A deluge that fell over a period of less than 12 hours Friday led to extensive flooding that affected nearly every corner of Hays County.
The ensuing devastation has forced city and county officials to sign local disaster declarations to assist in obtaining state and federal assistance with recovery efforts.
It all stems from a storm system that raged across the county on Friday morning.
By the end of the weekend, the storm system dumped anywhere from 10 to 18 inches of rain in different parts of Hays County. Buda was the hardest hit, according to a report from KVUE in Austin, which received upwards of 18 inches of rain. Kyle was equally hit hard as the city received roughly 16 inches of rain.
That storm caused flooding of Cypress Creek, Plum Creek and Onion Creek, which crested above 25 feet. Rains also caused flooding of the Blanco River, which rose to 37.2 feet in Kyle.
According to the Kyle Fire Department, the flood led to 60 rescue calls that were conducted on Friday.
Several area neighborhoods were affected by the flood event, which forced many to evacuate to area shelters.
More than 200 flood evacuees were housed in shelters across the county during the storm event. By Saturday, all affected residents were relocated to other housing, or were able to return to their homes.
According to Hays County, only one person in southern Hays County suffered non-life-threatening injuries after a tornado touched down and damaged a pair of buildings in the Eagle Point subdivision.
As the water receded, city and county officials began to assess the damage that took place. Damage assessment began Saturday but has not yet been completed.
But on Saturday, both Kyle Mayor Todd Webster and Buda Mayor Todd Ruge signed disaster declarations for their cities.
Webster said flooding affected homes in several neighborhoods, including the Steeplechase and Bunton Creek Estate subdivisions.
He also said there was “significant damage” to Bebee Road and Old Stagecoach Road leading up to the Post Road Bridge. He said that both roads are “up and running” and that they’re both passable.
“What happened is that the bridges got washed out, so the temporary repairs were able to take place quickly,” Webster said. “The long term rebuild will take time and it’s probably going to be expensive.”
He added that Kyle’s Marketplace Avenue project is still on schedule.
Webster said the city hopes to have “most of the trash picked up” from affected neighborhoods.
“We’re making a lot of progresss quickly, that’s our goal,” Webster said.
In Buda, Ruge said the city experienced “total devastation” in some parts of town. Homes in Old Town, along with Goforth Road and Bluff Street were affected. He said senior citizens living on Bluff Street were forced to evacuate.
Ruge said early estimates have the city’s wastewater treatment plant experiencing roughly $250,000 worth of damage.
Other facilities that were affected were the city’s annex building and police department on Railroad Street.
Ruge lauded the city’s organized effort to “get ahead” of the flood event.
“When you get 18 inches of rain, it’s a difficult thing to deal with,” he said. “Our men and women responded well.”
On Sunday, Hays County Judge Bert Cobb signed a local disaster declaration that activates the county’s emergency management plan and mobilizes local resources to assess and recover from the storms.
In addition, the declaration allows Hays County officials to request state resources that will assist in mitigating “immediate hazards.” Those include damaged roads and bridges, and allows for the county to quickly process procurement for supplies.
“The declaration is also required to request a federal disaster declaration should damage assessment teams find damage in Hays County and its cities that is beyond the capability of its residents and governments to recover,” Cobb said.
• 60 rescue calls in Kyle on Friday
• 18 inches of rain in Buda
• 16 inches of rain in Kyle
• 200 flood evacuees housed in shelters
• 1 reported injury
• 0 reported fatalities