Both Star Flight and LCRA officials are trying to get their messages out early about flooding preparations. ”We are ready to go anytime, but this weather is just probably the beginning of what we will see for the rest of the spring,” said Ashley Voss-Liebig who is a Flight Nurse and Helicopter Rescue Specialist. “April, May, and then September, October are the really rain seasons, so we are really dry up until that point and then the rain comes and its massive and it's all at once,” she said.
Voss-Liebig said their rescue groups are ready and monitoring the weather. “Our command group follows that very closely and watches to anticipate what we will need in terms of staffing, and what we will need to be prepared for rescues.”
LCRA officials said Central Texas is known as flash flood alley and they are closely monitoring lake levels through this storm. But there's three ways for residents to be prepared at all times. They said stay aware because flash flooding can happen quickly with little warning. Be prepared by having an emergency kit ready. And stay connected with local media and weather officials.
Austin Fire Captain Mathew Rush said the Memorial Day floods changed how they prepare and they are working more on the pre-planning with weather people. “What we are doing now, is we are a lot more prepared to make those phone calls and beef up that staffing beforehand, instead of waiting," he said. They have 135 specialized firefighters trained on water rescues, 36 of which are always on duty.
Star Flight rescuers said once the water gets moving, especially in Travis County it can be very powerful and people underestimate it. “I think people don't have the realization that it's very dangerous, just a few inches of water can displace a vehicle very quickly. We want people to turn around because drowning is a real scenario,” Voss-Liebig said.