iStockphoto/ThinkStock(SAN ANTONIO, Tex.) -- Record rainfall hitting the city of San Antonio, Texas, in the past 24 hours is causing widespread flooding, with at least one confirmed death.
The National Weather Service says the city airport recorded about 10 inches of rain in 12 hours, breaking several records.
“It set a new daily record, not only a daily record, monthly record but it's the second all time record for the city of San Antonio for rainfall in a 24 hour period of time,” Pat McDonald of the National Weather Service.
The rain has caused significant flooding in some areas, closing roadways and stranding motorists, and leaving thousands of homes without power. Five rivers are overflowing their banks as well.
ABC's Matt Rivers, reporting from San Antonio, says at least 40 homes have had to be evacuated. “It's just like the scenes you see during hurricanes with people being taken out of their homes on rafts with first responders guiding them to safety,” Rivers said.
Larry Trevino, the emergency manager for San Antonio, says there have been a significant number of high water rescues.
“We've performed probably 20 to 25 actual rescues out in high water intersections so we are urging people to please do not leave their homes,” Trevino said. “There's about 160 calls right now for high water related or water related rescues and incidents.”
One woman is confirmed to have died during the flooding. Few details have been revealed, but authorities believe her car became stuck, and the woman was swept away when she got out of her car.
Despite the tragedy, some are hoping that a little good can be salvaged from the flood. The heavy rain comes on the heels of a multi-year drought in the area.
“This will definitely help,” McDonald said. “Will it break the drought? No one can tell right now because the rain came in at a very fast rate.”
Stephen Brashear/Getty Images(MOUNT VERNON, Wash.) -- The trucker whose oversized load bumped the steel framework of a Washington State bridge just before it collapsed will be interviewed today by investigators from the National Transportation Safety Board, who are on the scene working to determine the cause of the collapse.
Three people were sent to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries after a portion of an Interstate 5 highway bridge in Mount Vernon, Wash., buckled Thursday, dumping two vehicles and a travel trailer into the icy water of the Skagit River, authorities said.
The semi truck was traveling in the right lane of the four-lane bridge when it is believed to have hit a girder just before the collapse, according to John Batiste, Chief of the Washington State Patrol.
The driver of the truck, identified as William Scott remained on the scene and has been cooperative, authorities said.
Investigators were also trying to determine today how to pull the steel pieces of the bridge from the river and preserve them for analysis of what caused the bridge to collapse.
More than 77,000 cars cross the bridge daily and Lynn Peterson, Washington State's Secretary of Transportation, said officials were waiting on an assessment of the scene before determining whether an emergency bridge could be put in place.
Washington Gov. Jay Inslee told reporters Friday that one in five bridges in Washington have a rating of "functional obsolescence," which he described as "troubling." Inslee acknowledged the bridge collapse is going to cause a headache for tens of thousands of drivers.
"This is the aorta, the arterial of commerce for western Washington and we will ask all Washingtonians to help us avoid traffic problems," he said.
I-5 is the longest interstate highway on the West Coast, running from the Mexican border all the way north to Canada.
The bridge, built in 1955, was not considered structurally deficient but was listed as "functionally obsolete" -- a category indicating an outdated design, such as having narrow shoulders and low clearance underneath, according to a database compiled by the Federal Highway Administration.
Federal records show it had a sufficiency rating of 57 out of 100, meaning it was in need of repairs. The bridge was inspected twice last year, most recently in November, and repairs were made, Peterson said.
Dan Sligh and his wife, Sally, were among the injured transported to Skagit Valley Hospital in Mount Vernon. Sligh told ABC News affiliate KOMO-TV in Seattle that he was treated for cuts, bruises and a separated shoulder.
Sligh was driving his truck with a travel trailer attached to it to begin a camping trip. Sligh said he was crossing the bridge behind the semi-truck when the accident occurred around 7 p.m. local time.
"I was commenting to my wife that it seemed that the load he was carrying was about 4 feet wider than the actual bridge," he said.
The vehicles plunged about 40 feet from the bridge into the river, which set off a massive rescue operation.
"It was just a white flash and cold water," Sligh said. "The Skagit is quite cold this time of year." Sligh said he acted quickly to rescue his wife, who was unresponsive after the collapse.
