Little Walnut Creek Flood Response
On April 20, 2023, a line of severe thunderstorms rolled through Central Texas. The skies dropped several inches of rain in just a few hours as Little Walnut Creek in North Austin rose and then burst its banks, flooding into the nearby streets and homes. At least thirty homes suffered damage, and a few had standing water in them for days.
“Our house by itself had about two-and-a-half feet of water externally,” said homeowner Ryan Albright. “We got 2-to-3 inches on the inside in every single room. That’s the story all the way down [the neighborhood] you’re going to hear.”
In a nearby apartment complex, flood waters forced the front door of Keith and Cecelia Owens’s apartment open. They soon had seven inches of standing water in their home, soaking rugs and damaging furniture and appliances. As the flood receded, they spent hours sweeping out the water and beginning to clean up.
When ADRN heard about the flooded neighborhood, we assembled a team of volunteers trained in Critical Incident Stress Management Plus (CISM+) to go door-to-door and meet with homeowners. They connected with 13 families to provide emergency finances, ask about additional needs, offer long-term support, and pray with those who were willing. They left information on the doors of those who weren’t home at the time and invited them to contact us through our Disaster Survivor Hotline. In all, ADRN Volunteers distributed $3,900 in gift cards, and three families opted to connect with an ADRN Disaster Relief Shepherd for long-term emotional and spiritual support.
“Having someone like Austin Disaster Relief come out and show compassion and at least knock on doors is nice,” said Ryan. “I would say it’s the first real legitimate effort that our neighborhood has seen of someone actually coming out and trying to check and provide help where they can.”
Keith and Cecilia told ADRN that the flood waters destroyed their washer and dryer units, leaving them unable to clean their clothes. They didn’t have the finances to replace them right away, so they asked for help. As the Lord would have it, ADRN’s Hope Family Thrift Store recently received a donation of a washer and dryer, which will be delivered to the Owens this week. Shepherd Support staff and volunteers continue to meet with the couple to support them as they navigate their recovery.
“Thank you for all your assistance and most of all your deep felt caring,” Keith and Cecelia said to ADRN staff members. “Our meeting with you was difficult, but necessary and needed. You went far beyond what we expected, and you touched our hearts with your comfort and caring way. Thank you so much.”