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AUSTIN, Texas – After record flooding, what used to be a paved street in the Pecan Valley neighborhood of Marble Falls, has turned into a muddy road.
“This beautiful place right here was our home, still is our home I hope,” said Larry Jones.
Jones has owned his house for 20 years. His son, daughter-in-law and grandchildren live just across the street. He recalls hearing a knock on the door from an officer, telling him he needed to leave because the river was rising.
“We had five feet of water inside the house and about six inches of mud. Mixed in with the mud would be all kinds of bacteria and septic problems, things like that,” said Jones.
Jones and his wife lost cars, and most of their belongings, but not everything.
“What we have is a picture of my mom and dad when they got married in 1946. My dad Bob jones was a glider pilot in WWII and flew a glider into Normandy on D-day. That beautiful woman is…that’s my mom,” said Jones.
But from devastation, a grassroots cleanup and recovery effort was born. Becca Schafer started the Marble Falls Mom Squad on Facebook, to handle some much needed basic needs.
“The mud was so thick in some of the homes, it was up to my knees. There were fish in the homes. If you can imagine that kind of mud that was on the floor was also in everything they owned including all of their clothes, all of their blankets, all of their furniture,” said Schafer.
Her group has grown to more than 100 people. They have been making their rounds to affected homes, washing clothes and blankets, and there are still plenty who can use any kind of help, from laundry needs, mud removal, to home restoration.
“All you have to do is show up, there’s so much to do. Little kids can pick up the fish that are in the front yards that are not in the lake anymore. Disabled people can sit and blot off photographs that have been ruined by the water,” said Schafer.
Just down the road in Kingsland, is more damage and need for help. Jan Belz lives right on the water.
“It took the boat away and this particular walkway was like the canal of Venice. The water was so high there were boats and Ski-doos coming up and down running into buildings, running into each other,” said Belz.
As the recovery process for the Hill Country begins, residents say they are steadily reminded that property can be replaced, people cannot.
“My wife is safe, my dogs are safe, I’m safe, my son his wife and all my grandchildren are safe, that’s what’s important in life,” said Jones.
If you wish to help, contact First Baptist Church of Marble Falls.