Wimberley Texas Devastated – 12 People Missing, Including Families, In Massive Texas Flood…

The Blanco River water rose 40 feet, yes, FORTY FEET, so fast that people never had time to evacuate.  Homes wiped out, many feared dead, a dozen people missing. (Raw OMG Video Below of Aftermath)

(Via AP) “It looks pretty bad out there,” Hays County emergency management coordinator Kharley Smith said of Wimberley, where an estimated 350 to 400 homes were destroyed. “We do have whole streets with maybe one or two houses left on them and the rest are just slabs.”

wimberley 2

About 1,000 homes were damaged throughout Hays County, which includes Wimberley. Five San Marcos police cars were washed away, and the firehouse was flooded, said Kristi Wyatt, a spokeswoman for San Marcos.

Rivers swelled so quickly that whole communities awoke Sunday surrounded by water. The Blanco crested above 40 feet — more than triple its flood stage of 13 feet. The river swamped Interstate 35 and forced parts of the busy north-south highway to close. Rescuers used pontoon boats and a helicopter to pull people out.

After a surge of mud and water flooded their cottage in Wimberley, John and Valerie Nelson fled through waist-deep waters in darkness early Sunday with transformers sparking and trees crashing around them. The single-story house had been carefully rebuilt on stilts so that it would be able to withstand even the worst flooding.

“I’m absolutely dumbfounded,” said Valerie Nelson, who has owned the property for about 50 years. “I didn’t think the water would ever get that high.”

Hundreds of trees along the Blanco were uprooted or snapped, and they collected in piles of debris that soared 20 feet high.

“We’ve got trees in the rafters,” said Cherri Maley, the property manager of a house where the entire rear portion collapsed with the flooding, carrying away furniture.

“We had the refrigerator in a tree,” she said. “I think it’s a total loss.” (read more)

wimberley 3

Laura McComb and her children, Andrew, 6, and Leighton, 4, are among nine twelve people missing in Texas after severe flash floods ravaged the area and parts of Oklahoma over the weekend. Laura’s husband Jonathan was injured and is being treated at a hospital. (story link)

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38 Responses to Wimberley Texas Devastated – 12 People Missing, Including Families, In Massive Texas Flood…

  1. TheLastDemocrat says:

    That is God’s Country. Once the roads get put back in place, try to get out there for a vacation to help rebuild the economy and get them going again. They have an extensive “trade days” type deal in the spring-fall, and otherwise there is a lot to do in the vicinity with antiquing, and the beauty of “Hill Country.” If you are a road biker, this part of the country is awesome.

    If you fly in to Austin, it is not too far of a drive. It is a bit of a drive if you fly into Houston or Dallas, a couple major hub airports It is pretty easy to connect from Houston or Dallas to Austin..

    Liked by 2 people

  2. auscitizenmom says:

    I do so hope and pray for good news on the missing.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Be Ge says:

    G-d save the missing people. I wonder how on earth the thing happened. I understand how huayco works in the Andes (a quick flashflood due to excessive rainfall associated with El-Ninho phenomenon), I understand mechanics of the 2012 Krasnodar Krai flooding in Russia, and the 1976 Big Thompson River flood here in Colorado. I am looking at the google map of the place now. The are no Rockies/Andes/Caucasus in direct proximity, and neither is a big natural water reservoir. For some reason I feel there must be a screwup component here. As taught by an ardent commie http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lazar_Moiseyevich_Kaganovich , every incident/accident (he originally meant the transportation industry — cars, trains and aircraft — his responsibility area) has a name, surname and even a patronymic.

    Like

    • skeptiktank says:

      When I heard the river rose that much that quick, I thought it must have been a dam failure, but too have scoured the map looking for where it could have come from, and don’t see it. There is no outlet from Canyon Lake into the Blanco that I can make out. There are wide areas of the river where it is apparently levied or dammed to affect water storage, but I don’t think that would be enough water to cause this. The picture of that family with the wife and children missing is chilling.

      Like

  4. sundance says:

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  5. sundance says:

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  6. yippie21 says:

    I doubt a “screw up” on anyone’s part, but a the topography and the number of houses built in close proximity to the river. Lots of heavy storms with heavy runoff… and the Blanco looks fairly hemmed in for miles and miles by bluffs and rock. That’s all rocky down in those parts, so with no flood plain, the water just rises. Probably a hundred year flood event. The Blanco water level is , and has been for a long time in this drought, pretty low…. looking at pics.

    Just folks built near the river and for a long time, it was no issue. You can see from google maps though, something carved those bluffs… so… just mother nature. Prayers for all the missing. It’s beautiful country, that part of the state.

