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6th-12thThe Mid-Atlantic experienced heavy rain associated with a stalled coastal storm that included remnant moisture and energy associated with former Tropical Storm Karin Meanwhile, another slow moving storm produced wind, snow, and rain across a broad area of the West. Late in the week, heavy precipitation returned to portions of the nation’s mid-section. Precipitation was especially heavy in the western Dakotas. Heavy showers associated with a cold front moved through the East on October 6-7. Daily record totals for October 6 included 3.13 inches in Greenville, MS; 2.23 inches in Columbus, OH; and 2.18 inches in Lexington, KY. The following day, record setting totals for October 7 reached 1.94 inches in Columbia, SC, and 1.88 inches in Blacksburg, VA. By mid-week, a nearly stalled storm brought torrential rain to eastern North Carolina, where daily record totals for October 9 included 6.30 inches at Cape Hatteras and 3.33 inches at Elizabeth City. Later, Harrisburg, PA, netted consecutive daily-record totals on October 10-11, totaling 9.74 inches. In fact, Harrisburg’s month-to-date rainfall climbed to 10.48 inches by week’s end, surpassing its October 1976 standard of 9.87 inches. Virginia’s Dulles Airport also received daily-record totals on consecutive days, with 5.60 inches falling on October 10-11. Meanwhile, showers and gusty winds swept across the western and central U.S. Snow accumulated across portions of the Rockies and Intermountain West, with October 10-11 totals reaching 4.5 inches in Crested Butte, CO, and 0.6 inch in Flagstaff, AZ.

Heavy rain accompanied high winds across portions of the Plains, including North Dakota, where record-setting totals for October 11 reached 2.39 inches in Dickinson and 1.74 inches in Williston.


13th-19thHeavy rain fell across portions of the nation’s mid-section and boosting soil moisture. On October 14-15, rain and wet snow hampered fell in the Dakotas. Weekly rainfall totaled 2 inches or more in a broad area centered on eastern South Dakota and from central Texas into western Arkansas. In contrast, rain largely bypassed the southern Plains, which have trended dry in recent weeks. Meanwhile, most of the Midwest received only light rain, except for higher amounts of locally 2 inches or more fell in the upper Midwest. Rain subsided early in the week in the Mid-Atlantic States, but the month-to-date total (through October 19) climbed to 10.99 inches in Harrisburg, PA. Farther west, another round of heavy precipitation arrived across the nation’s mid-section. The bulk of the rain fell on October 14, when daily record totals were reported in locations such as Mitchell, SD 2.93 inches; Norfolk, NE 2.34 inches; and Sioux City, IA 2.31 inches. Sioux City also experienced its fourth-wettest October day on record. Similarly, Huron, SD, reported its second wettest October day 2.94 inches on the 14th, behind only a 2.95-inch total on October 10, 1961. Bismarck, ND, received 1.34 inches of rain from October 13-15, raising its month to date precipitation total to 4.57 inches. Before this year, Bismarck’s highest October total had been 4.30 inches in 1982. On October 14-15, East Rapid City, SD endured its third significant storm of the month, with 1.17 inches of precipitation, 1.1 inches of snow, and a peak wind gust to 48 mph. Earlier, East Rapid City had weathered a blizzard from October 3-5—with 3.14 inches of precipitation, 23.1 inches of snow, and a peak gust to 68 mph followed by a wind-driven rain on October 10-11 0.96 inch of precipitation and a peak gust to 67 mph. Farther south, selected daily record rainfall totals in Texas included 2.17 inches on October 13 in Laredo and 2.63 inches on October 15 in Waco. On the 15th, heavy rain reached as far east as Arkansas, where Mt. Ida collected a daily record sum of 2.86 inches. The second half of the week featured more tranquil weather, although snow accumulated across portions of the Rockies, Intermountain West, and central High Plains. Cheyenne, WY, received a record setting total of 5.0 inches for October 17, followed the next day by a daily record snowfall 2.7 inches in Dodge City, KS. With a trace of snow and sleet on October 18, Wichita, KS, reported its first frozen precipitation in October since 1997.


27th-31stA stationary front brought showers and thunderstorms to the central U.S. on Wednesday. To the east, a stationary front stretched from Wyoming to New Mexico, while a warm front extended from Oklahoma to the Mid-Atlantic. Flood warnings were issued throughout the central U.S. due to strong thunderstorms along the warm front. Okmulgee, OK, reported a midday total of 2.80 inches of rain, while Shawnee, Okla., reported a midday total of 2.30 inches of rain. Gusty winds also accompanied these thunderstorms, as Omaha, NE, recorded wind speeds of 40 mph. Meanwhile in northern Missouri, severe thunderstorms watches were issued due to interactions between this warm front and the stationary front coming from the west.

