flooding Water Damage Claim Austin austin flood plain

There are several natural hazards that pose a risk to Austin, Texas. These include:

  • Extreme heat
  • Drought
  • Wildfire
  • Thunderstorm and lightning
  • Hurricane
  • Tornado
  • Hail
  • Floods 

Floods pose a threat to the city all year round. It is considered to be Austin’s most serious hazard that can happen anywhere in the city. 

According to the city’s Watershed Protection Department, about 10% of Austin is located in a floodplain, which means these places are in danger of flash flooding. These areas are most likely those near creeks and lakes. Essentially, water damage claims Austin homes in the floodplain areas.

So, if you’re wondering if Austinites face the threat of water damage, they sure do.

Flash Flood Alley

Austin is located in what is known as Flash Flood Alley, which is one of the regions in North America that are prone to flooding. Flash Flood Alley follows the curve of the Balcones Escarpment to Texas’ middle, i.e., from Waco south to Uvalde. Thanks to its weather that produces intense rainfall and the area’s distinct landscape that efficiently drains off rainwater, major flash floods are common here. 

“The region has some of the highest flood discharge per unit area of a drainage basin in the country,” said Dr. Richard Earl, professor in Texas State University’s Department of Geography. “The transition between the Gulf Coastal Plain and the Hill Country is recognized nationally as a place where topographic changes cause these intense, localized floods,” he said.

Because of this, Austin, Texas, and the rest of the Flash Flood Alley has an unfortunate history of tragic flooding events. For instance, the city experienced a devastating flood during the Memorial Day weekend of 1981. Ten inches of rain poured within 24 hours and caused the Shoal Creek to swell. The resulting flood killed 13 Austinites, 19 families lost their homes, and left about $36 million in damage.

Water Damage Threat to Properties in Austin, Texas

Flooding can affect houses, buildings, vehicles, and public infrastructures like roads and bridges. 

According to the non-profit First Street, which provides physical climate risk data, about 15,500 properties in the city have a more than 26% chance of being severely affected by flooding in the next 30 years. This figure is 11% of all the properties in Austin. 

Perhaps the most at risk and prone to flooding would be the properties located in a floodplain. If you’re wondering if your house is in a floodplain, go to FloodPro, email, or call 512-974-2843.

Properties near creeks

Water levels of creeks in Austin can rise several feet in a matter of just a few minutes. When this happens, the access road to your home might quickly become impassable. It would be ideal if you can leave before this happens, but if you find that the road is already flooded, do not attempt to walk or drive through it.   

Monitor the news to time your evacuation before water reaches your house or floods your access road. If, however, you are still at home and the floodwaters have already entered into it, move to a higher floor or the roof. 

To prepare for a flood, bring in lawn furniture, grills, and your other outdoor stuff inside the house. Relocate important papers, jewelry, and other valuables to a higher elevation, and prepare an emergency preparedness kit. Before leaving your house, close the main gas valve and turn off all utilities at the main power switch, if you have time. 

Water Damage Threat to Vehicles in Austin, Texas

According to the city’s Risk Index, 75% of flood-related deaths in the Greater Austin Area occur in vehicles. Here’s a list of the roads that are flooded most frequently, but you can always find out if a particular road is flooded at www.ATXfloods.com

  • W. 12th St. from Lamar to Shoal Creek Blvd.
  • W. 32nd St. at Hemphill Park
  • E. 38 1/2 St. between Grayson and Airport Blvd.
  • Adelphi Ln. between Scribe Dr. and Waters Park Rd.
  • E. Alpine Rd. between Willow Springs and Warehouse Row
  • Burleson Rd. between U.S. 183 and FM 973
  • Carson Creek Blvd. between Cool Shadow Dr. and Warrior Ln.
  • Colton-Bluff Springs Rd. by Alum Rock Dr.
  • Convict Hill Rd. between Flaming Oak Place and MoPAC
  • David Moore Dr. north of Sweetwater River Dr.
  • Delwau Ln. at Shelton Rd.
  • W. Dittmar between Loganberry and S. Congress
  • Joe Tanner Ln., near Hwy. 290
  • Johnny Morris Rd. between FM 969 and Loyola Ln.
  • Lakewood Dr., 6700 block
  • W. Monroe St. between S. First and Roma St.
  • McNeil Dr. between Camino and Burnet
  • Nuckols Crossing at Teri Rd.
  • Parkfield Dr. from Thornridge to Mearns Meadow
  • Possum Trot between Inland Place and Quarry Rd.
  • Old Bee Caves Road, near Hwy. 290
  • Old San Antonio Rd. between FM 1626 and IH 35
  • Old Spicewood Springs Road, between Loop 360 and Spicewood Springs Rd.
  • O’Neal Ln., between MoPAC service road and Waters Park Rd.
  • Posten Ln., 7900 block
  • River Hills Rd., off Cuernavaca
  • Rogge Ln. between Ridgemont and Delwood Dr.
  • Rutland from Mearns Meadow to N. Lamar
  • Spicewood Springs Road, between Loop 360 and Old Lampasas Trl.
  • Springdale Rd. from Ferguson to Breeds Hill Dr.
  • Wasson Rd. near S. Congress Ave.
  • Waters Park Rd. between 183 and MoPAC

When a flood finds you inside your vehicle out in the road, remember to turn around – don’t drown, especially when barricades are in place. Do not attempt to drive around them, as this could land you in a Class B misdemeanor. If you’re caught, you’ll face arrest, your car will be impounded, and you’ll be jailed for 180 days and/or pay a fine of up to $2,000.  

The best thing to do during heavy rainfall is to avoid driving at all, especially during nighttime when it’s difficult to see if a road is flooded. But, if you must do so, watch out for water over the road.

Flooded roads, even with shallow water, can carry your vehicle away from the road. Water over roads can also hide any damages or supporting structures. And, stay away from creeks, ponds, trails, culverts and other drainage infrastructure. Remember: Turn around – don’t drown. If you find yourself out in the road during a flood, be alert to your surroundings and call 911 for help.

Do they face the threat of water damage in Austin, Texas?

In conclusion, Austinites face a significant threat of water damage due to the city’s susceptibility to flooding. It is crucial to stay informed and take necessary precautions to protect homes and vehicles.

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