    Like

    • Be Ge says:

      Maybe it is just me being a bit of a paranoiac (happens to the right-leaning folks at times). That said, building immediately near a river with a potential for flooding is a screwup, with a name, surname and a patronymic. Issuing legal paperwork permitting such construction is a double screwup. All of that has been recently demonstrated in Krasnodar Krai in Russia (172 people officially dead, but Russkies have a custom of under-reporting).

      p.s. Nature pics from that part of the Lone Star state are stunningly beautiful.
      p.p.s. Beautiful nature can be mighty scary as well.

      Like

      • yippie21 says:

        When a river doesn’t rise in anyone’s living memory in an area… I guarantee there will be a fresh reassessment on what’s what and who builds where, but this looks like a outlier flood….. b/c the big bridge that was washed away… I’m sure it was built with knowledgeable surveys and sturdiness in construction…. so that leads me to believe this was really just one of those things… We’ve been in 20 years of drought. That’s about ended in a spectacular way… region wide.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Pretty simple, really. The ALL-TIME high water mark on the Blanco River in Wimberley had been 34 feet. This storm caused the water level to reach 42 FEET. In particular, the river rose 26 FEET in the middle of the night on a crowded holiday weekend. A wall of water tore houses from their foundations and took out the major bridge into town. Local authorities used a reverse 911 emergency calling system to warn people of the rapidly rising water, but not all made it out. (Perhaps they did not hear the phone while asleep, perhaps they didn’t think to answer a ringing phone at 2:30 in the morning in a house rented for the holiday. Or perhaps, given that they were not local, they did not know a route to higher ground in the middle of the night in a driving rainstorm.)

        Wimberley is a beautiful area; I know it well. Not sure who you should ‘blame’ for not predicting that water would rise 23% higher than the all-time record high. And all in 1 hour in the middle of the night.

        Liked by 1 person

  7. aprilyn43 says:

    There are most disasters coming to this nation. We have sinned as a nation and God’s judgment is upon us.

    Like

  8. wondering999 says:

    I’ve only flown over Texas, but it looked beautiful, and I’d like to visit. Appreciate the tips in the post above.

    An Israeli once asked me why the U.S. doesn’t have a national water carrier to move excess water from the Eastern side of the country over to the arid West, because they have something like that (although their nation is tiny in comparison). Just wonder if this would be possible somehow; we do have oil pipelines, would it be that crazy expensive to pipe water? All that beautiful water going to waste, and destructive waste…

    Liked by 1 person

    • Be Ge says:

      Ask the Russkies. These moonbats had working projects of moving mighty Siberian rivers like Ob or Yenisei (south-to-north flowing) into arid steppes and semi-deserts of Central Asia (these days the “glorious”, as per Borat Sogdiev, countries of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan and Tajikistan. The scale of the project was huge — imagine building a network of waterways to join Mississippi and Rio Colorado basins and then dig a couple more trenches to get water to California. Fairly good an endeavor for a communist regime. Tons of money can be stolen by the dear leadership. That said — you know what the problem is. It is that you eventually run out of other folks’ money. Thank Goodness the USSR ran out of theirs and collapsed before they implemented their lunacies.

      As far as plain water-inside-the-pipeline goes — this is in place in the South-Western US for what I know. For practical examples, I suggest you take a weekend off @ The Strip, Las Vegas, Nevada. Walk up to Bellagio. Watch the Bellagio Fountain show. Raise your eyebrows at the site of such a tremendous water spending amidst a semi-desert (perfectly paid for by the tourists). Feel the difference between the commies (lovers of “altering the nature” for fun and their agenda) and us the capitalists.

      Here are current projects in the US southwest that have to do with diversion (via channels, tunnels and pipelines) of water:

      http://www.nrdc.org/water/management/pipelines-project.asp

      They are many.

      p.s. I can only pray and hope 0b0z0 people do not read CTH and will not pick up on the Soviet idea of high-scale water diversion. Plenty of water in Mississippi, little water in Arizona. Heck yes that’ s a problem for the lefties to solve — with other people’s money. I am a bit surprised they did not yet pick on this wonderful idea. Fight climate change! Stable water supply for the South-West residents! Better Agriculture (beloved Soviet industry)! Hooray to tovarishch dear leader.

