Steady rain in Central Texas leads to wrecks, flood watch

With steady rain falling, barricades at low-water crossings quickly went up.

Most of the closings were at usual locations like this neighborhood in Cedar Park. The roads are near the intersection of Highway 183 and New Hope Road. No homes were flooded but several yards had standing water in them, swamping play areas.

Residents like Debbie Reed were not worried. They were keeping a watchful eye on the nearby creek. Conditions here can quickly change. "Well you know, I've lived here almost 30 years ... the worst its ever gotten was up to my door; and then it stopped,” said Reed.

By mid-day ATXfloods listed nearly 100 low-water crossings as being closed.

While low-water crossings posed a threat, for much of the day, the real problem was taking place on roadways still open to traffic. Pockets of water pooled on several major highways. As a result, hydroplaning triggered wrecks. This one took place along SH130 near Manor.

On RR 2222, a rock slide closed part of the roadway just west of Paradox Cove. The possibility of more falling rock is expected to keep the right westbound lane closed. 

Weather may also have factored into the crash at a shopping complex on Airport Blvd. A SUV smashed into the Staff Force office. An employee was inside at the time but was not hurt.

'Yeah, it was a big thud in the side of the building,” said Matt Schweinberg.

Schweinberg was working next door at the time. He made sure that the woman who was driving the SUV and her child we're okay. "I heard a baby crying, and I walked out, and she said her tires were slick and she ran right into the building and had no control,” said Schweinberg.

On Monday, TxDOT pre-treated roads with a salty solution to prevent roads and bridges from icing over. Wednesday, officials with TxDOT said the mixture has most likely been diluted by the rain.

With no freezing temperatures in the immediate forecast, the focus at this time is on flooding.

To ease pressure from upstream runoff into the Highland Lakes, LCRA opened a flood gate at Tom Miller Dam. The release happened at 4:00 Wednesday afternoon. Officials at LCRA advised people downstream to be mindful of a faster moving current on the Colorado River.