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Evacuations as Historic Floodwaters Devastate the Hill Country

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Floodwaters are once again ravaging the Texas Hill Country. In some areas, water levels are rising to historic levels, and the potential for danger is high. As of Tuesday morning, heavy rains have resulted in the washing away of bridges, numerous road closures, and evacuations.

Unusually cold air and still lingering tropical moisture came together and caused the heavy rains. Parts of Texas received what amounted to a whole month’s worth of rainfall in mere hours. The results were devastating in some cases.

Video: Facebook/CBS Austin

Evacuations were ordered for those living near the Llano River, according to the Llano County Office of Emergency Managment. They went on to note early Tuesday: “The Llano River has hit major historic flood stage. It is currently at 40′ and has almost topped the bridge in Llano. Anyone living within 1/4 mile of the river should evacuate immediately to higher ground… Shelters are being set up at 1st Baptist church and Inmans Kitchen in city of Llano and the Kingsland community center.”

In Kingsland, the rushing floodwaters collapsed a portion of the FM 2900 bridge. It’s likely that boats which had washed away and were ramming against the bridge might have damaged it and contributed to the eventual collapse. Large chunks of the bridge were swept down the roaring, engorged Llano River, which reached a new historic depth.

Evacuations as Historic Floodwaters Devastate the Hill Country

Photo: Facebook/Llano River Watershed Alliance via Dana Wright.  Image of the Llano River at Llano, Texas.

Dangerous flooding led to water rescues Tuesday morning in Segovia, and a flash flood emergency was issued for that area.

The Johnson Fork Creek in Kimble County overflowed onto Interstate 1o.

Numerous lakes have been closed to the public due to safety concerns. The Lower Colorado River Authority shut down the following lakes: Travis, Marble Falls, LBJ, Inks, and Buchanan. The Burnet County Sheriff’s Office received a report of a large, runaway barge being carried down Lake LBJ toward the Marble Falls dam. The sheriff’s office urged citizens to take precautions against possible damage to the dam.

In Kingsland, the Llano River rose an astonishing 16 feet in the hours between 12:00 a.m. and 6:00 a.m. Tuesday. Roads and residences suffered major damage from the flooding. The Llano has exceeded its highest recorded depths since the mid-1930s.

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Guadalupe River at downtown dam #texasflood

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Hill Country Scanner reported at 10:00 a.m. Tuesday that, “All cell towers are down.” Loss of cell service increased the danger for many Hill Country residents.

Shelters have been opened for evacuees: Llano High School in Llano, Texas; John Kuykendall Arena & Events Center at 2200 W Ranch Road 152; Lutie Watkins Memorial United Methodist Church at 800 Wright St.; and Kingsland Community Center at 3451 Rose Hill Dr. In addition, Holy Trinity parish hall announced that they are “open with coffee and snacks for anyone needing a break from the water. We don’t have beds, but will do what we can for the day. On Bessemer just south of SH 29 light.”

If you think you might be in danger from flooding, don’t hesitate to evacuate as soon as possible. Use caution and avoid driving through flooded areas. You can check for road closures and flooding updates at this link.