City and county officials urged San Antonio and Bexar County residents to avoid flood waters after nearly 10 inches of rain fell overnight Saturday, triggering flash flooding.
During a news conference Saturday afternoon at the city's Emergency Operations Center, Mayor Julian Castro pleaded with the public not to enter low-water crossings, use common sense and avoid driving if possible.
"We have too many folks who continue to ignore low-water crossings," Castro said. "Please understand that even a little amount of water can cause you to get stuck on that road."
The flooding claimed the life of a woman in her late 20s after rushing water washed her car from the road near Nakoma and Warfield and pinned her car into a drainage culvert.
San Antonio Fire Chief Charles Hood said a woman in her 60s was missing after firefighters tried to rescue her in Leon Creek.
"They were in the midst of getting her out when the currents changed and washed that vehicle away," Hood said. He added that crews were still looking for the woman.
Hood said there were "several heroic rescues," including one involving a 60-year-old man who was saved at Dreamland and Lockhill Selma, where he was pinned against his vehicle.
"We were able to put up a ladder in and extricate him and save him," Hood said.
Since midnight, the Fire Department received 683 calls for service, 249 of them for water-related incidents and 61 for barricades. Hood said eight boats were used in rescue operations.
Hood said more bodies may be found once waters recede.
About 56 people were evacuated from the 10000 block of Espada Road due to flood waters, said Kyle Coleman of the Bexar County Sheriff's Office. Six people were evacuated from the block 12900 block of River Road, Coleman said. No injuries were reported.
The weather was blamed for nine structure fires, including a two-alarm apartment fire in the 4900 block of Medical Drive that was caused by lightning. No injuries were reported.
Hood said the heavy rain also caused the collapse of an apartment complex at 2011 Bandera Road. About 50 people were relocated.
About 30 residents were staying in two shelters set up by the city and county.
San Antonio Police Chief William McManus said about 30 roads at one point were closed in the city and 23 in the county. Highway 281 at Basse Road was expected to remain closed until late Saturday night, he said.
McManus said there were seven major accidents and 70 minor accidents.
SAPD helicopters were flying over the city to assess the damage after the San Antonio River crested at 36.3 feet.
About 12,000 CPS Energy customers without power at 6 a.m., said Doyle Beneby, CPS Energy CEO. At 3 p.m., there were about 700 customers still without power, but full restoration was expected by 8 p.m., if no more rain fell.
The flash flooding and poor visibility forced VIA Metropolitan Transit to suspend service Saturday morning. As of 5 p.m., VIA will continue regular Saturday service pending severe weather conditions, said VIA spokeswoman Priscilla Ingle. VIA expects to operate regular Sunday bus service unless weather conditions change. Bus riders can expect some route detours and delays due to the flooding.
Castro said residents who have property damage should call 311, and they will be connected with the American Red Cross.
KSAT 12 meteorologist John Honore said the chances of rain were diminishing, although an isolated shower or storm was possible over the next 24 hours.