Published: August 7,2017
Flooding triggered by heavy rainfall prompted water rescues and evacuations, sparked fires, closed roads and knocked out power to thousands in San Antonio, Texas, on Monday.
Some locations saw 4 to 5 inches of rain from the storms in a few hours, according to weather.com meteorologist Chris Dolce.
Dramatic footage showed the rescue of a man trapped on top of an SUV stranded in flood waters by the San Antonio Fire Department.
Officials say the motorist became trapped around 10:30 a.m. along a low-lying stretch of road near Highway 151. Crews extended ladders from two trucks and also prepared at least one boat to put into the water.
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They managed to pull the driver to safety using the ladder extensions. He was reportedly unharmed.
A woman was rescued from her submerged vehicle Monday but was swept away by water again when she attempted to return to the car to retrieve her keys, MySanAntonio.com reports. First responders used a boat to cross the flooded street to reach the woman when she was initially stranded. She was taken to a nearby gas station to meet her mother, who drove her back to the secne.
The woman reportedly waded through the water to her car and was swept down the river, but managed to make her way to a river bank, according to MySanAntonio. She was met on the bank by police, who detained her. An officer at the scene said she would likely face criminal charges for endangering the rescuers' lives.
The Leon Valley Fire Department has urged residents living in low-lying areas to find shelter and has activated its Red Flood Emergency Response Plan, according to the department’s Facebook page.
Resident Norma Tijerina told MySanAntonio a firefighter knocked on her door and told her the fire department was asking everyone in the area to evacuate.
"He said 'Grab whatever you need, because we're evacuating. The water is rising pretty fast,'" said Tijerina.
"They said it was mandatory because it's going to be raining for the rest of the day," resident Sandra Orozco told MySanAntonio. "This never happens."
Several San Antonio-area parks were shut down Monday morning due to the torrential rainfall. Among the closed sites are the Government Canyon State Natural Area and Guadalupe River State Park, MySanAntonio reports.
"We are currently experiencing very heavy rainfall at the natural area," officials wrote on the Government Canyon's Facebook page. "After the storm passes, we will monitor conditions and will reopen trails when they are no longer muddy."
There have been at least five structure fires related to lighting, and the San Antonio Fire Department responded to 15 reports of cars stalled in high water, KSAT.com reports. There were no rescues needed from the vehicles.
In the Alamo Ranch neighborhood, firefighters battling a massive house fire rushed to keep it from spreading to other homes, Monday, News4SanAntonio.com reports. Crews say the blaze was likely sparked by lightning.
The roof was collapsed by the blaze and there were no reports of injuries, accoridng to KSAT News.
At least 18 roads have been shut down due to flooding, according to the city’s website.
There have been outages affecting more than 21,770 customers in the area, according to CPS Energy.
Flooding also caused issues in Austin, where firefighters engaged in a swiftwater rescue after two people became stranded on a rock in the middle of Shoal Creek, Spectrum News San Antonio reports. Crews were able to pull them to safety using a ladder.
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