LA GRANGE, Texas (KXAN) — The damage already seen in La Grange is extensive, and it’s nothing compared to what some homeowners saw for the first time Thursday.
Mobile home parks near the Colorado River in the Fayette County town appear to be hit the hardest, with homes overturned, moved down the street or demolished entirely by the worst floodwaters La Grange has seen in more than 100 years.
“It’s a big, big mess,” Steve Solomon said.
Hundreds of homes are damaged in the area south of State Highway 71 Business and west of US 77. Some of the people there haven’t even had a chance to see how bad their properties are.
“We don’t even know what’s in there anymore,” Melinda Scott said, standing on the side of a barricaded road that leads into the park. Her grandmother lives there, but they haven’t been able to go in and assess the home yet. After her grandfather’s death a couple years ago, she said, “this trailer was everything to her, everything she had.”
She could see her grandmother’s trailer from the road, and it appears mostly intact, though it had been pushed askew from its normal placement. Trucks and trailers full of muddy possessions leaving the neighborhood were all she knew of what might be waiting for her family.
“I mean, these are people’s belonging that they’ve worked all their lives for,” she said, “and, you know, it’s gone.”
The city still had the roads into the area blocked; although Thursday was the first chance for the homeowners to check on their homes, police and fire officials let in only a few people at a time, section by section to see what they’d lost.
Anxious park residents waited at the Knights of Columbus hall — also dealing with major flooding that left feet of water inside and ripped up the asphalt in the parking lot — to hear their section number called so they could go back to their homes and collect what was left of their belongings.
“Not much left of my house,” Solomon said. He had just come from inside the park, where his mobile home had been submerged a few days earlier. “They don’t fare too well when they got water to the roof.”
He lost just about everything.
“Went down there, dug through some stuff, found stuff here, you know knick-knack here,” he said. “And pretty much that’s all.”
As volunteers continues to amass a literal warehouse full of donations and as property owners and volunteers continued cleaning up other parts of the city, Scott’s concern was still growing.
The city was unable to let everyone back into the park Thursday and said they’d start again Friday morning. Scott’s dad’s home is in the park, too, and she worried about her late mother’s remaining possessions.
“Just anything that I could have had left of my mom,” she said, “we don’t even know if it’s in there anymore.” Until they were able to go in and see for themselves, it was just a waiting game.
“It kinds of breaks your heart because we don’t know what the future holds for now.”