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Austinites react to Shoal Creek flood, three-inch Monday downpour

Shoal Creek slowed but remained flowing Tuesday after a Monday storm brought over three inches of rain. (Austonia)

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.

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.

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.

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.


‘Like speed dating of cats’ at Purr-fecto Cat Lounge
Purr-fecto Cat Lounge

Lina Martinez with her newly adopted cat, Emmanuel, who she renamed Sullivan.

Timmy and Tommy are ready to play.

As the 2-month-old white-and-tabby brothers swat feather wands, chase toys and generally hold court inside Purr-fecto Cat Lounge, a half-dozen potential adoptive parents look on lovingly, trying to get their attention.

“This is kind of like the speed dating of cats,” said Lupita Foster, owner of Purr-fecto Cat Lounge. “I intentionally didn’t put in any tables. That’s why we call it a lounge instead of a cat café because we have these lounge areas where you can sit and relax and cuddle.”

Foster, who has owned a cleaning company, Enviromaids, for 18 years, was inspired to open Purr-fecto Cat Lounge after adopting her own cat, Romeo, from a local shelter.

“When you want to adopt a cat, you have to spend a lot of time with them to get their personality,” Foster said. “I wanted to do something to help the community and something that makes me feel good, that warms my heart. A business with a purpose. This was a perfect idea.”

Actually, a purr-fect idea.

Inspired in part by a cat lounge she visited in Los Angeles, Foster began laying the groundwork for the business in late 2021 and officially opened the doors of Purr-fecto Cat Lounge, located at 2300 S. Lamar Blvd., in July 2022. Since then, she’s worked with rescue organizations such as Fuzzy Texan Animal Rescue and Sunshine Fund Cat Rescue to facilitate nearly 100 cat adoptions.

At any given time, there are 10-15 cats living in the space, which features an ideal blend of calm, cool corners and adorably Instagrammable backdrops with phrases such as “I want to spend all my 9 lives with you.”

Lina Martinez, 32, learned about Purr-fecto Cat Lounge from a friend’s Instagram post and made an appointment to visit two days later.

“My first impression was, ‘AWW!’” Martinez said. “The kittens were to die for. I felt happy and at peace – just what I needed.”

Visitors to the cat lounge pay $15 for a 30-minute CATXperience session or $30 for a 70-minute session that is spent getting to know the personalities of each cat. Foster said the first thing she typically sees from visitors to the lounge is a smile.

“Everybody that enters the door is smiling,” she said. “And we’ve seen people who have cried because they can’t have kids and they decide to go and adopt a cat instead.”

Foster said she loves bringing in cats who might not have a chance to be adopted at traditional shelters. She told the story of one cat named Izzy, who was partially blind, who was adopted by a family that had a deaf cat at home.

“Izzy was not going to get adopted anywhere else, but she’s extremely beautiful,” she said. “If she was in a cage in a rescue and you tell people she’s blind, she was probably going to be overlooked. But visiting our space, she doesn’t seem like she’s blind. She knows her way around. She moves around perfectly.”

Although Martinez, who had been casually looking for a pet to adopt since moving to Austin nearly four years ago, was interested in a cat named Ruby that she had seen on Purr-fecto’s social media, at the lounge she instead found herself drawn to 5-month-old mixed breed Tuxedo cat.

“I thought he was a star,” she said. “He worked the room and introduced himself to everyone. When I laid down to pet Ruby, he ran from the other side of the room and cuddled with me. It was game over. He got me.”

And she, of course, got him, complete with a commemorative photo that read “My Furrever Family” the day she took him home. Although his original name was Emmanuel, she renamed him Sullivan after her favorite DJ.

“Purr-fecto is special because of the amount of effort and love they put into taking care of the cats,” Martinez said, “and finding them good homes and making possible adopters feel at home.”

Foster, who spent a recent Thursday hosting a group of teenagers in foster care at the lounge, several of whom expressed interest in working there, said the best part about her new endeavor is that her heart is always full.

“I just feel complete,” she said. “I always felt as an entrepreneur that I was missing something. I knew I accomplished a lot, but in my heart I was missing a little connection with the community. Now I’m creating connections between humans and pets and that’s amazing. I’m creating family bonds. It’s just about love, you know. And we need that.”

Austin's 7 Best Indian Restaurants

We all have those cravings for an amazing butter chicken or some authentic dosas with coconut chutney, but when I was thinking about where I wanted to go to satisfy my taste buds I realized that my list of great Indian food around Austin was surprisingly short. After doing some research and asking around, here is your list of the best Indian restaurants around town.

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