Flooding, Road Closures, Evacuations Following Central Texas Rains

By: Mike George
By: Mike George

If you are heading North from the Brazos Valley into the Mclennan,Bell,Hood,Williamson County areas of Central Texas, be ready for flooding and road closures.

Overnight rains caused creeks and rivers out of their banks and low crossing areas to flood.

Evacuations have been ordered in some places. At least one death has been reported.

Authorities are searching for possible victims in Williamson & Bell Counties after two mobile homes and a house in Central Texas were swept away by floodwaters dumped by the remnants of Tropical Storm Hermine (hur-MEEN').

Here is a county by county list of closures:

BELL COUNTY, 4:09 p.m.
Temple Police Sgt. Brad Hunt says the only roads currently closed in Temple are Shallow Ford Road and Poison Oak Road.

All other roads are open in Temple.

HILL COUNTY, 3:25 p.m.
CLASSES DELAYED THURSDAY: Whitney ISD will begin at 10:00 a.m. and buses will run 2 hours late on Thursday.

BELL COUNTY, 2:53 p.m.
Oncor area manager John Toone said Wednesday that, the power company hopes to have all service in northern Killeen restored between 6 p.m. and 10 p.m. Wednesday.

Toone told News 10 that a substation located near the Killeen-Harker Heights city limits failed after it was flooded during the night, causing an outage about 9,000 residents in the area.

Crews were able to switch most of the the residents to a different power source, leaving about 2,900 still without power.

A mobile power station - a giant transformer - has been brought in to cover those residents without power.

TEXAS PARKS AND WILDLIFE DEPARTMENT UPDATE, 2:51p.m.
Williamson County
TPWD Game Warden Capt. Fred Churchill reported at 2:30 p.m. that all residents of a mobile home park east of Georgetown on the San Gabriel River had been accounted for, as well as the residents of the nearby McShepherd subdivision.

Both of these areas near Lake Granger in Williamson County experienced severe flooding earlier Wednesday; numerous trailers were washed away from the park.

Bell County
Several game wardens are now on Nolan Creek in Harker Heights, where a vehicle has been discovered that had been submerged earlier in the day. Capt. Churchill says the vehicle is now being searched to see if anyone had been inside it.

Fifteen game wardens and five TPWD boats were involved in numerous rescues earlier today, but the only operation involving TPWD currently underway is assisting with the search in Harker Heights.

BELL COUNTY, 2:49 p.m.
A News 10 viewer reported around 2:30 p.m. that eastbound US 190 between Copperas Cove & Killeen remained closed due to high water just west of the Clear Creek overpass. Traffic is being diverted to the eastbound frontage road.

BELL COUNTY, 2:45 p.m.
A Salvation Army mobile feeding unit pressed into service Wednesday morning provided food and drinks to around 140 people in each of its three servings throughout the day.

Personal hygiene kits, including a comb, toothbrush and toothpaste and wipes for basic hygiene needs, and Clean-up kits, including brooms, mops, buckets and cleaning supplies, were provided to displaced residents, as well.

HILL COUNTY, 2:34 p.m.
Flood waters have receded at the gated community of White Bluff, near Whitney and the more than 500 residents in the community are no longer isolated.

Initial reports from the emergency services command post at Whitney High School indicated the bridge had been washed away by flash floods. The Hill County Sheriff's office reports the bridge remains intact.

McLENNAN COUNTY, 2:15 p.m.
Reports indicate Stampede Creek is flowing over the roadway near Moody.

BELL COUNTY, 1:58 p.m.
Faith Temple Church, located in Killeen, canceled Wednesday night services and activities in response to flash flooding in the area.

BELL COUNTY, 1:56 p.m.
The City of Temple's water and sewer department reports that a combination of rainfall infiltration into the city's wastewater collection system and equipment malfunctions has caused several manholes and the Doshier Farm Wastewater Treatment Plant to overflow.

