Posted Saturday, May 25th 2013 @ 2pm by Jim Forsyth
One person has been killed after drenching rains which spawned flood waters so powerful they washed a city bus off the road swept through San Antonio Saturday.
Several dozen people had to be evacuated after water rose rapidly through a neighborhood near the Mission Espada, one of the 18th Century Spanish colonial missions which dot the city's south side along the San Antonio River.
"The bus was driving down the street when water got under its tires," Priscilla Ingle, Vice President of the city's Via Metro Transit told 1200WOAI news. "This forced the bus off the street as the water rose."
Ingle said Fire Department rescue teams pulled the bus driver and three passengers to safety.
"We ask San Antinians to please stay off the roads and stay at home," Mayor Julian Castro said.
A woman was killed when her car was washed into a creek as she attempted to drive across a bridge, police said.
"Two feet of water is enough to move a 3,000 pound car," Fire Department spokesman Christian Bove said, urging motorists to avoid flooded streets. He said the fire department was receiving 'thirty calls an hour' for motorists stranded in rapidly rising water.
Bove said the roof of an apartment complex collapsed due to the rain, and firefighters were called to several fires which were believed to be caused by lightning, including a two alarm fire at an apartment complex which forced residents into the driving rain.
At one point in the middle of the morning several dozen major city streets were closed by flooding, although police said in a statement that many of them have begun to be reopened.
Even pets were having to be evacuated as water was rising near the city's animal shelter.
Parts of San Antonio received nine inches of rain in three to four hours, according to the National Weather Service. The rain comes as central Texas is preparing to move into a summertime with lake and aquifer levels substantially below normal. Almost 90% of Texas is in some level of drought and many regions have implemented, or are preparing to implement, severe restrictions on the use of water.