The Texas Coastal Bend experienced something that is often unusual in the month of July without a hurricane or tropical storm—historic flooding.
While for most of the area the week started off dry, it only took a matter of hours for things to rapidly go downhill. Monday saw cloudy skies and a few showers around Corpus Christi and throughout the Texas Coastal Bend, but by 11:00 pm things had drastically changed.
When the rain began to fall it seemed like it wouldn’t stop. For the most part it didn’t through Friday afternoon as frequent downpours battered the area.
By Tuesday morning it was evident that the subtropical low pressure system that forecasters had been warning about was here to stay for awhile. Areas like Flour Bluff would wake up to flooded streets and neighborhoods. Many residents were facing toilet backups and plumbing issues. They have been asking the city for years to do something about the drainage problems. This was yet just another reminder of how they saw their complaints fall on deaf ears.
The soaking rains would eventually turn towards Rockport, Texas, an area that was the near epicenter of Hurricane Harvey in 2017. Rockport would see over 19 inches of rainfall over the area in just a matter of hours. It would leave homes and vehicles flooded, and residents wondering what comes next for them?
Forecasters had warned about this type of system stalling out over the area well in advance. In nearby Robstown, Texas, officials spent much of Tuesday passing out sand bags to residents wanting to protect their homes. Another thing that residents are all too familiar with along the Texas Coastal Bend.
While all eyes seemed to be across the Gulf of Mexico on Hurricane Elsa, residents on the Coastal Bend of Texas were dealing with this subtropical system that was in many ways worse than last year’s Hurricane Hanna.
A combination of high tides and flooding rains made travel along the direct coast nearly impossible for many. Residents in larger vehicles pretended to ignore the barricades and precautionary advice from officials to not drive through the high water or make their way down closed roads and streets. In the end, a countless number of vehicles from all over the region had to be rescued and taken to higher ground. The flood waters proved no match for even the largest of vehicles.
By Friday afternoon much of the rain along the coastal regions had stopped falling except for a few stray showers. The un-named subtropical low pressure system had made its way further inland while rivers and creeks along the coast worked their way to cresting.
Crews had already begun to survey the damage left behind from the storm and put together preliminary details about the situation. For them, these types of situations is what they live for. For residents, it is part of living on the coast.
The National Weather Service will likely have a report sometime in the next few days once official numbers are compiled.