Texas Capitol building flooded after torrential rain soaks Austin

“It’s all hands on deck,” Governor Greg Abbott of Texas said on Twitter about cleaning the floods

Kelsie Sandoval
New York
Monday 16 August 2021 16:37
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Texas State Capitol flooded after torrential thunderstorm lashes Austin

The Texas state Capitol building in Austin was seen filled with water over the weekend after The National Weather Service issued a flash flood warning.

As the torrential downpour seeped into the building through skylights, the rain started to accumulate and flood the hallways.

“It’s all hands on deck,” Governor Greg Abbott of Texas said on Twitter on the clean-up efforts. Cleaning crews immediately took to the floor to remove the water.

Mr Abbott also said the government was working with the State Preservation Board “as well as all applicable agencies to address flooding at the Capitol stemming from the current storm in Austin”.

Chris Currens, director of special projects for the State Preservation Board, issued a statement on Sunday night describing how the flooding occurred. The rain “resulted in flooding at the Texas State Capitol when a storm water drain clogged, backing up water into the capital extension,” Mr Currens said.

State Representative Will Metcalf posted an update about the building to legislators on Sunday night while calling the incident a “minor flooding”.

After cleaning crews worked to dry the flooded areas throughout the night, the building was set to reopen on Monday.

The Capitol building wasn’t the only building affected by the heavy rain. The heavy rains caused a fountain to rise from out the floor at The University of Texas at Austin’s gymnasium. The fountain flooded the lobby and now the gymnasium is closed until further notice.

On Sunday, the National Weather Service (NWS) said the heavy rain could lead to “life-threatening flash flooding of creeks and streams, urban areas, highways, streets and underpasses.”

With the climate crisis causing more frequent and intense rainfall, the recent flooding is part of a larger trend.

Last week in El Paso, Texas, heavy rainfall and flash floods caused a wall in a house to collapse, which killed one person.

According to a study, published in the Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute journal, Texas has the highest number of flood deaths, with an average of 17.5 deaths a year.

In May 2021, heavy rainfall and thunderstorms barreled through Houston, Texas. As some parts of the city had 15 inches of rain, Houston was under a flash flood warning. Beyond Houston, there were also flash flood warnings in the same period for the Texas Gulf Coast and Eastern Texas.

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