Floods on May 25 left many Williamson County roads damaged or closed in the days that followed.
Parts of 85 roads were closed over the weekend because of high water. Updates are posted at the county’s website and the Williamson County Emergency Services page on Facebook.
Connie Watson, county public affairs manager, said 16 county roads have structural damage.
“Most of them have been patched and are drivable now,” Watson said. “Just a few remain that need to be fixed, and then we will be doing more permanent repairs to those roads in the coming weeks. … Although we still have several roads that have high water over them.”
For example, CR 177 and CR 384 suffered major structural damage from the floods, she said.
“CR 123 [also] suffered a lot of damage,” Watson said. “It’s one of those roads that often floods and is closed when we get rains, but this time due to the amount of rain, the homes were flooded up to their roofs.”
Williamson County officials are assessing flood damage to county homes so the county can apply for a federal declaration of disaster, Watson said. Williamson County Judge Dan Gattis declared a local state of disaster on May 25. But a federal disaster declaration would mean homeowners could apply for aid from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, or FEMA.
“Anyone who did suffer damage is the storm is encouraged to email [email protected],” she said. “The eastern part of Williamson County was what was hardest hit with this particular storm.”
One man, Temple resident Jerry Booth, died just south of a low-water crossing near CR 143, according to May 28 news release from the Williamson County Sheriff’s Office.
The Williamson County Technical Rescue Group—which is joined by staffers from multiple emergency and fire departments throughout the county—performed a total of 40 water rescues and evacuation assistances in Taylor. Watson said Taylor suffered significant flood damage, especially at Taylor Municipal Airport where rising waters flooded planes.
“The Austin Disaster Relief Network is meeting with Taylor, in fact, today to talk about setting up a donation site in Taylor for the residents that have been affected there,” she said.
The Upper Brushy Creek Water Control and Improvement District dam system automatically opened auxiliary spillways to release water that flooded part of the intersection of SH 130 and Hwy. 79 in Pflugerville.
On May 25 the county issued an evacuation warning for Hutto residents in the Brushy Creek floodplain east of FM 685, where Brushy Creek swelled to about 23 feet. The warning urged residents to go to a shelter at Hutto Middle School. Shelters were also set up at the Clay Madsen Recreation Center in Round Rock and Leander High School in Leander.
In western Williamson County, the city of Cedar Park announced May 26 that Brushy Creek had partially flooded two parks, Brushy Creek Sports Park and Brushy Creek Lake Park. The county has not seen similar flooding since Tropical Storm Hermine saturated Central Texas during Labor Day weekend in 2010, Watson said.
Watson said county emergency officials expect more challenges from forecast rains.
“People need to be very aware, when the ground is already saturated, that the water can rise very quickly,” Watson said.
Note: This story has been updated from its original version.