One of Travis County’s largest floods occurred in 1935. On June 15, 1935, Travis County and surrounding areas were hit with 22 inches of rain in the span of three hours. The heavy rains flooded large parts of Austin, and the Colorado River crested at 50 feet. Without an effective flood-management system on the Colorado, the Congress Avenue Bridge and much of the Austin downtown area was left underwater. The flood caused 13 deaths, and between 2500 and 3000 Austin residents lost their homes. By the time the flooding had receded, much of Austin had been left in ruins.

Travis County Archives staff recently uncovered photos of the 1935 flood aftermath among early District Attorney records. Case no. 56,550, M.H. Crockett v. A.C. Knippa, et al., concerned a dispute over a South Congress Avenue building that was destroyed in the flood.


This photo, looking north with the original towers of the Texas School for the Deaf in the background, shows the destruction caused by the flood on South Congress Avenue.


This photo shows the damage to South Congress Avenue and a Gulf Oil gas station.


The day after the flood, many Austin residents came to survey the damage caused by the flooding of the Colorado River. This photo looks northward on South Congress Avenue with the Capitol building in the background.


Austin residents and State Troopers survey the damage to South Congress Avenue after the flood.

3 thoughts on "Photos of the June 1935 Flood in Travis County"

  1. If St Edwards is on the right, then you are looking north.

    1. Hagan says:

      Thanks for the comment! I think this photo is looking northward but St. Edward’s is not in the background but the original towers of the School for the Deaf.

  2. Cece says:

    I have 3 photo postcards that I acquired from a storage unit auction…. super interesting.

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