Hays County Commissioners proclaimed Feb. 23 to March 2 as Severe Weather Awareness week.
“Flash Flood Alley,” an area that runs along the Balcones Fault through San Marcos to Dallas, is considered by the National Weather Service to be one of the most flood-prone areas of the United States.
The proclamation urges all Hays County residents to educate themselves about the deadly force that can come with severe weather, pointing out that a foot of water will carry away most cars, and only two feet of rushing water will sweep away most trucks and SUVs.
“Residents of Hays County should be aware that severe weather – flash flooding, tornadoes, strong straight-line winds and hail – can cause problems any time of year, but are especially common in spring,” said Mark Chambers, Hays County Fire Marshall.
San Marcos endured a devastating flood in October 1998 that deposited over 30 inches of rain in the city and stranded several families. The Governor’s Division of Emergency Management suggests keeping a ready first aid kit, road maps, a battery operated radio, needed medications, a flashlight with extra batteries, and cash available in case a flood suddenly strikes. Most important, though, is to stay out of the way of rising waters and know an alternate route to high ground.
County officials hope the proclamation will encourage citizens to be prepared.
“Much of our county is susceptible to flash flooding, and we want our residents to know that it is a bad idea to try to outwit nature during flood events,” said Chambers.