Raging Texas floodwaters cause bridge to crumble, spur evacuations

Cheryl Sanders
October 18, 2018

Forecasters tweeted warnings Tuesday (Oct. 16) about major flooding along the Llano River in Texas.

The National Weather Service said water levels along the Llano River had dropped back down to just below 15 feet on Wednesday morning, but emergency managers cautioned it's not yet safe for residents to return.

Llano residents within a quarter mile of the river were told to evacuate immediately this morning. Flooding was also seen upstream in Kingsland, Texas, where a bridge collapsed.

The Llano River was just below 15 feet (4.5 meters) on Wednesday morning after cresting 24 hours earlier at nearly 40 feet (12 meters).

One body was pulled from the Colorado River in Burnet County while Llano County officials confirmed the discovery of a second body on Tuesday.

KVUE said that people living along the Llano River are now being evacuated from their homes.

The Llano River meets the Colorado River in Kingsland.

In 24 hours, the river rose to 12 metres, some 10m higher than the day before, and around 5.5 metres above major flood stage.

A flash flood warning was put into effect, and forecasters described it as a "very unsafe situation".

Dillard says there haven't been other reports of deaths or injuries in the county.

In response to the severe weather, Gov. Greg Abbott issued a disaster declaration for 18 counties: Bastrop, Burnet, Colorado, Fayette, Hood, Jim Wells, Kerr, Kimble, La Salle, Live Oak, Llano, Mason, McMullen, Nueces, Real, San Patricio, Travis and Williamson.

Last week, four people were swept away in floodwaters along the South Llano River in Junction. Evacuations are underway in the cities of Kingsland and Marble Falls, both northwest of Austin.

Officials say the body was recovered in Llano Tuesday night. The record crest level is 12.6 metres set in June 1935.

Fast-moving water slammed against bridges, causing at least one to crumble under the flow.

Since Monday, more than 10 inches of rain has fallen in parts of the the Llano River Watershed, according to the National Weather Service.

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