Rain leads to flooding in East Texas

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by CYNTHIA VEGA and SHON GABLES

WFAA

Posted on June 10, 2010 at 11:42 AM

Updated Thursday, Jun 10 at 6:08 PM

MABANK — Heavy rain and flooding have led to road closures in some East Texas cities.

Street flooding was reported Thursday in Mabank, about 50 miles southeast of Dallas, where 10 inches of rainfall was measured.

Mabank police Chief Kyle McAfee said that at least four houses flooded and one resident had to be evacuated. McAfee says several streets were closed and that "any road that travels over a creek is flooded."

McAfee says no injuries were reported, but a boil alert has been issued for Mabank residents who live east of Cedar Creek Lake Bridge on Highway 334 to Highway 175.

County Road 2448, outside Tool, was closed due to flooding.

Marty Gross, owner of Mabank's laundromat, is dealing with a total loss. What happened to his washers?

"They were floating around in the river," he said, adding: "It could always be worse."

Highway 81 in Hillsboro was also flooded. By midday, the waters had started to recede but the Hillsboro Special Operations High Water Rescue Team had a very hectic morning.

Rushing waters came moving through creeks and highways. Three people stranded in their vehicles had to be rescued.

 

Renee Frost was trapped in waist-deep water under a bridge on Highway 81 in Hillsboro.

"I was going to work, and as I came down the hill I did not see the water until I was already in it," she said. She was not injured.

Tons of water were released from the Cedar Creek reservoir -- a relief to Beverly Brown, whose backyard in nearby Mabank is submerged.  A neighboring road and bridge are no longer visible.

"This is very unusual," she said. The water comes over the road sometimes, but nothing like this. it's been several years since I've seen the creek rise this full.

In Malone, homes were evacuated by the dozen. No one was flooded out and residents are now back in their houses. There were no injuries.

However, in southern Navarro County, near Corsicana, emergency workers rescued six people from their flooded homes. A man was rescued off the top of his truck.

In Harbour Point, near Gun Barrel City, most of the houses in the 800-unit development were surrounded by standing water.

 

"Rain does cause erosion, road repairs, a lot of things," said Gerry Boren, city manager of Gun Barrel City. "But rain also fills your lakes, and with the lakes being full today, the fish will be biting this weekend and through the summer, and there's a blessing coming in our problems that we have."

Tyler police on Thursday reported about 10 streets closed due to high water, but nobody was hurt.

One flood-related death happened in central Texas.

New Braunfels police Lt. John Wells says the body of 65-year-old Norman Walker of Iowa Park was recovered Wednesday from the rain-swollen Guadalupe River.

Many families in New Braunfels are refusing to leave their flooded homes because of possible looters.

Additional police officers are on patrol to keep thieves from helping themselves to evacuated homes.

Officers caught people coming from miles away.

Some residents say they are staying to guard their homes, even if they have no electricity.

Gov. Rick Perry has activated state search and rescue operations, including helicopters, as more rain is forecast in Central Texas.

E-mail cvega@wfaa.com and sgables@wfaa.com

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