San Antonio, May 26 (REUTERS) -- Rescue crews in a San Antonio suburb worked Sunday afternoon to find a teenager who was believed drowned in floodwaters, as the city began to recover from deadly flooding on Saturday while keeping one eye on the sky as additional rain remained in the forecast.
The 9.87 inches of rain that fell on San Antonio Saturday was the second largest one day rain total in the city’s history, according to The Weather Channel.
Both of the people confirmed dead, a 29 year old woman and a woman in her sixties, were washed away as they attempted to drive their cars across flooded roads, San Antonio Fire Department spokesman Christian Bove confirmed. The body of the older woman was found still inside her car.
Police in Schertz, northeast of San Antonio, say an 18 year old man was walking with a friend across usually placid Cibolo Creek when they were washed downstream by a huge flood surge. The friend managed to climb to shore, but a Schertz police dispatcher told 1200 WOAI news Sunday afternoon officials believe that the 18 year old drowned.
Suspected tornadoes touched down in the San Antonio area late Saturday as well, causing minor damage.
But the real culprit was this state’s legendary flash flooding, which can turn a dry creek bed or ditch into a swirling torrent of fast moving water in a matter of seconds.
To add to the city’s woes, a 54 inch sewer line cracked, spilling more than 100,000 gallons of sewage into the San Antonio River, according to Anne Hayden, a spokeswoman for the San Antonio Water system, the city’s municipally-owned water and sewer utility.
The spill consisted of a mixture of standard sewage and storm water, Hayden said.
“The line was overwhelmed by the major storm flows,” Hayden said. “Because of flooding conditions in the river, no adverse impacts have been observed.” She added that crews at one point had to stop their repair work “because of the workers’ safety” due to high water.
Bexar County spokeswoman Laura Jesse said emergency operations crews will fan out on Monday to begin tallying up the damage to public and private property. Although no damage estimate was available, damage is believed to be significant to roads, bridges, and drainage canals, as well as dozens of homes which had to be evacuated due to flooding.
One concrete-lined thirty foot wide drainage channel which runs parallel to Interstate 10 in northwest San Antonio was completely torn up by the swift moving flood waters, with huge chunks of concrete piled on top of one another.
“City and County officials are still trying to calculate a damage assessment,” Bove said.
Several streets and roads, including busy U.S. Highway 281, which runs from the San Antonio International Airport to downtown, remain closed, and the city bus service is being ‘delayed or detoured’ by flooded or damaged streets, according to Priscilla Ingle, a spokeswoman for Via Metro Transit. Yesterday’s storm waters were so strong, they picked up a city bus and swept it into a ditch.
Exhausted officials say they are hoping the worst is behind them, although the busy clean up lies ahead.
“Now is the time to assess the damage over the next few days,” County Commissioner Sergio Rodriguez said.