Hundreds of families still wait for help one year after floods

Blanco River (KXAN Photo)
Blanco River (KXAN Photo)

WIMBERLEY, Texas (KXAN) — The lives of Wimberley homeowners were forever changed when the Blanco River flooded last Memorial Day weekend.

“You know, your world comes crashing down fast, and it could change in a split second,” said Patricia Kelly. “That’s what happened to us.”

Kelly and her family moved to Wimberley less than two years ago. She says they’d been coming to the city for 25 years, and it was always her dream to own a house along the river.

But nothing could have prepared them for the flood.

“There’s always a constant reminder. You see a tree, you see somebody still rebuilding their house,” said Kelly.

She remembers the sounds from that night — rushing water, tree limbs snapping — and the calls for help from a woman.

“It was so fast and furious there was no way we could stop and help her. That has plagued me,” said Kelly, getting emotional. “It bothers me that I couldn’t do anything for that lady. It’s still hard to deal with that part of it.”

Kelly says she has a lot to be thankful for, and knows other families are still trying to move forward.

The Blanco River Regional Recovery Team (BR3T) was formed to aid in long-term recovery following the Memorial Weekend floods, and leaders say there’s a lot more work to be done.

“I’m going to say probably 200-300 homes that need some major repairs to them, or in some cases complete replacement,” said Richard Hildreth. “Probably the biggest challenge is money.”

Hildreth says 100 percent of donations to their organization go back to rebuilding the four counties they cover – Blanco, Caldwell, Hays and Guadalupe.

“Realistically we’re trying to raise about $25 to $30 million,” said Hildreth. “That will both meet the needs of immediate disasters right now and we’re still prone to have more disasters.”

They’ve already rebuilt dozens of homes, but say there’s still a long road ahead.

If you’d like to donate, visit the BR3T’s website. 

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