In the words of Austin's mysterious cultural narrator, Evil Mopac, Austin transformed from a "drought-pocked landscape" to an "Amazonian jungle" as the city saw its rainiest day in over three years Monday.
More than 3.7 inches of rain fell on the Texas capital, setting a rainfall record for August 22. Four days earlier, the city experienced its first measurable rainfall in 51 days, and more rain is on the near horizon thanks to an ongoing cold front.
Shoal Creek in downtown Austin at 5 p.m. Monday. pic.twitter.com/Q9bFQB7Sia
— Jay Janner (@jayjanner) August 22, 2022
Videos dotted social media during the storm as Shoal Creek swelled from a trickle to a 16-foot force.
The creek hit a major flood stage Monday, rising from six inches to a 16.37-foot crest, the fourth-highest of all time.
Shoal Creek hits major flood stage today.
at 16.37 feet...it's the 4th highest crest all time! pic.twitter.com/aFYTXLRBxa
— Scott Fisher (@ScottFisherFOX7) August 23, 2022
Flowing water soon reached Austin roadways, closing W. 9th Street and North Lamar Boulevard near the Shoal Creek Saloon.
As captured on social media, many drivers remained on the road during the flash flood. Reddit user u/ApeWarz said pickups and regular sedans continued driving through a section of Bee Cave Road that was covered in "at least" 18 inches of flowing water, stopping only to let a giant tree trunk float across the road.
"I turned around and Waze showed me a detour that added only five minutes," the user said. "I spent the last 18 or so hours wondering what goes on in people's heads."
@mwestgate2#ATX finally got the #rain we hoped for…all at once. Shoal Creek has class 5 rapids right now! #austin#weather#storm#waterworld#flashflood♬ I Love a Rainy Night - Eddie Rabbitt
No roads remain closed as of Tuesday, according to ATXFloods. But rain forecasts aren't over for the historically dry and hot month: rainfall could begin again as early as Tuesday afternoon. The National Weather Service predicts at least a 20% chance of rain through Monday in Austin, with overcast skies, scattered storms and cooler temperatures expected through the weekend.
As the next potential storm brews, Austinites have taken advantage of the rare summer cool off.
@travelinthoms Most rain Texas has seen in awhile and my husband is having himself a day #rvlife#texasrain#rvliving#atx#austin#texas#fulltimervliving#fifthwheel#travelcouple#rvcouple#youngcouple♬ Ring of Fire - Johnny Cash
Others took to skimboarding at Zilker Park.
Austin was previously experiencing the highest severity of drought, and the U.S. Drought Monitor will update Central Texas' drought levels Thursday.
In the meantime, 10th Street has returned to normal, while Shoal Creek continues to flow at less alarming levels as of Tuesday afternoon.
10th Street near Shoal Creek had dried under partly cloudy skies by Tuesday afternoon. (Austonia)
Shoal Creek remains flowing as of Tuesday afternoon. (Austonia)
And as if a cheerful omen of what's to come, Austin was treated to a double rainbow Monday evening to part the stormy skies.
With major entertainment events slated for October, the Austin-Bergstrom International Airport is gearing up for a busy month.
Artists and music lovers are set to pack into Zilker Park for The Austin City Limits Music Festival in the coming two weekends. Following that, Formula One will bring racing fans to the Circuit of the Americas.
For those two events, the airport is anticipating high passenger days with 30,000 or more people departing flights.
ABIA recommends arriving at least two and a half hours in advance for domestic flights on those days. For ACL, it's expected on both Sundays of the festival along with the Monday and Tuesday after. The F1-driven high passenger days are expected on Oct. 20-21 and Oct. 23-26.
\u201c#AustinCityLimits visitors, you\u2019re in for a weird and wild ride \ud83e\udd18\u262e\ufe0f \n\nFlying in or out of our airport? We got firm and fun tips for you: https://t.co/RawVRalOXN\u201d— Austin-Bergstrom International Airport (AUS) (@Austin-Bergstrom International Airport (AUS)) 1664894083
F1, especially, could draw in loads of travelers as the three-day event saw 400,000 attendees last year. ABIA warns that highways leading to the airport may see even higher traffic than usual around the event and that travelers should plan their route accordingly.
Bailey Grimmett, a spokesperson for ABIA, said travel numbers come in 24 hours in advance. So, it's hard to predict if the airport will see travel volumes at the same levels that have happened around previous F1 races or if it'll top ACL's flight traffic.
Still, she says historical knowledge points to a chance for it.
“We've had that Monday after F1 break the record for single busiest in airport history," Grimmett said. "So context clues I would say yes, but I can't confirm that. But the historical background points to that."
In anticipation of the high volume of flyers, the airport received additional TSA officers for security screening through the end of October. To prepare even further, the Department of Aviation and partners hosted a job showcase and hiring fair to address the continued labor shortage the airport has experienced.
Relief from hectic travel days is on the horizon with November likely to see a slowdown.
"I don't anticipate it will be as busy as October just because we don't have as many events going on," Grimmett said. "Thanksgiving is kind of our primary holiday that we see a lot of passengers coming in and out of the airport."
Elon Musk has proposed once again to buy Twitter for $54.20 a share.
The news that Musk is offering to carry on with the $44 billion buyout was first reported by Bloomberg. Now, a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission shows Musk made the proposal in a letter to the tech giant on Monday.
The New York Stock Exchange temporarily halted trading in Twitter stock twice Tuesday, first because of a big price move and the second time for a news event, presumably the announcement of Musk's renewed offer.
While the per share offer price on this latest proposal remains the same as the original offer, it’s unclear if Musk has made other term changes or if Twitter would reject it. According to other reports, a deal could be reached this week.
The stock closed at $52.00/share Tuesday, indicating market uncertainty around the $54.20 offer.
After Musk informed Twitter of plans to terminate the original agreement in July, Twitter sued. A trial has been expected in Delaware Chancery Court on Oct. 17.
With the proposition of a buyout on the table again, it revives the question of whether Musk might move Twitter from San Francisco to Central Texas.
He’s done so with some of his other companies. Tesla’s headquarters in southeast Travis County had its grand opening earlier this year and tunneling business The Boring Company moved to Pflugerville. At least two other Musk companies, SpaceX and Neuralink, have a Central Texas presence without being headquartered here.
Technology journalist Nilay Patel this afternoon voiced concerns that owning Twitter and Tesla together could be problematic for Musk, as his Tesla manufacturing facilities in Germany and China are both in countries that have disputes with Twitter over content moderation and censorship.
Telsa shares fell after the Twitter news became public, before rallying to close up, at $249.44.
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