The Austin Fire Department received more than 100 water-related calls starting around 12 a.m. Sunday. Early Sunday morning a vehicle ran off the road on Bee Caves Road and got stuck in high rushing waters. Emergency crews had to rescue the driver. Police shut down part of Barton Springs Road due to flooding.
In Southeast Austin, firefighters were called out to a water rescue off Brandt Road. Crews used a raft and tractor to get the victim to safety. In those two cases, rescue crews on the ground were successful, but that's not always the case says Starflight pilot Kenneth Thompson. "If we go on a search and we locate somebody and figure out that the ground crew can get to them and get them out without having to go through using the hoist, we'll always default to whatever is going to be the least complicated and offer the most safety."
Starflight was called out to a couple water rescues over night including another one on Bee Caves Road where firefighters say a woman had driven into high waters. She was rescued and had to be treated for hypothermia. Heavy rains at night can make things challenging for Starflight crews, forcing them to fly low and slow. "It can be quite tedious getting out to where the rescue victim is. (You're) worried about staying clear of power lines and towers, things like that," says Thompson.
But despite difficulties brought on by this latest storm, crews were able to bring everyone to safety.