Residents along Colorado River in Fayette Co. advised to evacuate

Sandbags guard the front of a Subway restaurant in La Grange as Hurricane Harvey bore down on inland areas Friday, Aug. 25, 2017. (KXAN/Chris Davis)
Sandbags guard the front of a Subway restaurant in La Grange as Hurricane Harvey bore down on inland areas Friday, Aug. 25, 2017. (KXAN/Chris Davis)

LA GRANGE, Texas (KXAN) — A shelter opened at Second Baptist Church in La Grange Friday evening for people who live in Fayette County; it came as concerns rose over the potential for high water in the Colorado River and elsewhere.

Some who live near the river were advised to evacuate.

Scott Marshall said a county constable told him and his family they should leave their house on the banks on the river. Friday evening they were packing up a rented trailer with their belongings.

Marshall said his house will flood if the river reaches about 38 feet; firefighters and others emergency personnel are preparing for it to climb up close to — if not over — 40 feet.

His family isn’t leaving the area just yet, but they want to be ready to evacuate if the river rises too much in the coming days.

“The bulge that we will see will be delayed,” he said of the river swelling. The rain that’s falling in La Grange won’t be the problem; instead, if there’s too much rain upstream of them, the Colorado will feel it. “It’s not the hurricane, it’s the rain that falls, runs off into the river and then balloons down downstream.”

Meanwhile, firefighters prepared their equipment, including four boats, to respond anywhere in the county they’re needed. In the last year or so, the La Grange Fire Department has saved around 10 people from high water situations with just two of those boats.

They planned to be on hand full-time at the department starting at 7 a.m. Saturday.

The department will also be borrowing a massive, 9-ton high-water truck to get to people around town if there’s flooding. The truck’s owner, Matt Taylor, volunteered the use of the vehicle — and his driving expertise — to get firefighters where they need to go.

That’s part of the spirit of La Grange, fire chief Frank Menefee said. Also part of it is a lack of worry or panic as the storm continues to bear down on inland counties like Fayette.

“Everybody’s pretty comfortable with their community,” Menefee said. “They have a lot of faith in their community and they’re going to take it easy and let us take care of business.”

 

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