banks, just north of Coupland, on October 31, 2013.

    Brushy Creek goes way over it banks, just north of Coupland, on October 31, 2013.

    “It is not too late to report your damage or to request assistance,” stated Jarred Thomas, Williamson County emergency management coordinator.  “People can report their damage or make requests for assistance by emailing flood@wilco.org.”

    Williamson County Judge Dan A. Gattis signed a disaster declaration on November 6, 2013, for Williamson County.  The declaration was needed due to damage sustained during the flooding event that began on Wednesday, October 30 and continued into Thursday, October 31, 2013.  The disaster declaration was extended by the Commissioners Court on November 12, 2013.

    A copy of this order is available on the County’s website at www.wilco.org/oem.




  • WILLIAMSON COUNTY EVACUATES HOMES IN EAST ROUND ROCK/HUTTO AREA – Roads Closed Due to High Water

    WilcoOctober 31, 2013 (Williamson County, TX) – Williamson County Office of Emergency Management has issued voluntary evacuations of homes in the east Round Rock/Hutto area due to water rising along Brushy Creek.  The City of Hutto has set up temporary shelters at Hutto Middle School, 1005 Exchange Blvd., for approximately 16 homes evacuated along CR 123 and north of Brushy Creek.  For homes south of Brushy Creek along Riverwalk, 58 contacts were called to evacuate and are asked to go to Pflugerville High School, 1301 W. Pecan, Pflugerville.

    In addition, approximately 14 residents along CR 129 have been evacuated.  People north of the Brushy Creek can seek shelter at the Hutto Middle School.  People south of Brushy Creek can go to the Pflugerville High School.

    The Williamson County Unified Road System announces the following roads are closed due to high water on Thursday, October 31, at 2:00 a.m.  For updated road closure information, check the county website at www.wilcogov.org.

    C.R. 123, CR 137, 685 at Brushy Creek, FM 1660 south of Hwy. 79, CR 152 @ Amasia, CR 398, CR 122, CR 110, Brushy Creek Road, Brushy Bend Road and RM 620 at Shady Lane.

    To view a map of closed roads, click here.

    The following tips should be followed when flooding is possible:

    • Turn Around, Don’t Drown
    • Monitor NOAA Weather Radio, or local news for the latest weather information.
    • If flooding occurs, get to higher ground.
    • Get out of areas subject to flooding.
    • Avoid areas already flooded, especially if the water is flowing.
    • Road beds may be washed out under flood waters. NEVER drive through flooded roadways.
    • Do not camp or park your vehicle along streams and washes.
    • Be especially cautious at night when it is harder to recognize flood dangers.



  • Flash Flood Warning Includes Coupland

    Issued by The National Weather Service
    Austin/San Antonio, TX

    Sat, Sep 28, 2013, 11:16 PM CDT

    THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN AUSTIN SAN ANTONIO HAS ISSUED A

    * FLASH FLOOD WARNING FOR… EXTREME NORTH CENTRAL BASTROP COUNTY… NORTHWESTERN LEE COUNTY… EAST CENTRAL TRAVIS COUNTY… SOUTHEASTERN WILLIAMSON COUNTY…

    * UNTIL 200 AM CDT.

    * AT 1110 PM CDT… NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE DOPPLER RADAR INDICATED SLOW MOVING THUNDERSTORM CELLS WITH VERY HEAVY RAINFALL TRAINING OVER THE SAME AREA FROM NEAR PHFLUGERVILLE TO COUPLAND. RAINFALL RATES OF OVER TWO INCHES PER HOUR WERE INDICATED IN THIS CLUSTER OF STORMS. IN ADDITION A COCORAHS OBSERVER REPORTED OVER 3 INCHES OF RAIN HAD FALLEN WITHIN THIS CLUSTER 4 NORTHEAST OF PFLUGERVILLE.

    * RUNOFF FROM THIS EXCESSIVE RAINFALL WILL CAUSE FLASH FLOODING TO OCCUR. SOME LOCATIONS THAT WILL EXPERIENCE FLOODING INCLUDE… PFLUGERVILLE… TAYLOR… WINDEMERE… COUPLAND… MANOR AND THRALL.

    PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS…

    WHEN WATER COVERS THE ROAD… TURN AROUND DON’T DROWN. THE LIFE YOU SAVE MAY BE YOUR OWN.




  • Keeping Your Head in the Clouds

    IMG_3818As we go about our daily routines, it’s always good to take a moment to marvel at the wonders of nature. I hope you saw this beauty late on Wednesday afternoon but just in case you didn’t,  this image is of an isolated cumulonimbus cloud that developed to the southeast of Coupland.

    Since there is so much more rainfall to the east of this area, we are occasionally treated to some amazing light shows from distant thunderstorms, especially this time of year. About two weeks ago, we we saw a wonderful dance of lightning in and around the clouds of a storm near Houston. I would estimate that it was at least 50,000 feet high. Thunderstorms in the tropics have been measured as high at 75,000 feet. That’s over 14 miles straight up.

    Airliners fly around 30,000 – 40,000 feet, depending upon various factors, so there’s no going over even moderately-sized storms. For all our accomplishments, we are puny indeed when we come face to face with things like thunderstorms, which Mother Nature builds up and knocks down with regularity . . . like a pre-schooler with a pile of stacking blocks.

    Of course, pictures can’t possibly live up to the splendor of the real thing so don’t forget to look up whenever you go outside because if you don’t, you’re missing out on some amazing sights.




  • Summer Has Arrived in Coupland – We Need a Weather Station!

    The forecast was for a high of 95 today. Our properly placed, digital thermometer recorded a high of 100 and it felt like it. The closest official weather stations are several miles away in Taylor or Elgin and I have noticed that it is often warmer in Coupland than the “official” temperature.

    heatwave_web

    I would like to hear from readers what their thermometers topped out at today. Perhaps, now that Coupland is an official city, we can arrange to have an automatic weather station installed in Coupland. Perhaps the Civic Organization, or some other civic-minded group or individual could spring for the modest cost to install a weather station.

    Weather Underground (wunderground.com) has personal weather stations available. If you are a weather junkie like me, you drool at the prospect of having one of these devices nearby. “Look Ma, the relative humidity rose 15% in the last hour and the barometric pressure is dropping rapidly. I think we’re in for a storm!”

    Of course, no machine replaces personal observations or your grandma’s aching joints but having access to measurable data is just plain cool. Well, I think so anyway. And since this is a farming and ranching community, I know I’m not the only weather freak in town. If we could find the best overall location for measurements, maybe a few of my fellow junkies could pitch in a little to get a weather station for Coupland. Whadaya say?

    If you agree, let me hear about it by commenting on this article. Oh, and don’t forget to let us know how hot it got at your place!

    By the way, we all know that summer in Central Texas begins as early as May and can run well into September. You can always count on June through August to have summer weather every day unless a storm system comes through and even then you won’t be breaking out your cool-weather jackets. Pay no attention to the media hype that summer begins on the summer solstice, usually around June 21 – 23. That just a bunch of pointy-headed silly science. Our air conditioner failed today. There was no spring in the air in our home! Thank the Lord for kiddie pools and watermelon!

    Stewart Dale Spencer