      Like

      • wondering999 says:

        Thanks for the link BeGe, and I share your concern about ideas that are a far fetch, ending up in brains that will misuse them. Water issues interest me in general. Here’s a link about the California St. Francis dam collapse in 1928:
        http://framework.latimes.com/2013/03/12/st-francis-dam-collapse/#/0

        and I wonder what happened recently in San Francisco. What kind of “vandals” do this?
        http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/05/23/us-usa-california-dam-idUSKBN0O804M20150523?virtualBrandChannel=11563

        Like

      • wondering999 says:

        The Bush ranch in Crawford, Texas, has been state of the art with water conservation, from what I have read in the past. I have cistern envy after reading this. Whoah! 25,000 gallons:

        http://www.cowboysindians.com/Cowboys-Indians/December-2002/The-Bush-Ranch/
        ” The…single-story ranch house…built by members of a religious community from the nearby community of Elm Mott, is a paragon of environmental planning.

        “The passive-solar house is built of honey-colored native limestone and positioned to absorb winter sunlight, warming the interior walkways and walls of the 4,000-square-foot residence. Geothermal heat pumps circulate water through pipes buried 300 feet deep in the ground. These waters pass through a heat exchange system that keeps the home warm in winter and cool in summer.

        “A 25,000-gallon underground cistern collects rainwater gathered from roof urns; wastewater from sinks, toilets, and showers cascades into underground purifying tanks and is also funneled into the cistern. The water from the cistern is then used to irrigate the landscaping around the four-bedroom home. Laura Bush insisted on the use of indigenous grasses, shrubs, and flowers to complete the exterior treatment of the home.”

        Like

        • Be Ge says:

          Dubya’s ranch is actually pretty high-tech and eco-friendly (and that’s not just the water). It belongs to people that really care about the environment. A sharp contrast with Nobel-winning climate change alarmist Al Gore’s energy-wasteful mansion (a single look at that thing and its tech specs should cure an individual from “climate change concern sickness”). After all, mr. Gore is just a typical soviet socialist zampolit deep down inside — a do as I say guy (vs a real leader/military commander type of guy who is a do as I do person).

          Like

      • wondering999 says:

        I’ve been told that after a drought, the ground becomes too hard and baked to absorb rain, and that results in flooding over the surface. I just wonder if there are safe large-scale ways (like cisterns) to store water so that it doesn’t get wasted when it finally rains. The ancient Hebrews of Masada had a huge cistern that fed their fruit trees and gardens, and the people of Roman Petra in Jordan saved enough water to keep their large town thriving in a desert. It is so sad to see a huge water resource just flooding destructively, and probably there are ways to avert it… not that I know what would work necessarily, but I’m interested.

        Like

    • TruthTeller says:

      I lived in Israel for a year, working as a consultant. Most people don’t understand just how tiny it really is. We have water pipelines here that are larger and longer than anything they have in Israel. The difference is, they are dwarfed by the enormous size of the country.

      One of the things that is overlooked is that all the water that is being siphoned off from our rivers used to reach our bays and oceans. A lot of sea life depended on that fresh water, as many species start their life in brackish estuaries. The salinity has gone up (in some Texas bays, for instance) so much that things like shrimp, crabs, and oysters are in critically low supply. Those creatures, and many more, form the base of the ecosystem. We have a water crisis in this country. And stealing water from one place, to send to another, really isn’t an answer.

      My grandfather was a well-digger, back when they drilled by hand. They used rope and block-and-tackle to lift a heavy iron drill, and then dropped it. Then they lifted it again, and again, and again. His forearms looked like Popeye, even into his 80’s. Back during the 70’s when they said we were running out of oil, he always insisted that we would run out of good water long before we ran out of oil. People laughed at him. Maybe not so much, now.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Be Ge says:

        I am not sure if the CIA world factbook is of any practical help in matters of imagining what a foreign country is, but Israel can be compared to a little piece of Texas (hot and mostly dry but having a seashore) of the size of the state of New Jersey. One would have to understand what Texas and New Jersey are, though.

        Like

  9. zephyrbreeze says:

    Where’s the looting and mass hysteria? And horrible would it be to lose your loved ones in a flood? Here today and then washed away never to be seen again. Even if they find their bodies it will be horrific. Not finding the bodies wouldn’t be any better. Nightmare.

    When we lived in South Jersey there was a series of rapid dam failures in at the YMCA camp which abutted our property, and around several of the little towns. In some cases the water rose 40 feet. There was a canoe wrapped around a tree at about 30 feet. We happened to live on the rare high ground in the area and were not directly affected.

    Medford Central Record:

    “Damages were being sought from YMCA Camp Ockanickon in connection with failure of the Squaw Lake, Lake Stockwell and Papoose dams. Failure of those dams, located in Medford, were alleged to have started a chain reaction failure of dams in neighboring Medford Lakes and Medford and that situation is alleged to have caused flooding in those towns as well as down stream in Southampton and Lumberton.

