Onion Creek area devastated by flooding

Onion Creek area devastated by flooding

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Sheer devastation in the Onion Creek area of southeast Austin. Forget about cleaning up. These people have nothing to salvage. And now we know one person has lost their life because of the flooding.

As the rushing flood water came through the Onion Creek area of southeast Austin neighbors did what they could to survive. They got on their roofs. That's where they stayed as they waited for emergency crews in helicopters and rescue boats to save them.

Neighbors cheered as each person was carried to safety. Once the flood victims were out of danger-- the raw emotion sunk in. Their homes, cars, every last possession ruined.

As the water receded they got a better look at the damage. Albert Castro took us through his home. The water rose so fast, he barely made it out with his life.

"We swam back this way and it's a good thing my dad had that ladder there and we made our way up," said Castro.

But before he and his father got settled, they saved seven people next door. That included Jesus Arriaga his two week old baby, wife and two girls.

"I felt worried because I wanted to get them to safety. You just don't think about it until it's going to happen," Arriaga said.

They climbed out their bedroom window. For four hours the families stayed on the roof before help came.

"Just kept them in my arms, making them feel safe, telling them we're going to be okay," Arriaga said.

Debris stretches for blocks. Vehicles were battered and carried far away from where their owners left them.

Late in the day even more tragedy. Julie Robin Jackson found what appeared to be a flood victim.

"I nudged the body and it was heavy. I checked to see if he was breathing and he wasn't. So and then said a prayer for him," Jackson said.

Emergency officials checked for other bodies, marking each home and vehicle with an x if clear. What lives still remain have been forever altered.

"We don't got nothin. I'd rather something than nothing. It's a big change but we gotta do what we gotta do to make things work," said Castro.

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