One man dead due to flood water

One person was killed Friday after his vehicle was swept away by flood waters along a stretch of Bell Springs Road at Barton Creek near Dripping Springs.

Michael Brandon Hurlbut, 55, of Dripping Springs, was identified as the victim, according to authorities. Hurlbut’s body was located early May 4 along Barton Creek roughly a mile from his vehicle.

Hays County Sheriff Gary Cutler said Hurlbut made a phone call Friday to a family member before disappearing. Cutler said Hurlbut was concerned by the rapidly rising water before he went missing. Officials were initially unable to locate the missing person, later identified as Hurlbut, late Friday. 

No other people have been reported missing, Cutler said. “We feel comfortable at this time he is the missing individual …. the family has been notified,” Cutler said.

Overall, Hays County officials received approximately 34 distress calls over a 12-hour period Friday. North Hays Fire Chief Scott Collard said around 55 people received assistance throughout the night. “Out of those 34 calls, seven were actual rescues made by our personnel and our mutual aid partners,” Collard said.

Four cars were washed off of the Onion Creek bridge along FM 150 roughly two miles east of Ranch Road 12, Cutler said. Authorities also conducted a rescue on a washed away vehicle along Bell Springs Road at Barton Creek. A helicopter made two rescues while a boat made one rescue, Collard said. 

The department received assistance from Kyle, San Marcos and Johnson City fire departments, as well as emergency officials from Williamson County.

Although the flood waters receded May 4, Hays County officials are asking residents to stay vigilant as rain is predicted to continue into this week.

Property owners who sustained private property damage can report those damages through “With the ground being as saturated as it is, we caution residents against traveling during that time frame when there is substantial rain because the low water crossings will be inundated again,” said Kharley Smith, coordinator for the Office of Emergency Services.

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