Flooding along Federal Highway 281 near Falfurrias 
Torrential Thunderstorms Flood Streets in Falfurrias
Water Enters some Structures in Town on May 25th

A slow moving thunderstorm complex rolled across the Deep South Texas brush country from Duval County into Jim Hogg, Jim Wells, and Brooks County, dumping radar and rain gage estimates of 4 to 8 inches (image below) and producing substantial urban and flash flooding in Falfurrias, with heavy rains and possible flooding farther south through Encino and Rachal. During the heavy rain, but prior to the onset of significant flooding, a driver lost control of a tractor trailer rig, and the vehicle went careening off the road where it destroyed part of a health care clinic, which was later condemned. The driver sustained a minor head injury.

As the rain continued, about a foot of standing water covered a 500 foot section of business Federal Highway 281 on the south side of town. Traffic slowed to a crawl, with several vehicles stalled in the middle of the road. There were several other areas of Business Federal Highway 281 that had at least 8 inches of water on the roadway for 300 to 400 foot stretches. Firemen rescued an elderly woman from her home on Noble street which had 4 inches of water inside the house; fire fighters on a nearby location on Noble Street reported nearly waist–deep water while trudging to the house. There were several other areas in Falfurrias that had up to two feet of water on the roadway or in the alleys. A media report indicated 3 to 5 feet of water flooding on other streets, including some water reaching into a Motel 9.

Impressive rainfall totals were reported along and near State Highway 285. The Falfurrias cooperative observation at the Hollywood Hunting Camp just west of town blew away the entire monthly average with nearly 6 inches of rain during the event (5.94). Nearby Hebbronville in Jim Hogg County recorded 4.47 inches, also well above the average for the entire month of May!

Stay Safe in Heavy Rain
In addition to Turn Around, Don"t Drown®, drivers need to remember to slow down in torrential rains, even if flooding has not begun. The following tips can be helpful in any rain situation when driving in Deep South Texas:

  • When driving through heavy rain, slow down and leave a safe distance between vehicles.
  • When using windshield wipers, turn on your headlights at all times.
  • Avoid driving through puddles that could hide potholes or could cause hydroplaning
  • Make sure headlamps, tires, and windshield wipers are in good working condition.
  • Keep an emergency kit in your vehicle, including flashlight, flares, and simple hand tools.
Seven thousand people die on weather related vehicle accidents each year, many due to poor visibility and wet roads.

Remember: Visibility and Traction leave time for reaction!

Please report any flooding to the National Weather Service in Brownsville by calling 956-504-1432 extension 1. Or, if you use Twitter, send a report by following the instructions here You may also send a storm report via our website, or you may send photographs to our webmaster.

Radar and rain gage rainfall estimates for Deep South Texas, May 25, 2010 (click to enlarge)
Rainfall estimates from radar and rain gages, May 25th, 2010. Area of dark red and pink indicated 4 to 8 inches.

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