Dripping Springs dries out after historic flooding

Parts of Dripping Springs are in recovery mode this week following a flash flood that rushed through the downtown sector late Friday night.

 All told, some areas of Dripping Springs received more than seven inches of rain over the course of a few hours Friday.

The majority of the flood damage was in specific locations, including at the Springs Apartments, located at 289 Springs Lane off of Highway 290, as well as at the Pioneer Bank and Homespun Kitchen and Bar on East Mercer Street. According to sources, some residents escaped the raging flood waters by swimming to safety.

Terry Garret and Courtney Jannasch were working at Homespun late Friday when flood water came rushing in. Employees estimate more than four feet of water entered the restaurant.

“You hear about flash floods in movies and on TV, but never did I think I would live through something like that,” Jannasch said. “The water came in within seven minutes up to our waist. We had to swim to get out of the building. There was a baby in the building … it was just scary.”

Garret said everyone in the building was evacuated in time, but the owner of Homespun had to grab onto her during the evacuation through the water.

“If it wasn’t for him, I probably would have been swept away,” Garret said.

After the floodwater receded, community members came together to help Homespun and other impacted businesses with cleanup.

It is unknown at this time the total amount of damages to Homespun and the building it’s located in. Employees, however, were thankful no one was hurt.

“We have a job to do and the goal is to get us open again soon,” Jannasch said.

Meanwhile, residents in the Springs Apartments also tried to recover following the flood event. One resident said about an inch of water made it inside of apartments on the lowest floor.

Springs Apartments resident Betty Masters said the water was flowing through the parking lot, moving cars up to three feet in some areas.

“If you got here this morning, you couldn’t tell it rained at all last night,” Masters said. “It was scary and the water was rushing so fast, but now it’s a beautiful day out.”

Downtown businesses in limbo on reopening
The Pizza Cave, a downtown restaurant and local favorite in Dripping Springs, had some of the worst flood damage during the event.

While damages haven’t been fully assessed yet, business owners said it could be up to a month before the pizza parlor opens its doors again.

Owner Joseph Cave said the flood quickly ripped through his business within minutes. Cave lived through the 2014 flood that also came through Dripping Springs. That event, however, didn’t compare to Friday’s flooding.

“I have never seen anything like this,” Cave said. “I’ve never seen water flow uphill and West in Texas. There was just so much velocity, the water was being pushed wherever it could go.” 

Multiple eyewitnesses the morning after the flood said Highway 290 acted as a channel for the water to flow through, causing an artificial canal that ripped through multiple businesses off the highway. 

Cave said the highway pushed water onto businesses off of Hwy. 290, causing water to flood into those establishments.

“The water moved our dumpsters 10 feet and ripped through our drywall,” Cave said. “It pushes into questions some future planning that needs to be addressed by the city and county. Just based on what I’ve seen, it’s clear our drainage was never intended to handle that type of event.”

Cave said the Dripping Springs community has come together to help area businesses impacted by the flood.

Cave wants residents to focus on people who may have lost their home or loved ones in the flood, not his restaurant. 

“We’re going to be fine. It will take some time, but we’ll be okay,” Cave said. “All I ask is for our community to find someone who has lost something in the flood and support them in any way you can. We lost drywall. We didn’t lose anybody, and that’s what counts.”

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