San Marcos raises flag to honor lives lost in 2015 floods

San Marcos raises flag to honor lives lost in 2015 Memorial Day floods (KXAN Photo/ Daniel Guerrero)

SAN MARCOS, Texas (KXAN) — The city of San Marcos raised a flag Tuesday morning to honor all of the heroes who lost their lives and the groups who continue to rebuild the community one year after the Memorial Day floods.

The ceremony is not only about remembering and reflecting on what happened, but to acknowledge the town’s resilience and the strength of the community coming together in a time of tragedy. Seventy homes in Hays County were destroyed by the floods last year. More than 1,000 people were displaced by the damage and a dozen people were killed.

“It crested at 8 o’clock in the morning, we were up at 4 and the neighbors were coming over by canoe to get to a higher porch and we waited for the rains to finish,” said Sara Lee Underwood-Myers.

Underwood-Myers attended the ceremony Tuesday, reflecting on the memories that are hard to forget.

“I have wildflowers in my front yard, none of them could be seen. It was that deep,” she said.

Shortly after the devastation, the San Marcos Stronger Together campaign took off. It is primarily a fundraiser to help with the cost of rebuilding for flood victims. Their heart shaped logo spread to Facebook pages, tee shirts, and hats.

“Flags are symbols and we have symbols of togetherness and that’s what our community is about,” said Kenneth Bell, San Marcos Emergency Management Coordinator.

Hays County Commissioner Will Conley says raising the flag is about saying thank you, but also recognizing there is still a lot of work to be done to make sure people stay safe.

“We’ve come a long way in improving that with our monitoring system on the Blanco River. Some modifications that we have made to our communications and other venues. But we still have a lot of work to do and still in our long term recovering effort,” said Conley.

You can buy a smaller version of the flag for $20 at the Tourist Information Center.

The Blanco River Regional Recovery Team was formed to help with long-term recovery following the flood. The group told KXAN there are still 700 homes that need to be repaired. Right now, they need monetary donations. You can donate here.

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