On June 30, 2002, a low-pressure
system migrating westward from Florida combined with
a flow of deep tropical moisture from the Gulf of Mexico
and moved over southern Texas. The system hit a wall
of high pressure and stalled over the central and south-central
parts of the State. For 8 days, the storm system continued
to draw moisture from the Gulf, which triggered several
massive storms throughout much of the area. As much
as 35 in. of rain fell during the event, with heaviest
depths occurring in the Texas Hill Country northwest
of San Antonio. Flooding affected about 80 counties
Heavy rain also fell in parts of West Texas, including
Abilene, where 12-14 in. of rain in the pre-dawn hours
of July 6 caused flooding that required numerous evacuations.
Heavy rains also caused Lake Brownwood to overflow,
causing evacuations and flooding in parts of Brownwood.
The floods caused 12 deaths and damage to about 48,000
homes. Nearly 250 flood rescue calls were reported,
more than 130 roads were closed, and thousands of homes
and businesses lost electrical power and telephone service.
Twenty-four counties were identified by the Federal
Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) as Federal Declared
Disaster areas14 counties were eligible for individual
assistance and 10 counties for individual and public
assistance. Emergency management representatives had
not yet assessed the total cost of damages.
The storms produced large volumes of runoff and as many
as four flood peaks at each of many streamflow-gaging
stations in the Brazos, Colorado, and Guadalupe River
Basins. Record flood stages occurred at sites on the
Medina River, San Antonio River, Sabinal River, and
Nueces River. For the first time since it filled in
1968, Canyon Lake (northeast of San Antonio) poured
over its spillway, adding to the flooding in the Guadalupe
River. Emergency managers also were concerned about
the 90-year-old dam at Medina Lake (west of San Antonio).
Medina Lake topped its spillway and rose to within 18
in. of the top of the dam. Areas downstream from the
dam were evacuated as a precaution because of the fear
of dam failure.