Wettest September since ‘21

7-inch deluge overnight Saturday hits Rockdale

Restaurant employees Juan Lozano and Karina Sanchez inspect cooler that flood waters carried against railroad embankment. 
Reporter/Mike Brown Restaurant employees Juan Lozano and Karina Sanchez inspect cooler that flood waters carried against railroad embankment. Reporter/Mike Brown A torrential downpour that brief ly caused extensive street f looding overnight Saturday has put September, 2013, in the record books.

A total of 7.31 inches—most of it falling between 10 a.m. and midnight—was logged between Saturday morning and daybreak Sunday, in the U. S. Weather Service rain gauge at KRXT-FM.

The September total was 11.23 inches, making it the wettest September in at least a half century, probably the wettest since the legendary flood of 1921.

Saturday’s rain sent water curb deep into many low lying Rockdale streets and the intersections at US 79 ( West Cameron)— Childress, Meadow and Calhoun—had extensive flooding.

BUSINESSES—Worst flood- ing was at the Meadow-Cameron intersection.

Employees of El Corral Lozano restaurant reported to work just before daybreak Sunday to find a quickly receding flood that at one point had about four inches of water inside the building.

The water lifted an outside restaurant cooler off its moor- ings and floated the heavy appliance about 40 yards, lodging it against the Union Pacific railroad embankment.

The restaurant did not close. Employees cleaned up the water damage and El Corral Lozano served its customers on Sunday, as usual.

Across the street, the manager of Aaron’s placed sandbags around his appliance and furniture rental store in a successful attempt to battle the water rising from Meadow Drive.

No water was reported inside the Chicken Express-Cefco building next door to Corral Lozano but a trash dumpster floated from behind the building and “parked” itself in one of the marked off parking spaces.

Farm-Market Roads 908 and 487 were briefly closed in Rockdale during the deluge and a number of stranded motorist calls were received.

Some damages to pavement, especially the edges, and driveways were reported.

After midnight the water quickly receded and many Rockdale residents weren’t aware how much it had rained until they checked back-yard gauges upon arising Sunday.

HISTORIC—The 11.25 inches falling in September were the most in any month since 15.01 inches fell in July, 2007, and the third wettest month in the past decade.

On Sept. 8- 9, 1921, a dying hurricane dumped between 12 and 18 inches of rain on Rockdale, triggering floods that took 63 lives in Milam County.

It was the largest disaster, in terms of lost lives, in county history.

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