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Historic Flooding In Central Texas Leads To Evacuations; 12 Missing

Texas Department of Transportation
FM 2766 at Miller Creek in Blanco County, west of Austin.

Five stories that have North Texas talking: Central Texas hit hard by flooding; storms hit North Texas, too; a Dallas high school recalls yearbooks; and more.

Authorities are helping residents to evacuate their homes in a city near Austin after a creek broke its banks and flooded the area. A weekend of torrential rain and flooding has destroyed properties in the area and 12 people are missing after their vacation home was swept down the rain-swollen Blanco River and slammed into a bridge. Austin County emergency crews have reported no injuries during early Tuesday evacuations from homes in Webberville, some 15 miles east of Austin. Crews used boats and helicopters to rescue residents from their flooded homes. Authorities have not said how many people have been evacuated from homes in the area. Texas Gov. Greg Abbott says the damage caused by flash flooding in Central Texas is "absolutely devastating." Abbott says the damage he saw was "absolutely massive" from the storms' "relentless tsunami-type power." The governor added 24 counties to his state disaster declaration, bringing the total to 37 counties in mostly the eastern half of the state. That allows for further mobilization of state resources to assist disaster-struck communities. KUT, the public radio station in Austin, has more details. We have updates on the Texas flooding here. [Associated Press]

  • Meanwhile, Houston got hit hard by rain Monday night -- between 6-10 inches in some areas. Here's more from KUHF, the public radio station in Houston: "The weekend's severe weather, culminating with strong thunderstorms Monday night into Tuesday morning, has led to multiple reports of serious flooding across Greater Houston. Officials are asking people to stay at home until the water recedes. HISD, along with several other school districts, canceled classes and non-essential personnel for Harris County are being asked to stay home." We have updates on the Texas flooding here.

  • North Texas got hit by storms, too. Storms hit Monday afternoon, dumping more rain on North Texas. More storms are possible Tuesday afternoon. It was a stormy weekend, as well. Two tornadoes hit Dallas County Sunday. The first began in Dallas with damage to trees and power lines near Walnut Hill and Marsh Lanes, the National Weather Service said. The tornado crossed over Interstate 635 and moved into Farmers Branch. A few warehouses and an apartment complex were damaged. The second tornado hit Irving, and was a bit stronger. It hit near State Highway 114 and MacArthur Boulevard. Several buildings were damaged. The Trinity River in Dallas crested at 40 feet Sunday night.  

  • A Dallas high school has recalled yearbooks after insulting quotes were printed. KXAS-TV (NBC 5) reports: “Dallas' W.T. White High School is recalling hundreds of yearbooks after someone removed the personal quotes beneath the photos of some seniors and replaced them with insulting remarks. Senior Juanita Cedillo, the school's prom queen, has cerebral palsy. … Under her senior picture is an insult where a personal quote should be. ‘Want to hear the most annoying noise in the world?’ Cedillo said, reading the quote. ‘I questioned myself. I was like, 'What could be that annoying noise? Was it my voice?’’ The Dallas Independent School District has recovered about 90 percent of the yearbooks and said they are working to determine who made the changes to the book and how it happened.” [KXAS-TV]

  • The Texas House has voted to keep tuition free for some military veterans’ kids. The Texas Tribune reports: “An effort to overhaul the state’s tuition-for-veterans program dissolved in the Texas House on Sunday, with the sponsor of the bill offering an amendment that would leave the program virtually unchanged from its current form. The action by Rep. John Zerwas, R-Richmond, would gut Senate Bill 1735, which would have made many children of veterans ineligible for free tuition. Zerwas had been pushing the bill at the request of universities, which have said that the "legacy" benefit was costing them too much. … ‘My sense from the House votes is that it was pretty clear that they didn’t want to change the legacy program,’ Zerwas said.” [Texas Tribune]

Photo: Texas Department of Transportation/Facebook

Eric Aasen is KERA’s managing editor. He helps lead the station's news department, including radio and digital reporters, producers and newscasters. He also oversees, the station’s news website, and manages the station's digital news projects. He reports and writes stories for the website and contributes pieces to KERA radio. He's discussed breaking news live on various public radio programs, including The Takeaway, Here & Now and Texas Standard, as well as radio and TV programs in New Zealand and the United Kingdom.