Specific areas impacted are listed below:
-2515 East Avenue H (Doshier Farm Wastewater Treatment Plant)
-2500 block South 5th Street
-1500 block South 57th Street
-4320 Lions Park
-2312 West Adams
-2506 West Avenue P
-2402 South 61st Street
-3550 S.W. HK Dodgen Loop
-3625 S.W. HK Dodgen Loop

Citizens are urged to exercise caution in and around these affected areas, including nearby drainage ditches and small streams.

The Department of Public Works utility crews plan to disinfect the areas as weather permits.

These events in no way harm the City of Temple's water supply, city officials said, and residents are unlikely to experience any interruption of water services.

BELL COUNTY, 1:20 p.m.
FROM BELTON ISD: Belton ISD has been notified by The Zone, Belton Christian Youth Center and Bear Hugs Daycare that they will be closed for afterschool care today due to flooding.

Armed Forces YMCA will hold the after school program at normal times for the Belton area.

All evening practices and rehearsals have been canceled with the following exceptions: Varsity Football and Varsity Volleyball will practice until 4 p.m.

BELL COUNTY, 1:17 p.m.
As of 1:00 pm, approximately 40 residents ad been rescued from high water in the Central Avenue and IH-35 area in Belton.

Belton authorities strongly advise citizens to stay off streets and not to drive into standing water of any level.

Ongoing medical emergencies were being addressed by Belton Fire Department and Belton is being assisted by Scott and White and Temple's Central Texas Regional EMS.

At 1:00 pm, Belton EOC was demobilized. A damage assessment will occur as the water recedes.

HILL COUNTY, 12:45 p.m.
Family of four trapped at a residence near the Hill-Johnson county line
Swift water Rescue Team en route.

More than 500 residents in White Bluff, a gated community near Whitney, remain isolated after flood waters washed out a bridge that serves as an access point to the community.

BOSQUE COUNTY, 12:30 p.m.
Most main roads remain open in Bell County. Motorists may encounter high water along FM 2490 and FM 2114 as well as various roads in low lying areas; the Sheriff's office advises motorists to use caution; turn around, don't drown.

BELL AND WILLIAMSON COUNTIES, 12:03 p.m.
The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department reports 15 game wardens are on duty Wednesday in Bell and Williamson Counties, assisting in the law enforcement response to heavy flooding in the two counties.

In addition to numerous other citizen assists, wardens using boats rescued 9 people in Belton and 4 people in Williamson County.

A TPWD helicopter was also assisting a search continued for possible missing people near Lake Granger in Williamson County.

BELL COUNTY, 11:54 a.m.
FROM BELTON ISD: Due to area flooding conditions, Belton ISD will dismiss school one hour early today (9-8-2010) as follows: Elementary--1:45 p.m.; Middle Schools and Belton High School--2:45 p.m.; Waskow High School--2:25 p.m.; District Alternative Program--2:15 p.m.

TxDOT CLOSURES, 11:31 a.m.
Bell County:
-Service roads closed north/southbound at Salado Creek
-Service roads closed north/southbound at Nolan Creek

Hill County:
-FM 933- Water over roadway, motorists encouraged to use alternate route.

Flash flooding is wide spread in the Covington,Whitney, Blum, Aquilla areas.

BELL COUNTY, 11:25 a.m.
FROM Temple Fire and Rescue spokesman Thomas Pechal:
As of 11:25 a.m., at least 30 residents had been evacuated from East Central Avenue and Interstate 35 in Belton. Temple Fire and Rescue assisted with the rescues.

BELL COUNTY, 11:13 a.m.
Belton Mayor Jim Covington signed a mandatory evacuation order just before 11 a.m. for areas east of Avenue B to areas north of Nolan Creek on Central Avenue.

The evacuation order affects around 20 homes in the area; authorities are currently enforcing the order.

As of 11 a.m., there had been 26 high water rescues in the city.

BELL COUNTY, 11:07 a.m.
FROM BELTON ISD: Belton ISD has been notified that Belton Christian Youth Center and Bear Hugs Daycare will be closed for afterschool care today (9-8-2010) and will not provide pickup due to flooding.

Parents with children at Bear Hugs are asked to pick up children currently at the center.

