Body of missing Travis County deputy Jessica Hollis found in Lake Austin
After the 36 hours of search by 100 people with multiple local, state and federal public agencies, the body of Jessica Hollis was recovered in Lake Austin on Friday.
Jessica, 35-year-old deputy was a seven-year Travis County Sheriff's Office veteran. Her body was found swept away at a low water crossing early Thursday morning.
The Austin area received 5 to 7 inches of rain early Thursday. About 40 miles north of Austin, near Jarrell, a weather service observer measured almost 1½ inches of rain within 30 minutes.
Travis County sheriff's spokesman Roger Wade mentioned that Hollis was checking low-water crossings during storms. She communicated for help shortly before 2 a.m. to say that her patrol car was being washed away in an Austin-area subdivision.
Responders found the deputy's car submerged in water at 2:06 am. Investigators found some of the equipment that she carried during her shift. However, she could not be located. In hopes of finding the deputy, boats with divers, helicopters and dogs were used.
Travis County Sheriff Greg Hamilton mentioned that his department has been shaken up by her death. While she had been with his department for just seven years, she had "put a mark" on everyone she came into contact with. Hamilton said, "I'm pretty numb. "I've been pretty numb for the last two days."
The National Weather Service forecasts more heavy rain through Saturday over much of West Texas. Flash of flood watches were issued through Friday night. Rain fell Friday in Southeast Texas and elsewhere in the state, with high waters clogging roadways and impeding traffic in metro areas such as Austin and Houston.
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