Fay's heavy rains drench South Texas

Sept. 9, 2002 at 12:34 PM
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SAN ANTONIO, Sept. 9 (UPI) -- The remnants of Tropical Storm Fay dumped up to 7 inches of rain in South Texas Monday, flooding some roads and communities southwest of San Antonio still recovering from high water in July.

Pat McDonald, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service in San Antonio, said from 3 inches to 12 inches of rain was recorded in a 24-hour period south of a line from Corpus Christi to San Antonio.

The heaviest rain was south of the Hill Country where the worst of the flooding was earlier in the summer, but some of the small towns to the south that suffered downstream flooding in July were again suffering Monday.

Seven inches of rain fell between midnight and 8 a.m. Monday at Pearsall, a small town about 50 miles southwest of San Antonio. Some streets were closed and homes isolated by the high water. Classes were closed in some schools.

"My car is in water," said Melissa Morales, who lives in Pearsall. "My boyfriend left his car at my house, and it's in water. My brother lives behind me and at this trailer house the water is above the skirting."

Trucker David Garcia was forced to park his semi-trailer rig a truck stop along Interstate 35 near Pearsall because he was unable to get to Eagle Pass due to closed roads.

"It's real bad, it's as bad as it can get," he said. "All the roads are closed."

Tropical Storm Fay blew ashore on the upper Texas coast near Palacios early Saturday, never reaching hurricane strength, as weather watchers had feared. It was quickly downgraded to a tropical depression and then broke into bands of rains.

The storm's landfall was about 100 miles southwest of Houston where officials watched with more than a casual eye. They remembered the death and destruction in June 2001 when Tropical Storm Allison dumped 36 inches of rain in the region. Twenty-three lives were lost in Texas and damage was estimated at $5 billion.

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