- Associated Press - Friday, October 30, 2015

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - The latest on heavy rains sparking flooding in Central and South Texas (all times local):

6:30 p.m.

Authorities say a second person has been found dead in Texas following punishing storms that dumped upward of 16 inches of rain around Austin and San Antonio.

A Defense Department spokesman says a body believed to be that of a motorist has been recovered near San Antonio. The person’s vehicle was swept off a road by flash floodwaters around 6 a.m. Friday in Camp Bullis, a military training installation north of San Antonio.

The person’s identity, including gender, is not being released pending notification of family members.

The death is the second confirmed casualty since heavy rains caused flash flooding throughout Central Texas on Friday.

Authorities say a woman also is missing in Travis County.


5 p.m.

Authorities say at least one person is dead and another missing in Texas following punishing storms that dumped upward of 16 inches of rain around Austin and San Antonio.

The Travis County Emergency Management office said Friday that the body of a driver missing in floodwaters had been recovered. He was described as a man in his late 40s or early 50s and was found in one of the areas hit hardest by a storm system that caused three suspected tornadoes elsewhere.

The death is the first confirmed casualty since the downpour began before dawn. Authorities say a woman elsewhere in the county also remained missing.

The rain flooded the control tower at Austin Bergstrom International Airport and had suspended all flights before limited service resumed later Friday.


This has been corrected to show that the person found dead was a driver, not a diver.


3:45 p.m.

Officials in Comal County, just northeast of San Antonio, have declared a local state of disaster because of ongoing flash flooding.

The county proclamation says the area “has suffered widespread or severe damage, injury or loss of life or property” or that there’s a threat of those occurring.

Some parts of the county have received 11 inches of rain.

In nearby Hays County, Interstate 35 south of Austin has reopened three hours after being closed by flash floodwaters.

However, Hays County spokeswoman Laureen Chernow says traffic on the highway remains slow and congested. She says many other roads in Hays County remain closed by floodwaters and that people should not drive in the area unless absolutely necessary.

The flooding affected the same area devastated by torrential rains over Memorial Day weekend.


2:40 p.m.

Four students with special needs and two adults have been rescued from a school bus caught in floodwaters that reached the top of the vehicle’s wheels near San Antonio.

The Bexar (bayr) County Sheriff’s Office says the rescue Friday morning involved a Northside Independent School District bus near Helotes (hel-OH’-tis).

The vehicle became trapped as storms swamped parts of Central and South Texas. Sheriff’s spokesman James Keith says the bus was headed to Los Reyes Elementary School when the vehicle got stranded in high water.

Emergency personnel used an extension ladder to reach the bus and rescue the driver and passengers.

All of the children were checked by medical personnel, then transported to school.

Investigators will review whether that bus driver and another Northside ISD driver whose bus was also caught in flooding and five people rescued should be ticketed.


2 p.m.

Authorities have rescued members of a church group staying at a Wimberley inn that flooded after heavy rains caused a nearby creek to overflow.

Kathleen Haney was among eight members of the Dallas group who found themselves trapped by rushing waters Friday on the second floor of the bed-and-breakfast.

She says National Guardsmen and firefighters strung a rope between the inn’s staircase and higher ground, and then guided the church members across.

Haney says at least 5 feet of water snapped trees and swept away three of the church members’ cars.

The eight church members and another couple staying at the inn were brought to safety, along with the inn’s owners. They were taken to a community center in Wimberley, where about 100 evacuees were getting ready to leave Friday afternoon.


1:30 p.m.

Forecasters say flooded parts of Texas can’t handle another soaking after getting upward of 16 inches of rain in a matter of hours but that more storms might be on the way.

National Weather Service meteorologist Jason Runyen said Friday that a fast-moving weather disturbance form Mexico has overwhelmed already-saturated neighborhoods and swollen rivers between Austin and San Antonio. It’s the same South Texas region that remnants of Hurricane Patricia pummeled last week.

Runyen said the rain will leave by the weekend but not before more showers potentially sock the area again Friday afternoon.

The Federal Aviation Administration also says that flights out of Austin remain suspended after 6 inches of water flooded into the ground floor of the air traffic control tower.


12 p.m.

A fast-moving storm packing heavy rain and destructive winds has overwhelmed rivers and prompted evacuations in the same area southwest of Austin that saw devastating spring floods.

The Blanco River in Wimberley on Friday swelled to about 26 feet, well above its 13-foot flood stage. Residents were being evacuated from the area and a community center was opened to shelter people.

Torrential rains over Memorial Day weekend inundated the Blanco, and raging river waters tore at least one home from its foundation, killing members of two families inside.

The storms at that time killed more than 30 people in Texas and Oklahoma.

No fatalities have been reported from Friday’s storm as emergency personnel across South and Central Texas rushed to close roadways overwhelmed by water and respond to high-water rescues.

Department of Public Safety Sgt. Jason Reyes says minor injuries were reported southeast of San Antonio where possible tornadoes destroyed buildings.


11:45 a.m.

The Austin airport has temporarily closed its airfield due to torrential rains and heavy winds rolling through Central Texas.

Austin-Bergstrom International Airport said in a tweet that no flights are taking off or landing due to weather, though the airport remains open.

Fast-moving rainstorms Friday morning soaked San Marcos and other communities south of Austin, as well as the Texas capital. Water on the road forced police and emergency officials to close several miles of Interstate 35 south of Austin. That compelled southbound traffic to turn around and head north using the shoulder and what are normally southbound lanes.

Traffic moving south was backed up for miles, including in Buda, about 20 miles south of downtown Austin.

A possible tornado also destroyed some buildings in Wilson, Medina and Guadalupe counties.

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