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Stormy skies leave dangerous trails

28 May 2020

Following a slew of thunderstorms with tornados that roared through the San Antonio area since 24 May dumping 2-3 inches in the north-central sector of the city, it brought us dangerous conditions on the greenway trails. Creeks including Salado and Leon can swell to life-threatening flood levels. Depending on the flow rate, a half-foot of floodwaters can send a pickup truck down the creek.

Flood waters from Salado Creek cover the greenway trail under a railroad trestle
Flood waters from Salado Creek cover the greenway trail under a railroad trestle

Salado Creek has the reputation of becoming like a river during stormy times. Sections of the trail are expected to remain dangerous after the water subsides. There will be a lot of dirt, loose mud, branches, and other debris left behind.

Segment of flooded trail between Voecker Trailhead and Huebner Segment of flooded trail between Voecker Trailhead and Huebner—Photo: SRR

Mud left behind by flooding waters can be extremely dangerous. Cyclists have been known to take chances. In cases where a front wheel just slides right out from under the cyclist, the cyclist is lucky if he or she can hop off, "land" like an airplane, and put on the "brakes", provided that the mishap did not occur at a speed that was too fast to run it. Most cyclists just auger down—crash. Most figured that it's a part of the sport—broken bones for the orthopedic clinics.

There are hot spots that we noticed on Salado Creek Greenway as a result of stormy skies:

Leaves and dirt from a floodline Leave and dirt make up a floodline—Photo: SRR

Rainfall data is available at NOAA Rainfall Map.

For real-time radar, see NOAA Radar.

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