'Everybody's frustrated': No relief for some Walker County neighbors still flooded after 2.5 weeks

Rosie Nguyen Image
Thursday, May 16, 2024
'Everybody's frustrated': Walker Co. neighbors flooded after 2.5 weeks
Residents in Walker County, specifically the Green Rich Shores subdivision, are still flooded more than two weeks since severe weather and are waiting for recovery efforts.

WALKER COUNTY, Texas (KTRK) -- The next round of storms forecasted for Thursday is brewing anxiety among neighbors living in four subdivisions of Walker County.

Some of them still have homes trapped in flood waters from the last severe rainstorm in late April.

Charlene Crocker has been stuck inside her home in the Green Rich Shores subdivision for the last two and a half weeks.

Although the water hasn't seeped into her house yet, she said the flooding outside her front door is the worst she's seen in her 20 years of living there.

"Our septic system is down. There's no trash pickup. My garage is a disaster from the mud and my yard has a lot of debris," Crocker said. "We've been trying to wait it out. But it's nerve-wracking. We're all nervous about whether it will rain or not. Everybody's frustrated and angry."

Tracey Hill lives in the Harmon Creek subdivision and is in the opposite predicament from Crocker.

Hill, her boyfriend, and their three dogs haven't been able to return home since the beginning of the month, as parts of her neighborhood are still underwater.

She shared that they've been relying on family for a place to stay and have had to rent a car to get around.

RELATED: Want to help Texas flood victims? Here's how to bring comfort and hope

"It's just a lot of stress not knowing what to do. I feel like I've got to be taken care of, and I'm almost 50 years old, having to be a child again and letting other people take care of me. So it's very emotional," Hill said. "I've never been flooded out of a place before, and as much as I like living near the water, I will never do that again. It's just too traumatic."

Nicolas Pilkington lives near Riverside and is in a similar situation as Hill.

Photos he took just a few days ago and shared with ABC13 show his property still submerged in the water for several feet. He worries that the longer his home sits in the water, the less he'll be able to salvage it.

"It's destroying people's lives and tearing up homes. To me, it's catastrophic. My friend owns an RV park at the end of our road, and it's completely gone," Pilkington said.

Residents also expressed frustrations towards the Trinity River Authority (TRA), questioning why more water isn't being released from the nearby dam to alleviate flood levels.

Rick Davis, assistant project manager of operations for TRA, explained to ABC13 that the recent flooding in the northern reaches of the Lake Livingston watershed is caused by continuous high-flow conditions conveyed down the Trinity River, various creeks, and other tributaries in and around the area.

RELATED: Texas flood victim assistance: Where to get food, shelter and other services

"Lowering the level of the lake here at Lake Livingston Dam, unfortunately, will not bring the water levels back within the riverbanks north of the reservoir. Since April 28, we have released enough water to fill the lake from empty to normal pool elevation of 131' MSL (approximately 1.75 times), all the while with very little change to the water levels in areas of the northern region of the lake," Davis wrote in a statement.

He further explained that the lake is not operated as a flood control reservoir. Davis noted that the highest documented flood events for the Riverside area were recorded in 1942 and 1945 before the lake was impounded in 1968.

As a result, the upper watershed mimics a river system and not the primary reservoir during a flood event.

Walker County Office of Emergency Management said the two other subdivisions still experiencing flooding are Deep Water Plantation and Little Thicket Estates. Their crews have brought water and food to neighbors stuck in their homes.

Officials encourage residents to download the Walker County OEM TX mobile app to receive notifications for announcements or future emergencies.

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