    “The storm July 12, 2004, dropped up to 13 inches of rain in a period of about the same amount of hours in parts of our area. A chain reaction of dam failures resulted, and more than 30 dams in the county were damaged or failed.”

    Like

  10. TexasRanger says:

    Texas Flash Flood Alley……

    Historically, 70 to 80 percent of all natural disasters in the United States have involved flooding. Some 20 million of Texas’ 171 million acres are flood-prone – more than in any other state.

    Flash floods are the number-one weather-related cause of death in Texas. Most victims of flash floods fall into two categories:

    Drivers trying to cross flooded areas, and

    Children and young adults playing in or near floodwaters.

    Because thunderstorms typically form during the most intense heat of the day, the resulting flash floods occur afterward – between late afternoon and early evening, when it is too dark to see the danger clearly.

    Even during the day, floodwaters may hide hazards such as damage to roadways, tree stumps, fire
    hydrants and other obstacles.

    On a sunny day, a flood can sweep through neighborhoods from rain falling far upstream from a local watershed. Pushing a wall of debris made up of trees, cars and all manner of flotsam, flash floods become battering rams against houses, bridges and anything else that lies in their path.

    While flash floods are known to occur throughout the state, the Hill Country is known as “flash flood alley.”

    Full Story About Texas’s Flash Flood Alley…

    http://www.edwardsaquifer.net/pdf/flood.pdf

    Liked by 2 people

  11. sundance says:

    Like

  12. michellc says:

    My prayers go out to these families.

    I finally ventured out today to look at the damage. It’s pretty bad, some houses that I never thought the water would reach have the river/lake(it’s part of the lake but a river runs through it) knocking at their door. Other homes that I thought were stupid to be that near the water have water running through them. One brand new home that I couldn’t believe they were building where they were building it had the new homeowner moving stuff out and saying he couldn’t believe it. I could believe it even without as much water as we have now I’ve seen where his house is under water and am more surprised it isn’t already flooded.

    The road we take to get to the HWY is now closed and will be closed for some time I imagine as it’s nothing but a huge hole now.
    It’s not over though, storms are once again in the state and moving this way.

    Like

    • auscitizenmom says:

      Glad to know you are okay.

      Liked by 1 person

      • michellc says:

        It shouldn’t ever be able to reach us and if it does there are going to be thousands of homes under water.

        It’s just a little unreal that it washed a chunk of road out about 10 ft wide and may end up being more than that as the pavement is still falling off along with the ground. It will just be an inconvenience for awhile as now we’ll have to drive about 8 miles out of our way to get to town.

        They’re getting hit with tornadoes down south. We have a t-storm building not far from us, the humidity is up to where we all have sweat just dripping off us.

        Like

  13. TexasRanger says:

    Texas Flooding…

    A Flash Flood in Kendall, Texas, Was So Strong That It Easily Pushed an SUV Away.

    Like

    • wondering999 says:

      So glad for the note at the end, that the occupant of the SUV was able to get out safely (also the truck upthread). It’s a miracle there hasn’t been more loss of life in these rampaging floods. Stay safe, MichelleC, and keep us posted how you’re doing please. Will be thinking of you and yours.

      Like

  14. Rodney Plonker says:

    For those struggling to comprehend what happened so quickly. Look at this video of Perdenales River Falls. This happened within minutes.

    This is about 30 miles from Wimberly and different river but it is same geology. The State park website used to have a warning but I couldn’t find it there. Here is a facebook post that I hope works.

    Liked by 2 people

  15. LadyRavenSDC says:

    May 10 – my brother – Glen Rose is about 45 miles so of Dallas. His is one of the beautiful Texas homes built about half a football field distance from the Brazos River. This area is some of the most beautiful country you will ever see and as Michellc notes – humid – humid – humid –
    “Surviving, but barely, still in the process of cutting trees up and carrying them off from the last couple of storms down here, now just heavy rain and flooding. I got caught up in Fort Worth last night, headed back to Glen Rose around 11:00 PM, didn’t pull into the driveway until 2:00 AM this morning. Fort Worth to Granbury was bad, torrential rain, a little hail, a lot of hydro planning, scary. About the time I thought I had made it through the worst of it I see all these flashing lights, and I realize Hwy 377 in the area of Classic Chevrolet is all under 2 feet of rushing water, all the new cars on the Classic lot are sitting in 2 feet of water with all kinds of debris rushing by. I stopped and talked to some of the police and they said they had never seen anything like that before, they didn’t know how long it would take for the water to go down, but there was another heavy cell coming behind which would cause more problems. I knew I had to get back home to Sissy, so I turned around and went back to Cresson and from there to Cleburne and on to Glen Rose. The whole way, torrential rain and hydroplaning, very scary, at one point I ran into an area of the road under water for about 150 feet and up to a foot deep in the middle, just about didn’t make it, I don’t know if it was a creek or what, it was dark and I didn’t know the area. Just lucky to get home.”