BELL COUNTY, 11:02 a.m.
The Bell County Commissioners Court has called a special meeting at 1:00 p.m. Wednesday to evaluate storm and flood damage to cities and rural areas in the county.

CORYELL COUNTY, 10:57 a.m.
Road closures in Gatesville:
-North Lovers Lane
-Bridge and Shady
-Golf course and Lovers Lane
-East and West Leon
-Old Waco Road

BELL COUNTY, 10:54 a.m.
A local state of emergency was declared by Belton Mayor Jim Covington at 7:45 am Wednesday, due to high water in Downtown Belton.

An Emergency Operations Center was established at Belton City Hall and regional rescue teams from Temple, Ft. Hood, Killeen, Morgan's Point, Moffat, and Bell County are assisting with rescue efforts in the city.

The Bell County EOC also opened at the 911 Center in Belton.

First Baptist Church in Belton opened an emergency shelter with the assistance from the Salvation Army; as of 10:30 am, 26 victims had been rescued from high water in the Central Avenue and IH-35 area in Belton.

The city strongly advises its residents to stay off streets and avoid driving into standing water of any level.

McLENNAN COUNTY, 10:51 a.m.
Power restored to Midway ISD campuses Castleman Creek and Spring Valley. All schools are currently in session.

AREA SHELTERS UPDATE, 10:25 a.m.
Hill County:
-Whitney High School Gymnasium, located at 1401 North Brazos Ave in Whitney

Bell County:
-Salado Civic Center, located at 601 North Main in Downtown Salado
-First Baptist Belton, located at 506 North Main Street in Belton
-Killeen Community Center, located at 2201 east Veteran's Memorial Boulevard in Killeen
-Harker Heights Parks and Recreation Center, located at 307 Millers Crossing in Harker Heights

BELL COUNTY, 10:17 a.m.
Salado Mayor Merle Stalcup told News 10 that 25 houses were flooded and 15 people were evacuated.

Flooding is occurring in normal areas but is much more extensive.

All entrances to Mill Creek were flooded and at least five businesses in Salado were lost to the raging waters, the mayor said.

Interstate 35 in Salado has reopened after it was blocked earlier Wednesday morning by rising waters; the frontage roads remain closed.

Stalcup said the village received warnings around 2:15 a.m. that flooding would occur.

Residents along the flood plain were then notified and the volunteer fire department began assisting with evacuations.

BELL COUNTY, 10:10 a.m.
Road Closures in Harker Heights:
-FM 3219 to Veterans Memorial Boulevard
-Roy Reynolds Drive to Veterans Memorial Boulevard

McLENNAN COUNTY, 10:05 a.m.
A sinkhole formed along Prairie Chapel Road, near Crawford. The size of the hole is 3-feet wide, 3-feet deep and 30-feet long.

BELL COUNTY, 9:58 a.m.
Power Outages reported in North Killeen, north Veterans Memorial Boulevard since around 5 a.m.

Outages also affected portions of Harker Heights.

BELL COUNTY, 9:56 a.m.
Road closures in Killeen
-Mustang Road
-Little Nolan at Cunningham

An Emergency remains open in Killeen at the Killeen Community Center located at 2201 east Veteran's Memorial Boulevard

More than 100 people assisted early Wednesday morning.

BELL COUNTY, 9:52 a.m.
Firefighters say they've rescued at least 16 people, and there could be as many as 70 more people that have yet to be rescued.

Agencies as far away as Fort Hood are assisting with the rescues both on foot and by boat

Crews are rescuing flood victims all around the county from both the their homes and the tops of their cars.

McLENNAN COUNTY, 9:45 a.m.
Power outages reported at two Midway ISD schools:
-Castleman Creek
-Spring Valley

All children are being supervised on their campus with emergency lighting and extra personnel.

Electricity providers indicated power should be on by 10 a.m.

If power cannot be restored this morning, Midway administrators have made alternative plans to bring in lunches from other campuses or bus the students temporarily to other campuses depending on the electricity repair time.

