FM 1626 improvements on schedule despite flooding

Heavy rain Wednesday created enough flooding that major thoroughfares throughout Kyle and Buda were shut down, including the portion of FM 1626 between RM 967 and FM 2770.

The five inches of rain, combined with a breached stock tank dam located on private property along FM 1626, persuaded county officials to shut down the road from RM 967 to FM 2770 until TxDOT could clear out the water. The FM 1626 segment opened early Wednesday.

Despite the weather, improvements currently being done along that portion of FM 1626 are still on schedule, Hays County Pct. 2 Commissioner Mark Jones said.

The dam breach, which contributed to much of the water along the road, will not push back construction on the 1626 improvement project more than a normal weather delay from the rain would have, Jones said.

“TxDOT worked hard to get the road back open,” Jones said. “We’re still aiming for the (1626 project) to be finished by the end of the year. By Christmas, we’re hoping.”

Ruff Ranch Pet Boarding is located along the stretch on FM 1626 that was closed, but kennel manager Katie Smith said there was still enough access to the facility for owners to pick up and drop off their dogs.

Overall, the flooding had very little impact on day-to-day operations, she said, despite having some water build up around them.

“The dogs weren’t really affected by the rain,” Smith said. “But they did love playing in the mud.”

Hays CISD spokesperson Tim Savoy said that while Elm Grove Elementary is located on FM 1626, the flood waters did not reach the school. School officials did reach out to parents to make minor changes to student pick up and drop off procedures to avoid water and accommodate closed roadways, he said.

Hays High was another Hays CISD campus affected by the flooding; a large portion of its students drive to and from campus from Buda, Savoy said. Because FM 1626 was closed, they had one less option to travel back and forth.

Several school district bus routes were rerouted to avoid water, but no bus stops closed as a result of the flooding, Savoy said.

“We’re prepared to handle situations like this,” Savoy said. “Our transportation team is flexible and nimble.”

By Thursday morning, district buses were back to normal, he said.

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