One man was killed as heavy rains across Central Texas swelled rivers and creeks and triggered flash flooding Thursday, prompting dozens of rescues across a region that's been dealing with a long, punishing drought.

About 10 miles south of Austin, one frightening rescue involved a couple whose SUV was swept away by floodwaters. They were forced to cling to trees for hours until a helicopter rescued them on Halloween morning.

In all, the National Weather Service said, more than a foot of rain fell across Texas' midsection, including up to 14 inches in Wimberley, southwest of the state capital. The storm system stretched across much of the nation, from the Great Lakes to the Gulf Coast, and carried heavy rain and strong winds. In South Texas, Houston motorists were slowed during morning rush hour because of downpours and sporadic flooding.

The Austin American-Statesman and KVUE-TV reported that the Caldwell County Sheriff's office said a man died Thursday after driving on a low-lying portion of road overtaken by flooding. The victim, who has yet to be identified, was swept out of his vehicle in Dale, south of Austin.

Rachceda and Tyrone King were at work when they got a call saying their home was underwater, CBS News correspondent Manuel Bojorquez reported. They were concerned about their children, who were there with relatives.

"That's my baby, that's my children," said Rachceda, "I didn't know what to think. I just started praying and crying. I said, 'Father, keep them safe.'" Relatives took the children, Victoria and Emmanuel, to the roof where they spent four hours waiting for the water to recede.

"My daughter almost fell off the roof," said Rachceda. "Her cousin -- that's 11-years-old -- he snatched her so that she wouldn't' fall off the roof." Rescue teams helped dozens of residents escape rising flood waters in Central Texas overnight, Thursday, Oct. 31, 2013. Emergency crews in and around Austin responded to more than 100 rescue calls, often with boats and life rafts, but few were more harrowing than one in the town of Buda. Around 4 a.m., rescuers near Little Bear Creek spotted a man and his girlfriend in trees about 200 yards from the roadway. Fire Capt. Craig Odell said rescuers encouraged the pair to "hang on" until the helicopter arrived. The man and woman, whose names were not released, estimated they were in the water about four hours before they were hoisted to safety, Odell said. "They're definitely very lucky," Odell said. Both victims suffered lacerations and were treated for hypothermia; the man broke his nose. By Thursday afternoon, the skies had cleared in much of the state and a warm sun was shining, meaning most youngsters didn't have to rethink trick-or-treating. Their parents might, however.

The Texas Department of Public Safety warned those out for Halloween fun "to be prepared for continued rising water and flooding." First Independent Baptist Church in south Austin had hoped to attract 2,500 students Thursday night to a fall festival featuring booths and music on the church grounds. "I think people will be here tonight, working," pastor Daniel Trinidad said of his church, where head-high floodwaters washed away an outdoor baptismal deck and reduced the vestibule to a soggy mess of water-logged pews and mud. Community members were sweeping water out of the building and trying to dry framed artwork and church documents. "They want to help out, not do Halloween," Trinidad said.

Elsewhere, Austin's Onion Creek overflowed, trapping Sabrina Loyless' neighbors atop their car. Loyless was awakened around 5 a.m. by their screams for help, and the 30-year-old tried to wade across the street - but ended up clinging to tree branches. "When I got about halfway across the road, I realized how bad an idea it was," said Loyless, who hours after her rescue was wrapped in a firefighters' blanket and waiting for the water to recede so she could get back into her home. Mike Brown, 54, was still barefoot as he waited for permission to return to his trailer, which he thinks will be a total loss. The auto-salvage yard employee said he awoke to water all around him - even seeping into his bed. "My possessions were floating around," he said. "I opened my door and swam out." The Red Cross deployed two relief trucks from Fort Worth to Austin to aid flood victims with clean up. On a front lawn near Brown, landscaper Lee Dufrene was keeping watch over three small horses from a local ranch. He and others led another 15 larger horses to high ground, but when floodwaters crested, the animals were gone. "I woke up at three-thirty to the sound of horses plunging through the water," said Dufrene, who choked back tears when he talked of his missing 1-year-old horse, Sunny. The horses might have run away and then been rescued by emergency crews, but he didn't know. "I've still got hope," Dufrene said.


Jim G. Munley, jr.

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