This week marks 18th anniversary of deadly 1998 flood

31 killed, portions of South Texas picked up nearly 2 feet of rain

By Chris Shadrock - Web - News Producer

SAN ANTONIO - It is a somber day in South Texas Tuesday, the 18th anniversary of the deadly October 1998 floods.

On the morning of Oct. 17 that year storms began forming across South Texas. By 5 a.m. a large convective area formed over northern Bexar County and expanded north to Austin.

By 10:30 a.m., the National Weather Service was calling the flooding a “very dangerous and life-threatening” situation.

That weekend tropical moisture from hurricanes Madeline and Lester in the Pacific, a strong upper level disturbance with the addition of a passing cold front converged over the area causing catastrophic flooding.

Thirty-one people were killed and damages were estimated at nearly $750 million.

According to the NWS in Austin/San Antonio, the five-day rainfall for New Braunfels topped out at 23.25 inches. San Antonio picked up 15.66 inches and Canyon Dam tallied 21.69 inches.

Record crests were recorded on the Guadalupe River in Victoria, Cuero, Gonzales and Seguin. Those records still stand today.

The NWS said a similar flood has less than a one percent chance of happening again in any given year.

Another flood in July 2002 sparked Bexar County leaders to begin a $250 million flood infrastructure improvement.    

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