San Antonio River Flooding of July, 2002

Excessive rainfall in the San Antonio River Basin led to flash flooding and eventually near record flooding along the Lower San Antonio Basin.

During the last week of June and the first week of July 2002, an upper level disturbance moved slowly from the western Gulf into Texas Big Bend area. This disturbance allowed for a significant increase in tropical moisture over central and south Texas. While this system brought beneficial rainfall to the region, excessive rainfall (as much as 30 inches), especially near the San Antonio area and over the Texas Hill Country, led to flash flooding and eventually river flooding along the upper San Antonio River Basin.

Beginning on the morning of July 1, rapid rises began in the Falls City area as flood waters primarily from the Medina River moved south. In Goliad, rises in the San Antonio River began on the morning of July 2. Prior to the onset of flood waters, the stage at Goliad was near 4 feet. By the morning of July 4, the river rose to flood stage (25 feet), and during the next five to six days, the river continued to slowly rise cresting at 52.24 feet at 11:30 PM on Tuesday July 9. The river began to slowly fall on Wednesday July 10, but new rains upstream will cause the river to rise again.

Access to the city of Goliad was limited due to the massive flooding. North bound U.S Highway 183 and Highway 2441 were closed a few miles south of town. U.S. Highway 59 was also closed east and west of Goliad. Numerous streets and homes were flooded within the town of Goliad. View Photos

The crest of 52.24 feet was second highest flood of record. The record flood of 53.70 feet occurred on September 23, 1967 as Hurricane Beulah brought torrential rains to central and south Texas.

Click for San Antonio River Forecast Statistics for Goliad


San Antonio River Graphs

Graph of River All Time Record Graph

The graph on the left depicts the preliminary unofficial river reading from the gauge in Victoria from July 1-15, 2002. The blue line is the actual measurement of the river in feet. The colored lines depict the collection of forecasts issued by the National Weather Service West Gulf River Forecast Center in Fort Worth, Texas. River forecasts were updated every 12 hours during the event, and more frequently during the height of the flood. Also during the flood, Victoria gauge readings were confirmed by our backup gauge the the CPL plant in South Victoria.


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