LA GRANGE, Texas (KXAN) — Mandatory evacuations have been called for parts of La Grange as well as parts of Fayette County along the Colorado River.
The evacuation in La Grange is for everyone from Water Street to the Colorado River — which is hundreds of addresses. It also includes some homes on the other side of the river off of Country Club Drive, but county officials could not say how many people it affected.
At Noon Sunday, Fayette County Judge Judge Ed Janecka issued a mandatory evacuation of areas along the Colorado River outside the incorporated area of La Grange:
The river is predicted to crest at record levels by early Monday morning. This is a life threatening event, and individuals in the path of the flood and are in imminent danger. Residents are being asked to gather their belongings such as medicines and important papers and to leave no later than 3:00 pm today, Sunday, August 27. It is not expected that emergency responders will be able to respond to locations along the river after that time. Local evacuees are being directed to the shelter at Second Baptist Church located at 1010 N Von Minden, La Grange, and are advised to be prepared to be away from their homes for 72 hours. Contact La Grange City Hall with questions at 979-968-5805.
In a Facebook video with KTIM Radio, Fayette County OEM spokesperson Colton Brugger said the county is concerned about the new projections and the devastating effects it’ll have on homes in the area. According to the National Weather Service, which revised its estimate again Sunday evening, the Colorado River is expected to crest at 49.9 feet around 5 a.m. Monday; it topped 40 feet, the previous predicted crest, by Sunday afternoon.
“Right now I’m just packing up everything I can pack up and save and get out of here,” Matt Taylor said. He lives in a mobile home park in the middle of the evacuation zone. The order is not something he’s seen before. “Not really thinking about it at this point,” he said, “just moving.”
La Grange police went door to door Sunday morning to hundreds of addresses close to the river to tell people they should get to higher ground. They passed out fliers and small sections of yellow tape.
“If you do decide to leave,” an officer told one family in the mobile home park, “tie this around your door handle. That way we know you left and we can try to keep an eye on your property.”
At 45 feet, the lowest homes in the Frisch Auf Subdivision would be underwater. Numerous mobile homes would also be flooded. The river would also threatens homes and businesses in La Grange.
“It’s going to be more significantly more water than we’ve ever seen in the past in any major flooding event in the last 10-20 years,” said Brugger. “We’re trying to prepare to make sure that we have enough space for folks who undoubtedly would have to evacuate and get to higher ground and get to safety later this morning.”
“That means there’s water going to be waist deep out here where we’re standing now,” Taylor said, surrounded by his home and many others.
But he’s not concerned with just his house: Taylor has volunteered his 9-ton high water truck to the fire department. He planned to get his family out, come back to help others who might be stuck on the wrong side of rising floodwaters.
“All we can do is just hope for the best and say a few prayers,” he said, “and hopefully we’ll come back and the water doesn’t get up above the floor.”
On Friday, before Harvey made landfall, some residents who live along the Colorado River were already getting their belongings ready in case they needed to leave due to high water.
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.