BELL COUNTY, 9:20 a.m.
The intersection of Charter Oak Drive and Riverside Drive is also closed. At about 8:20 am Temple Police received a call of a vehicle stuck in high water at that location. Officers arrived to find a van stuck in high, but not swift-moving, water. The van had 5 occupants.

By 8:50 am all 5 occupants were assisted from the vehicle by Temple Police, and Temple Fire and Rescue.

BELL COUNTY, 9:02 a.m.
Bell County Fire Marshal Steve Casey advised News 10 of the following rescues and road closures:
- Anyone traveling from Little River needs to take Hard Creek Bluff to FM 93
- FM 436 is CLOSED.
-Swift water rescue of around 30 people underway from the 6th Street area in Belton

BELL COUNTY RESCUE SHELTERS ESTABLISHED:
-Salado Civic Center
-First Baptist Belton
-Community Center in Killeen

BELL COUNTY, 8:15 a.m.
Belton City Manager Sam Listi told News 10 at 8:15 a.m. roads in the downtown area were under water.

Nolan Creek is out of its banks, the city manager said, and motorists area advised to avoid the intersection of Central Avenue and Birdwell Street as well as Confederate Park in Downtown Belton.

The city has also requested water rescue personnel from Fort Hood to remain on standby in the city as officials make attempts to contact residents in flood isolated areas to determine if a water rescue is necessary.

BELL COUNTY, 8:14 a.m.
The National Weather Service reports a FLASH FLOOD in Bell County at 8:14 a.m. The Bell County emergency manager reported to the NWS that numerous high water rescues still ongoing across county.

Temple Police Sgt. Brad Hunt around 8:15 a.m. advised News 10 of several road closures in the city:

Roadways:
-Poison Oak Drive, from Pea Ridge to HWY 317
-Pea Ridge between Tarver Drive and Hogan Drive
-Jack Rabbit Road, at and near the intersection with Cottonwood
-West Avenue D at South General Bruce Drive
-Shallow Ford Road, south of Lions Park
-Riverside Trail
-HWY 317 exit ramp near Airport Road
-600 block of East Avenue C
-S. 57th Street, manhole covers coming off near creek in about 1500 block
-South General Bruce Drive under elevated portion of Interstate 35

Other Areas:
-Lions Park
-Sammons Park low lying areas, drainage water nearing Adams Avenue by 43rd Street

HILL COUNTY, 6:40 a.m.
Hill County sheriff's deputies were involved in a swift water rescue in Whitney after rains dumped inches of rain on the city.

Hill County Sheriff Jeffery Lyon said 18 people had to be evacuated around 5:40 a.m. from an apartment in Whitney.

Whitney High School has been opened as a shelter for the displaced families.

Deputies also were involved inn a swift water rescue at Hill County Rd. 1256 and State Highway 22 and a second rescue at Farm to Market 933 and FM 934.

Authorities reported a downed tree blocking the roadway on FM 2114 near the Brazos River.

Roads Under Water in Hill County:
-FM 933 at Whitney High School
-FM 1221 north to Huron
-FM 3049 by Blum
-FM 934 east of FM 309 under water
-Texas 171 south of Covington
-Gated Community of White Bluff has a road under water

Roads Closed in Hill County:
-CR 1256
-CR 1240
-CR 1313
-CR 1305

BOSQUE COUNTY, 6:30 a.m.
-Flooding across all low area in county
-Southern areas are the worst
-FM 219 west Clifton to The Gap
-FM 217 west of Valley Mills

