2013 Flood in South Austin

I knew it was raining heavily on my side of town Wednesday night/early morning Thursday. But I had no idea how bad the damage was until I woke up and heard about evacuations by the nearby Onion Creek. Fewer than 3 miles from me, homes were being flooded by Onion Creek.

This flash flood must have been terrifying along Onion Creek. It rained over 9 inches in this area, and all in just a few hours.  Reports are that homes were very quickly overtaken by water. These flash floods move fast.

Today I went down Old San Antonio Road under the assumption that the tiny one lane bridge would have had the most damage in the area.

Old San Antonio Road at the bridge over Onion Creek
Old San Antonio Road at the bridge over Onion Creek
Tree on Old San Antonio Road bridge.
Tree on Old San Antonio Road bridge.

Some of the asphalt was torn clear off the road. I talked with one of the city employees out there, and he told me it would be “a while” before the bridge could be repaired. The asphalt factories are in the southeast part of town and were totally flooded. He heard that that the factories would be back up running some time next week.

I drove north on Old San Antonio Road to see what the damage was like there. It was fairly insignificant. You could tell that some trees had to be removed from the road.

Flood gauge on Old San Antonio Road north of Onion Creek by Southpark Meadows.
Flood gauge on Old San Antonio Road north of Onion Creek by Southpark Meadows.

The most significant damage was near was on Twin Creeks Road. That bridge will surely be out of commission for weeks.

Bridge over Bear Creek and Onion Creek.
Bridge over Bear Creek and Onion Creek.

The nearby homes looked untouched from the back. But as soon as I had rounded the corner, the flood damage was immediately apparent. The residents were airing out what they could salvage after the muck and water ran through their homes.

Garage door torn off home near Onion Creek.
Garage door torn off home near Onion Creek.

Adding insult to injury, the floods on the south side of Austin will do nothing to replenish the drought-stricken lakes which the city draws its water supply from.

The force of Onion Creek pushed all the neighbors' sheds together.
The force of Onion Creek pushed all the neighbors’ sheds together.

South Austin history…in Cemetery form (Part II)

I visited Live Oak Cemetery on Sunday along with the Masonic Cemetery, also known as Boggy Creek Cemetery, this past Sunday. My next goal is to visit (well, re-visit) the south Austin Mexican cemetery soon for some pictures. I’ll wait for a sunny day for that excursion.

There are a couple of cemeteries in central Texas by the name Live Oak. This one is in far south Travis County. I live near FM 1626, which runs right into IH 35. Live Oak is down Old San Antonio Road, which is between South 1st and IH 35. When you head down Old San Antonio Road, take a right where you see the wood sign for the cemetery.

The entrance is not remarkable, but you won’t miss the place.

The only local name I recognized was Baurle. There’s a subdivision to the west called Bauerle Ranch, so I imagine the land it sits on was once the ranch owned by that family.

I was unable to get a picture because I was spooked out while in the graveyard. No, it wasn’t the dead people. It was:

(1) Nothing like having a car tail you into a graveyard. I wouldn’t have been spooked, but the car would NOT PARK. Kept driving around all stupid-like. Finally it parked, so I felt relatively comfortable getting out. There’s no one to hear you scream in a graveyard….

(2) Even better when the cops show up! A sheriff saw me near the graves up at the front of the cemetery and zoomed into the place. Stopped by my car, ran my plates. Then made his slow “cop stare” way out. Great. I know it’s private property. But I’m trying to document local history and sites. That’s not illegal.

Anyhow, by then I was running out of light to get decent pictures. Here are the graves that stood out to me. There was another, but the individual was recently deceased and a minor. His grave was excellent and told me his life story in pictures. But I just don’t feel right posting it since I don’t know his family. He looked like a cool dang kid, though.

Woodmen of the World family plot. These were a benefit of belonging to the organization, but it became too costly to continue the gravestone program.
Woodmen of the World family plot. These were a benefit of belonging to the organization, but it became too costly to continue the gravestone program.
Alfred Earl Jones died in WWI. There was another child simply called "Baby" in the family plot.
In the Woodmen plot. Alfred Earl Jones died in WWI. There was another child simply called “Baby” in the family plot.
Fannie Lula Stevens
Fannie Lula Stevens. They do not make cool names like that any more. 
Flowers and a tree have absorbed part of Fannie Lula Stevens
Flowers and a tree have absorbed part of Fannie Stevens

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I promise it's more scary in real life. You walk along and BAM! What the....What?!
I promise it’s more scary in real life. You walk along and BAM! What the….What?!