Flash Floods in Texas
Natural History - Texas History
8.5 x 11, 350 pp.
325 b&w photos., 1 line art., 25 maps., 40 tables.
Pub Date: 04/02/2008
River Books, Sponsored by The Meadows Center for Water and the Environment, Texas State University
Price:        $35.00


Published by Texas A&M University Press

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Flash Floods in Texas

By Jonathan Burnett

How many times have you heard the television or radio alert, “We are now under a flash flood watch”? While the destructive force of flash flooding is a regular occurrence in the state and has caused a tremendous amount of damage and heartache over the years, no one until now has recorded in a single book the history of flash floods in Texas.

After combing libraries and archives, grilling county historians, trekking to flood sites, and collecting scores of graphic photographs, Jonathan Burnett chose twenty-eight floods from around the state to create this narrative of a century of disastrous events. Beginning with the famous Austin dam break of 1900 and ending with the historic 2002 flooding in the Hill Country, Burnett chronicles the causes and courses of these catastrophic floods as well as their costs in material damage and human lives.

Dramatic photographs of each event enhance the harrowing accounts of danger spawned by nature on a rampage. Together, the stories and the pictures give readers a vivid and lasting image of the power and unpredictability of flash floods in Texas.

JONATHAN BURNETT is an engineer in the semiconductor field in Austin, Texas. His theoretical work related to hydrology and floodwater flows led him to a fascination with floods and a decade-long quest for information.

What Readers Are Saying:

“Impressive . . .Burnett . . .writes clearly and dramatically as he describes the damage done by flash floods in Texas.” --Houston Chronicle

“Well-researched and interesting read, tells a cautionary tale.” --Austin American- Statesman

“Impressive new book . . . writes clearly and dramatically as he describes the damage done by flash floods in Texas.” --Abilene Reporter News

"Burnett carried out extensive research over several  years and now shares all he has learned, smoothing out the complexity and recreating the immediacy of the past.  This exemplary piece of Texas history demonstrates how the water recedes a lot faster than the memories." -Southwestern American Literature

“He has used dramatic stories, eye witness accounts, and photos to tell the stories . . . . Flash Floods in Texas gives readers a vivid and lasting image of the power and unpredictability of flash floods . . . . the information in the book could save a life . . . . From reading the book one can appreciate the causes and courses of these catastrophic floods. The pictures alone are reason enough to have the book.” --Mexia Daily News

“Burnett’s work does add appreciably to our knowledge of high-water events and their impact on the people of Texas. Virtually all of the information about such movements is buried in summary reports written by bureaucrats for specific purposes, or in local newspapers whose readership is greatly restricted. Burnett neatly compiles so much of this information in a form that is readily accessible and digestible. Moreover, his documentation is superlative.”--George W. Bomar, State Meteorologist


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