BELL COUNTY, 6:15 a.m.
At 6:15 a.m., the City of Killeen reported several road closures:
-Willowsprings and Hemlock Dr.
-Imperial Dr. and Central Texas Expressway
-Clairidge and Old 440
-Watercrest Dr.
-Chapparal Rd. and Hwy 195
-Roy Reynolds south of the railroad tracks
-Alpine and Hwy 195
-505 Dimple
-Twin Creek Rd and the railroad tracks
-38th St. below the overhead railroad track near Killeen High School
-Illinois Ave. between Grey Fox and Goode
-Terrace and Redondo
-Elms Rd. and Cunningham
-W.S. Young Dr. and Illinois Ave
-W.S. Young Dr. and Becker
-Featherline between Chaparral Rd. and Stagecoach Rd.
-24th St. and Harris Ave.
-Reeses Creek Rd.
-Mustang and Indy
-28th St between Veterans Memorial Blvd and Greenwood
-Hallmark and Santa Rosa Dr.
-W.S. Young betweens Elms Rd. and Stan Schlueter Blvd
-Elms Rd. and Robinett Dr.
-Trimmier and Lowes Blvd.

Numerous vehicles in Killeen were towed after they were left in the roadway due to the high water.

The Killeen Fire and Police Departments evacuated approximately 100 people from their homes overnight and they were taken to the Killeen Community Center for shelter.

Harker Heights police have opened the city's parks and recreation center to serve as an evacuation shelter for residents being forced out of their homes by high water.

Police in Nolanville at 3:10 a.m. were reporting a woman may be trapped inside a mobile home that has been overturned by rushing water.

There also was a report of a mobile home floating down Nolanville Creek off Buttercup Circle in Nolanville.

Nolanville police also reported several other mobile homes in Pecan Village Mobile Home Park were in danger of being washed away by high water and as many as 30 residents trapped by floods.

EARLY MORNING REPORTS

At 3:05 a.m. there was a report of water running into the second story of a home.

Authorities Wednesday morning feared occupants of a vehicle that washed off the roadway at Main and Highway 190 in Nolanville may still be in the vehicle.

Swift water rescue teams are en route at 2:50 a.m. to assist with a possible rescue.

A similar incident on Reece's Creek Rd. in Killeen has responders on the way to assist with a swift water rescue.

Dozens of residents and drivers had to be rescued due to high water early Wednesday in areas throughout Bell County, including Killeen, Harker Heights, Salado and Nolanville.

Torrential rains dumped several inches of water on roadways and low spots and creeks rapidly filled to overflowing throughout the county, leaving streets and roads impassable and homes flooded.

Portions of service roads along Interstate 35 in Salado were closed as water was cascading down Salado Creek and covering the roadway.

Police were urging residents not to venture out and were advising drivers not to drive into water that covered roadways.

At 2:25 a.m. Killeen police were closing a bridge on Chaparral Rd. near Trimmier because officers feared the bridge might collapse under high water.

Rescuers at about 2 a.m. were trying to get to two people stuck on high ground on Farm-to-Market 2483 where water had risen and covered a bridge.

There were multiple road closures in Killeen and one police dispatcher told News 10 just about every major street in the city is blocked off at various points until high water recedes.

Police reported several evacuations, especially around the Indian Park mobile home village.

The Harker Heights dispatcher also reported Verna Lee Blvd. at Frontier, Roy Reynolds Dr. at Veterans Memorial Blvd., Indian Trail,
several cross streets off of FM 2410 and many areas off of U.S. Highway190 closed.

The fire department had launched boats by 1 a.m. and was trying to get to residents who were trapped by high water.

Some officers in Killeen reported water over the hoods of their cars.

Just after midnight Killeen police and firefighters were evacuating residents along Pilgrum St., on W.S. Young, along Illinois and Bishop Sts and in several locations along U.S. 190.

Reports indicated more than three dozen people were rescued from their homes and cars.

Officers also reported power out all over north Killeen at about 1:30 a.m.

Police reported several accidents along U.S. 190, some involving injuries.

Residents on the first floor of Independence Place and at Ft. Hood apartments, 5016 Watercrest Drive were evacuated.

Residents in homes in an area between Highway 190 on the North, Clear Creek Road on the West, Old Copperas Cove Road on the South and S. Fort Hood Street on the East were encouraged to evacuate.

Evacuees were directed to the Killeen Community Center at 2201 E. Veterans Memorial.

Other areas of concern were Florence, Salado and Liberty Hill.

For any weather related problems here in the Brazos Valley click on the link below.


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