A second death has been confirmed in the wake of the overnight storms which caused historic flooding across parts of Central Texas.
At a Thursday afternoon press conference, Austin Police Chief Art Acevedo said the body of a man in his 50s or 60s was found among debris in the hard-hit Onion Creek neighborhood. Acevedo said no one in the neighborhood recognized the man, leading police to believe he was swept into the area.
The police chief said his department will continue to work with the Travis County Medical Examiner to identify the man and notify his next of kin.
Another death was reported earlier in the day by emergency workers in Caldwell County.
Austin City Manager Marc Ott said that at 4 p.m., about 3,900 Austin Energy customers were still without power. Utility crews will work around the clock to restore electricity across the city. They hoped to have all the lights back on by midnight.
Acevedo told residents that even though his officers are working long hours, they will remain vigilant and will heavily patrol areas affected by the storm. He asked Austinites to call 911 if they saw anyone suspicious in those largely abandoned neighborhoods.
Acevedo said the Austin Police Department will keep its mobile command unit open in the Onion Creek neighborhood of Southeast Austin throughout the night.
First responders evacuated more than 1,100 homes. Fire Chief Rhoda Mae Kerr said structural engineers later deemed 15 Austin homes unsafe.
Ernesto Rodriguez, chief of Austin/Travis County EMS, offered advice for those returning to flood-damaged homes Thursday night:
• Check for any medications which you need and make sure that they weren’t damaged in the storm and that you have enough.
• Make sure you have clean tap water. Municipal drinking water has been deemed safe to drink, but let your faucets run for a few minutes before drinking.
• If you rely on a medical device, make sure you have enough power to run it.
• Flood water could have moved things around in your home. Be careful and be aware of your surroundings to prevent any falls.
• Make sure you have a dry bed to sleep on.
They've opened two emergency shelters for anyone needing a place to stay. One is located at the Parker Lane United Methodist Church (2105 Parker Lane); a second is at the Dove Springs Recreational Center (5801 Ainez Dr).
Several city leaders urged residents to take advantage of the shelters if they did not have the basic necessities at home.