Bastrop and Smithville Residents Brace for More Flooding — and Keep the ‘bier Garden' Open

BASTROP — Melinda Castillo’s home is surrounded by water.On one side, Dry Creek, which is normally a trickle in a creek bed, today is a massive rush of churning water. On the other side, the Colorado River is expected to crest at 1 p.m. Monday. When the water rises over a bridge on River Road, Castillo will either be stranded in her home or unable to get there.It’s not the first time. A 2015 flood brought nearly a foot of water into her small home. A second flood eight months later sent water rushing back. “Last time, I got stuck three days,” she said. “That’s not happening again.” She could move to a shelter, but she’ll stay with her mother this time.Here in Bastrop County, as Tropical Storm Harvey brought record rains across Central and South Texas, residents braced for more flooding. Officials have opened three emergency shelters as Gov. Greg Abbott added the county to his state disaster declaration.On Sunday, three people had checked into the shelter in Bastrop and more than 45 were at the shelter in Smithville. No one had checked into the Elgin shelter, which just opened at 3 p.m., said Randi Fishbeck, Bastrop County spokeswoman.The county’s emergency services received seven calls for service Sunday, including two water rescue calls.Across the surrounding area, 120 county roads and state highways were closed, said County Judge Paul Pape. Deceptively high water rushed across low crossings, prompting Texas Department of Transportation officials to erect barriers. Eight people were arrested for trying to move or go around barricades. It’s a Class B misdemeanor, and county officials are taking the offense seriously.“This is not a video game. This is real life,” Pape said. “You really do drown and you die.”  Continue reading...

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