More storms came through central Texas on 3/18/16. I chased alone this time and headed to Dripping Springs, TX while Lane and Nick headed south to San Antonio. These storms were mostly a bust for severe stuff, but the lightning was phenomenal!
Lane and I were back at it on 3/8/16 and into the wee hours of 3/9. Nothing severe, just flooding downtown Austin, like here at East Riverside.
It may not look that deep, but it was deep enough at the curb that it almost came over my hood:
We also came across this, which apparently floods so easily there are permanent signs for it:
As we continued looking for flooding we happened across this incident. We still have no idea why this person accelerated so quickly from the side street and then ran away. The incident was reported to the Austin Police Department. It’s a bit hard to see in the video because it’s so dark, but if you go full screen you should be able to see the truck lose control, run into the median, swipe the light pole hard enough to knock it down, and then he gets back on the road and continues driving at dangerous speeds for flooded streets.
Lane and I chased on 12/26 and 12/27/15. We started in Waco and waited. By the time we were done chasing we were in Rowlett and then Rockwall at the Fire Station ready to assist on standby. Lane was there at that point mostly to observe, but my Navy training was ready to assist. We sat in the Rockwall Fire Station for several hours as reserve units until we decided to head back out. It took us hours to just get back to the Interstate. We tried to offer assistance in Rowlett, but they would not let us into the staging area.
We missed the Rowlett tornado by no more than 10 minutes. Had we not stopped for gas we might very well have been on the I-30 when it came through. Instead, we went through the aftermath. Cars strewn about, thrown from the overpass, buildings damaged, people walking around aimlessly, emergency crews just arriving on scene, power lines down on the Interstate.
The cell we were chasing that led us to the Rowlett was the cell that cross the I-45 into Rosser, TX. We were able to visually see a stovepipe near Rosser and reported it to the NWS. We did not think we had a visual of the tornado until we went frame-by-frame in the video and we actually got a small glimpse of it as it crossed the I-45.
Sunrise would find more flooding in Texas as we headed toward Houston. Nothing severe popped up that afternoon, just more rain and more flooding, especially after they were forced to open the flood gates at Lake Conroe.
Lane I chased up to New Boston, TX to watch for storms. We pretty much busted. The best picture I got was this one. And it’s not even a picture, but a vidcap. No, that’s not a tornado, just a very low shelf cloud and throw in the shading from the trees and the windshield wiper. But throw that lightning in there and it was a beautiful moment for us.
We did catch this lightning hitting the gas station on the other side of the freeway from the Army Depot near New Boston, TX. That led to the video afterward, which is what happens when you’ve been chasing for 30 hours and you’re exhausted and you have what we called the “Midnight Follies” in the Navy. You reach a point of exhaustion where you’re almost drunk and you act silly and everything is funny.
While still up at Suzie’s sister’s house for Thanksgiving, the storms that dumped rain NW of the DFW area moved into east of the DFW that night and dumped tons of rain. Throw in the downstream runoff from the previous days of rain and this happened to the East Fork Trinity River.