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WILLIAMSON COUNTY, Texas – A “rain bomb.”
That’s how Michael Shoe, Williamson County Deputy Director of Emergency Management describes the deluge received in the wee hours of Saturday morning.
He says the Emergency Operations Center activated at 4am.
“Received approximately 6 inches on the western side of the county. San Gabriel crested about 24 feet,” Shoe said.
Shoe says the river was back below flood stage by Saturday afternoon.
“So it rose and fell very quickly,” he said.
Williamson County officials say about 60 people were rescued from a wedding venue in Liberty Hill called Casa Rio de Colores.
“We just started receiving 911 calls that there were people in trees, cars were floating and we immediately launched our swift water teams to go get them out,” Shoe said.
We spoke with Desmond Harris Saturday afternoon. He was visiting Texas for his aunt’s wedding there at the Liberty Hill venue.
“At least like knee-deep water and we had to get to higher ground to the second or third levels of the house just to be safe,” Harris said.
The wedding attendees boarded a travel bus and later evacuated to Liberty Hill High School.
“There was snacks and blankets and the school let us use their facility so we’re very grateful for that,” Harris said.
Shoe points out thankfully there were no injuries and no fatalities. He attributes that to the excellent training emergency personnel in the county go through monthly.
The rain also took a toll on Hutto, flooding roads and parks like Fritz Park. Fritz Park looked a lot different Monday morning as clean-up crews swept up the debris.
The City of Hutto says due to damage done to the water system during this weekend’s storms and flooding they’re asking Hutto water customers to boil their water at least until they get bacterial testing back from the TCEQ on Tuesday. That applies to brushing your teeth, even ice. It’s ok to take a shower just don’t swallow the water.
This wet trend here in Central Texas isn’t over yet…more rain is coming. Shoe says in Williamson County the forecast calls for a quarter of an inch up to an inch between Wednesday and Friday. But the ground is already saturated. So they’re basically in standby mode.
“So we’ll just go ahead and lean forward and have our swift water teams on standby and if it looks like there’s any flooding we might go ahead and just posture them in different parts that we expect it to,” Shoe said.
Williamson County also put their emergency notice system into action this weekend, evacuating the Shady Rivers RV Park. If you haven’t registered for those alerts, go to warncentraltexas.org.
Williamson County residents may have some difficulty doing that today because they’re changing providers. But you should be good to go to sign up on Wednesday.