A severe thunderstorm hit Austin Friday evening, bringing sheets of rain wind gusts of up to 67 miles per hour and isolated flooding at some low water crossings.
sheets of rainfall. much wind. hope our newly planted perennials survive. Got enough of digging out damaged plants after the February freeze.— Kay Bell (@taxtweet) May 28, 2021
The lovely little storm that game through last night. Most intense thunderstorm I’ve seen in a year or more. pic.twitter.com/dxTeJbiO8R— discount taylor (@fmtaylorr) May 29, 2021
Austin-Travis County EMS responded to five water rescues, Austin Energy reported around 30,000 customers lost power and the city's transportation department tweeted that dozens of traffic signals were impacted.
Multiple #ATCEMS, @TC_Fire_Rescue, @STAR_Flight_TC & @AustinFireInfo Rescue assets responding to reported Water Rescue at 8300-blk Linden Rd (00:47); Initial reports of a "submerged vehicle" with unconfirmed reports of a "victim screaming for help". More to Follow...
— ATCEMS (@ATCEMS) May 29, 2021
Austin Energy has restored power to most of those affected. As of 8:40 a.m., around 10,500 customers were still experiencing outages across the city.
District 10 Council Member Alison Alter tweeted that she spoke with COO Sidney Jackson Saturday morning. "They mobilized a fresh set of crews at 5 am and if the storm stays away they are optimistic for the rest of us," she wrote.
I just spoke with @austinenergy COO. They worked thru the night and restored 2/3rds of the outages. They mobilized a fresh set of crews at 5 am and if the storm stays away they are optimistic for the rest of us. They are down to areas with hundreds out rather than thousands.
— Council Member Alison Alter (@ALTERforATX) May 29, 2021
The Central Texas region has a history of Memorial Day storms, including a 2015 flooding event that saw up to 13 inches fall in southern Blanco County, devastating the city of Wimberley.
But this year's forecast is looking up. The severe thunderstorm warning is no longer in effect, and this morning's rain is expected to give way to sunny skies this afternoon, according to local weather reports.
Thankfully Central Texas will likely see less than 1" of rain for the rest of the holiday weekend, helping swollen creeks & streams recover. https://t.co/siEhAqamjf
— Chikage Windler WX (@ChikageWeather) May 29, 2021
The long weekend forecast is also brighter than last night's active weather would suggest, with forecasted temperatures in the mid-80s and the possibility of spotty showers in the afternoons.
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East Austin restaurant la Barbecue has been robbed a third time in less than three months, according to a post on the restaurant's Instagram.
In the post, the restaurant included photos of what appeared to be a man exiting a minivan from surveillance footage.
"This guy pulled up in a car full of stuff… he ripped our gate open and stole a couple empty kegs," the post said. "The ring system scared him off so he did not venture back into the area. PLEASE EVERYONE ON THE EAST SIDE BE CAREFUL!!! This guy goes back into his car to grab something before he goes in. I am hoping he won’t be back!!"
The robbery comes as many restaurant and food truck owners have been on guard from recent break-ins. East Austin cheesesteak truck R&B's Steak and Fries has also been robbed three times in around three months, according to owner Kris Elliott. Elliot said the truck was last robbed around a month and a half ago.
"When the weather gets cold, it seems like these things start to happen more often," Elliott said. "We're just happy no one got hurt."
Additionally, he said all 5 of the food trucks in their lot have experienced burglaries. The landlord of the space is taking action by investing in alarm and camera systems. "Been very tough dealing with this problem as us small business owners are just trying to survive during the pandemic," Elliott said.
And it's not just in East Austin. North Austin restaurants Eldorado Cafe and Chez Zee Bistro were both broken into and robbed on the weekend of Jan. 8, while over a dozen food truck robberies and break-ins were reported in the latter half of 2021.
Some, like Chez Zee's Deborah Velasco, wonder if the understaffed Austin Police Department's decision to no longer respond to non-emergency calls is part of the problem. Xose Velasco, owner of East Austin's Discada, said owners are keeping their guard up in the wake of the robberies as he was robbed twice within a month of reopening in November 2021.
"We try to keep the lights on," Velasco said. "We're a little bit more careful."
After 12 months, the long-anticipated massive Tesla factory in Southeast Travis County is up and operating and everyone wants a look inside.
Phase 1 of Giga Texas appears to be tied up as production of the Model Y Tesla is underway, the electric car company revealed on Wednesday in its fourth-quarter earnings call. The factory, located on the former Harold Green-turned Tesla Road, sits on more than 2,000 acres of land in southeast Travis County.
Here's a glimpse inside the factory.
Model Ys will be the first Teslas to come out of Giga Texas with an estimated delivery of August. The wait estimate comes after Tesla noted supply chain issues have affected their factories, which have been running below capacity for several quarters. A deep blue metallic like this goes for $1,000 more than a white or silver Model Y, totaling $61,990.
Model Ys began being produced at Giga Texas at the end of 2020. In general assembly at the factory, the Teslas get their major interior components to finish the vehicle.
Workers at Austin's Gigafactory are attaching seats to a structural battery pack. It's been described by some as the biggest difference between Texas-made Model Y's and the current version at the Fremont, California factory. It shouldn't have a major impact on the owner's experience, but Tesla has updated instructions for the jacking procedure, as the lift points are different.
With a sleek, open office setup, workers can take in a view of the factory from their seats. It's a component CEO Elon Musk wanted for what is now the headquarters of Tesla.
On the Austin, Texas public location Snapchat, a photo of inside Giga Texas has appeared. On the left you can see a sneak peek of a Model Y body.pic.twitter.com/N7zliZ5vkL— Sawyer Merritt (@Sawyer Merritt) 1643081462
With Snapchat's maps, anyone can look at everyday activity happening at the factory. To view these geographically-linked stories, click the bottom left "map" icon and search "Tesla Giga Texas." Once you've found it, you can view the Snapchat story of those in and around the facility. While most stories stay up for only 24 hours, Giga Texas is a designated place on Snapchat, allowing users to view a collection of photos and videos from the inside.
Following Model Ys, Texas-made Teslas will include the Cybertruck, Semi and Model 3. But it might be a while before those other models arrive. EV makers have been hit hard by the chip shortage, and it's thought that changing features are contributing to Cybertruck delays as Tesla works to compete in the electric pickup market.
Joe Rogan paid a visit to buddy Elon Musk this week. The two have been seen around town since both moving to Texas. Naturally, Rogan was impressed with the prototype.
If you're dying to get a closer look at this factory, you just might get to. In December, Musk said the factory would have tours available to the community early this year.
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