Fayette County battles rising water and rain pounds small towns

The Colorado River rose more than 7 feet in less than 12 hours Saturday, Aug. 26, 2017, as water drained into it from all over central Texas. (KXAN/Chris Davis)
The Colorado River rose more than 7 feet in less than 12 hours Saturday, Aug. 26, 2017, as water drained into it from all over central Texas. (KXAN/Chris Davis)

LA GRANGE, Texas (KXAN) — Heavy rains have battered the small communities in Fayette County since Saturday morning, bring rising water closer to some homes and businesses.

Meanwhile, a lot of that rainfall — from all over central Texas — eventually makes its way into the Colorado River, which until Saturday had remained below five feet for weeks leading up to the arrival of Hurricane Harvey.

In less than 12 hours, the river rose more than 7 feet. According to the Lower Colorado River Authority, the river started out Saturday under 4.5 feet; at 5 p.m., it had risen to more than 11.5 feet.

Flood stage for this part of the Colorado is 26 feet, and the LCRA predicted the river will crest Monday at 40.2 feet.

If there’s good news, the town of La Grange itself sits back a ways from the river, and likely won’t be seriously threatened unless it rises more than predicted. People who live along the banks are keeping an eye on the rising waters, but many who live nearby are riding it out as long as they can.

“Last time it flooded I guess it only got four spaces away from my sister’s, so it’s just a wait-and-see kind of thing,” Samantha Noak said. She’s staying with her sister in an RV and mobile home park at the river’s edge, where many people are still hunkered down. “Honestly, I don’t think it’ll get bad enough for us to have to leave, but you never know.”

Meanwhile, a La Grange city employee did his best Saturday to keep storm drains clear of debris that had fallen since Friday. There was still so much rain that it started to back up on city roads.

Elsewhere in Fayette County, the little town of Winchester has been inundated; there’s standing water in several places and if it gets too much higher, it will start threatening homes, most of which are already on risers. An employee of the Winchester Depot said the last time it flooded, in 2016, water came to the door of the business and flooded other establishments.

Down south, in Schulenburg and Flatonia right off of Interstate 10, rushed over roads and trees fell on power and phone lines.

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