    This morning when I woke to this news my concern went off the charts. A sister and her husband were unaccounted for though they live in Dallas area. A note from another sister finally –
    “They have been South East of Temple. On their way home. Have been in torrential rains and mud. Their shuttle bus got stuck in the mud and they had to have a tractor pull it out. So all is good.”

    And brother in Oklahoma City – no need to explain Oklahoma and it’s weather – this was 5-21 –
    “I got a call yesterday from Olson who told me that Gary Goll had died. I was shocked and thought he must have had a heart attack but it wasn’t the case. He drowned driving his truck across a roadway that had water going across it. We have just been flooded in the last two weeks. I have had 19″ of rain since May 6. Tuesday night we had another downpour. Gary got a call that his step-daughter and her boyfriend were stranded and he went to get them in the middle of the night during the heavy rains. The TV reporter made it sound like he intentionally drove across the road. I find it almost impossible to believe he would do that. Anyway, his daughter and her boyfriend got out but Gary never did. Gary and I worked together for twenty of our years at GM and he was a regular at the coffee shop. He was only 56. This has been pretty hard to swallow. He was the smartest guy that I worked with but he sure made a bad decision on this.”

    Same brother May 7 when we asked him the aftermath of tornado’s the day before –
    “Quite a bit of damage. Much not covered by insurance. I’m sure I’ll need a new roof. Haven’t called insurance. Deductible is around $8,000. Golf ball size hail. Truck had slight hail damage. Lost much ground due to erosion. Will need about ten dump trucks of dirt to replace. Getting bids on damage to fix bridge onto my property … I expect $3,000 minimum. Garden flattened by hail. Several trees down. Many branches blown out of trees. I have never seen rain come so hard and fast in my 39 years living here. Water was within inches of coming into the living room. Router was hit by lightning. Got a new one yesterday. Same stuff coming in tomorrow and tonight. One lady, a few miles from here, went into her tornado shelter, when the flash floods hit. Water poured in, and she could not lift the door with all the water going over it and drowned. She was 47. We got over 8″ of rain here. Matt lives 22 miles, as the crow flies, from here and only got 3/4″ of rain.”

    As of this morning – same Oklahoma brother –
    “Over 23″ of rain since May 6. The all time record for rain for the entire month of May was about 12″. Records are reported from our air port and the new record is 18″. I am 5″ over that. After I went to the funeral for Gary the other day in the little town of Blanchard, they got hit by a tornado.”

    Yes. I have a lot of brothers and sisters and much extended family in the South and cannot stand the thought of losing any one of them. So many lives, so much damage. Michellc – all you good people – be safe…….

    Like

  16. LadyRavenSDC says:

    One other note – my brothers friend who died in the flood in his truck – at the funeral brother learned – “Gary tried pushing his door open with his legs. Apparently, the pressure shut the door against his feet and he was trapped like a mouse as the cab filled.”
    Be safe all, be safe, be safe, be safe.

    Like

  17. Dede Bright says:

    For people wondering if these floods were the result of some nefarious act, rest your imaginations. Oddly enough a flood of this magnitude struck Austin on Memorial Day in 1981, with the same results. Why? The ground was saturated from several days of flooding and then a huge deluge of rain descended upon Austin. I’d lived there since 1949 and saw many flash floods, but nothing like that. And now again. As far as the Blanco River and Wimberly, in my lifetime (66 years) I’ve never seen it flood like that. Once again it’s because we have been getting steady rain for weeks, and then a huge down pour and then the catastrophic flood. In addition, Along the Blanco and all around the hill country it’s limestone, with relatively thin layers of top soil on top — so that easily sheds away in these situations, when that sheds the trees and under growth trees and bushes go with the water and mud. In the case of the Blanco River, it’s what you call a 500 year flood. Regarding Austin and Houston could be a 100 year flood, give or take a few years. Houston is slightly above sea level and is prone to flooding.

    Like

  18. lovely says:

    Missing Mom Swept Away by Texas Floods Called Sister as Rain Poured Down

    https://gma.yahoo.com/missing-mom-swept-away-texas-floods-called-sister-151806600–abc-news-topstories.html

    What a horror. I will keep the father in my prayers. I can’t even imagine.

    Like

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