"Popped my shoulder back in so I could unbuckle everything so I could get over to her. Unbuckled her and pulled her into my side, which had less water," he said.
Helicopter footage from KOMO-TV showed several rescue boats in the river with several ambulances waiting on the shore.
"When you're sitting down in the water and there's all that mangled metal and bridge and you're looking around kind of pinching yourself and realizing you're lucky to be alive ... it's a pretty amazing day to tell you the truth," Sligh said.
Chris Knorr / Design Pics / Thinkstock(ST. LOUIS) -- A special needs Boy Scout Troop is set to retire over 2,000 American flags Saturday to benefit the Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery in St. Louis.
According to the United States flag code, when an American flag is worn, torn, faded or badly soiled, to the point where it needs to be replaced, it’s time to “retire” the old flag through a respectful ceremony. Troop leader Joe Vaughn says it's the largest flag retirement event ever.
“I have Googled it, I've Binged it,” Vaughn said. “2,000 flags have never been retired before.”
With each flag that is retired, the troop is asking for a dollar, and all the money collected goes to buy new flags for Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery.
“We decided since a lot of my boys are on [Social Security's Supplemental Security Income] and they've had state and federal help in the past that we wanted to pay it forward a little bit,” Vaughn explained.
There are many ways to respectfully retire a flag, all of which end by burning it, but the Boy Scouts have a special ceremony of their own.
The flag is cut into four pieces, and all four are then burned. The blue star-filled section is never to be cut, according to the Boy Scout’s website, as “it represents the union of the fifty states and one should never let the union be broken.”
While it is burning, scouts maintain a vigil over the fire, and recite a short eulogy for Old Glory.
Fuse(NEW YORK) -- Fire officials are warning folks to remember proper grill safety when lighting up the barbecue this Memorial Day Weekend.
David Cherrone, Fire Marshall for Clay Township, outside of South Bend, Ind., says a common mistake is grilling on wood decks and balconies.
“There's nothing against your grill sitting on your balcony. It's just that when you get ready to use it, it needs to be on the main level at least 15 feet away.” Cherrone said. “We'll get calls for either the grill is on fire [and then] people calling to say their deck is on fire.”
Cherrone says another rule cooks often forget is to check for leaky hoses. Leaking propane is a serious fire hazard.
“If [the grill] sits outside, replace it yearly. If you store it away then every other year is a good way to replace those to make sure again that the diaphragms stay fresh, that you have less chance of leakage,” he said.
Cherrone also says to avoid lighting the grill when the lid is shut, as rather than allowing the gas to vent it builds up and flashes back upon ignition.
iStockphoto(NEW YORK) -- New York City’s beaches officially open Saturday just months after being damaged by Superstorm Sandy. Another shoreline fixture, the New York Aquarium on Coney Island, is partially reopening, having been badly damaged by the storm.
The aquarium, which is a major money-maker for Coney Island, opened in 1957. The entire aquarium has been closed to the public since the October hurricane.
Part of the shore-front attraction remains closed for repairs, but a majority of the displays will be open to the public, according to Jon Forrest Dohlin, director of the New York Aquarium.
“All of our marine mammals will be on exhibit, our walruses, our sea lions, our harbor seals, our sea otters and our penguins will be out as well,” Dohlin said.
Dohlin told ABC News the storm killed so many fish the aquarium won't be able to fully re-open until 2016, as Sandy flooded tanks with water that was filled with debris, and backup power was knocked out to all exhibits
“We had some freshwater fish outside in outdoor ponds that were inundated with the salt water,” he said. “We lost those animals. That was quite a tragedy and there was a couple of large tanks that we could not get to quickly enough to stabilize.”
Still, the Aquarium is looking forward to re-opining, even if it’s only partial.
“We have a very important role in the economy of Coney Island and of Brooklyn writ large,” Dohlin explained. “We do about 58 million dollars of economic activity, we're a science education outreach juggernaut and we are a very important voice for marine conservation. So we decided it was important to get open in any way we could.”
Dolhlin says the animals are looking forward to the reopening as well.
“The animals, I think, have missed the day-to-day rhythm of having the public here,” he said.