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FM 109 Closed For Next Three to Four Weeks

It will be an estimated three to four weeks before FM 109 north of Columbus is open to handle through traffic.

That was the message County Judge Ty Prause gave on Monday, April 25.

The bridge on FM 109 at Cummins Creek was washed away in two sections.

Colorado County commissioners, meeting on Monday, April 25, praised the work of first responders and community volunteers for their efforts in flooding that hit the county on Monday, April 18.

Judge Prause lauded precinct workers, volunteers, EMS personnel, sheriff’s deputies, game warden, LCRA personnel, and dispatchers.

“Everybody pitched in,” Commissioner Darrell Gertson said.

“The main thing is nobody in Colorado County lost their life,” Commissioner Doug Wessels said.

He said a number of cattle were washed down Cummins Creek. He said he heard of one man who had a bull on property on Cummins creek near where it flows into the Colorado River and it was washed downstream to Beason’s Park, which is about a mile away.

He said one man reported he was missing 90 head of cattle immediately after the flood, and was still missing about 15 head by the end of the week.

Several people were rescued in the Bernardo area by airboat Monday, April 18.

Butch and Susan Baumann were rescued after they were trapped by rising water from the San Bernard River at their residence on Sealy Road on the Austin County line with San Bernard River. They were rescued by game warden John Kohleffel and John Batla.

Sheriff R.H. “Curly” Wied said that two deputies, Jason Hunter and Carlos Ortiz, rescued two motorists who had been swept off the roadway on FM 949, in the Bernardo area, near Nelson Road.

One woman was from Grand Prairie and another was from San Antonio.

Wied said one of the deputies used a rope rescue with one of the deputies staying on the creek bank with the rope secured and the other deputy wading into the water with the rope tied around himself to reach the women.

Columbus Fire Fighter Ford Stein, who also works with EMS, credited everyone involved.

“It could have easily turned into chaos,” he said.

And Prause added: “It was a crisis.”

“It’s thrown our normal maintenance out the window,” said Gertson of routine road repairs.

Gertson said County Roads 101 and 103, where culverts were washed out in his precinct, were reopened last week.

He also said there was major erosion of one of the banks of the Colorado River near Calhoun Road, but no county roads were affected in that area.

Prause said work is progressing on reopening at least one lane of Reese Lane.

He said individuals with flood damage should contact the Red Cross.

New EMS Director Michael Furrh said: “I received a baptism with fire the first day.”

He was hired on April 15 and is not scheduled to formally start until May 1, but did get involved in the flood response.

Chuck Rogers, emergency management coordinator is compiling damage reports for submission to the state.

He said on Tuesday that initial figures show eight homes damaged.

He said business losses were reported to be $450,000.

He said 27 individuals for approximately eight families were displaced.

Rogers asked individuals requesting assistance to be patient.

“You won’t get a check immediately, but it is worth going through the paperwork,” he said.

In other action, commissioners:

--Agreed to write-off delinquent Emergency Management Service accounts that totaled $3.3 million from October 2008 to September 2013.

It was noted that the county can still attempt to collect the money, but it will not have to continue to appear in accounting reports.   [-end of story-]


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