Heavy rains force evacuations in Leon Valley

Water levels rose quickly in Leon Valley Monday. The heavy rains caused evacuations, road closure, and an emergency shelter to be set up at a nearby high school.

SAN ANTONIO - Water levels rose quickly in Leon Valley Monday. The heavy rains caused evacuations, road closure, and an emergency shelter to be set up at a nearby high school.

Chief Luis Valdez of the Leon Valley Fire Department said that waters in Huebner Creek forced residents nearby to evacuate. Anyone in low-lying areas had to seek shelter

"The water came up very quickly here," Valdez said. "At Huebner Creek, it spilled out of its banks and into people's homes."

Waters upstream rushed toward the city.

"What has happened is that development has taken place upstream in our watershed without respect to downstream in Leon Valley," Valdez explained. "So when they build in that creek and they cause more runoff and less space for it to go, the citizens of Leon Valley are having to pay for that."

Firefighters evacuated eight homes in the low-lying areas.

"We've had to go in and physically take people out of their homes because the water is coming up so quick," Valdez noted.

Emergency crews blocked off streets surrounding Raymond Rimkus Park. Poss Road and Evers Road were also closed for the majority of the day.

Chief Valdez said that the department had VIA transit on standby to assist with emergency evacuations.

Meanwhile, John Marshall High School opened the cafeteria for the American Red Cross to shelter evacuees.

Wendy Reyes, the assistant principal at Marshall, said that the first evacuees arrived around 8:30 a.m.

"If they need access to showers or restrooms, we're here to make sure everything is running smoothly," Reyes said. "I think everybody was shocked that the weather was as bad as it was. "

Other residents followed the Leon Valley Fire Department on social media.

"I have a creek behind my house and it was starting to rise," said Leon Valley resident Marianna Sanchez.

Once the city's Flood Emergency Response Plan (FERP) changed to red, Sanchez drove straight to the high school.

When the FERP red category is activated, that means major flooding conditions are occurring, residents should anticipate the flood warning sign, and residents in low-lying areas should evacuate.

"We decided to come to the shelter and bring some food and see if we could help in any way," Sanchez said.

Around 1 p.m. Monday, the Leon Valley Fire Department gave the all clear. All roads are back open and the emergency shelter is now closed.

There were no injuries or high water rescues reported.

Chief Valdez says that even if it's no longer raining in Leon Valley, they don't stop monitoring the creek and the water levels. That's because if it's still raining to the north, even hours later, those waters head straight to Leon Valley.

As of Monday morning, Chief Valdez estimated 3.5 inches of rain fell in the area.

© 2017 KENS-TV


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