Texas A&M task force stresses necessary actions during rescue efforts after heavy flood incident

Lileana Pearson Image
Friday, January 26, 2024
Texas A&M Task Force 1 launches rescue boats in Cedar Valley area, residents continue with evacuation process
"As you go further down, it goes up a hill, so all the houses are OK, there's just no way out unless you have a boat," a Cedar Valley resident said to ABC13 after the high-rising water crisis on Wednesday.

SAN JACINTO COUNTY, Texas (KTRK) -- The Trinity River rose many feet, putting homes and roads underwater on Wednesday night. In the high ground of the Cedar Valley community, folks are drying out from the rain. Just down the road, things look very different.

"As you go further down, it goes up a hill, so all the houses are OK, there's just no way out unless you have a boat," Cedar Valley resident Le'Anne Hopkins said.

Structures not built on stilts can be feet under water, but those who live along the river say it's not the water that will cause the long-term headache.

"It's just the roads. It's going to be a week or so after the water goes down fully that they'll even be able to get down in here because of how bad the road is," Hopkins said.

In the small communities lining the Trinity River, dirt roads are the way in and out. After days of sitting under flood water, Eyewitness News was told that they'll be mucky enough that those who got out will have no way back in unless they want their car stuck.

Most of the river homes are only lived in part-time. One of the full-time residents is Hopkins' grandfather. ABC13 spoke to Hopkins' mother, Kelly, on Wednesday about evacuating him and his camper.

"My husband got down there just in time, they loaded up the camper, lawn mowers, and all of our stuff right as the water was going across the road," Kelly said.

RELATED: Rising water in San Jacinto County prompts voluntary evacuations

Texas Task Force One launched boats to check the flooding communities and pulled out a small boat that was tied down before the flood came but ended up feet underwater on Thursday. One man and his two dogs was evacuated by helicopter. Task Force One said the water is going down in that part of the county, but there's still a lot of work to do as it continues to rise down the river.

"The best thing they can do is listen to the local officials. When they do the voluntary evacuations, I know it's hard to decide if that has to be you, but there will be a point where people need to be evacuated. It's better to call early than late. It's better to get us out there during the day as opposed to at night, where there are some more dangers we could encounter," Charlie Abney with Texas Task Force One said.

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