North Texas

Firefighters Warn Mexia Homeowners to Evacuate For Their Safety

Volunteer firefighters are going door-to-door in Mexia to warn homeowners near Lake Mexia that they need to get out for their own safety.

Gene Parrish, Chief of Lake Mexia Volunteer Fire Department, said that about 50 homes have water in them. Dozens of families self-evacuated on Wednesday.

He helped set up an emergency shelter at First Baptist Church, but Parrish said so far, no one is needing the shelter.

Other volunteer firefighters said dozens of other homes near the lake are at risk for flooding if the rain doesn't stop.

Several farm roads in the area are flooded out, and people's yards and driveways are covered in six to eight feet of water.

Lake Mexia hasn't seen flooding like that in a generation.

At 455 feet, the National Weather Service said the lake is experiencing its highest water levels since 1979, nearly 40 years. 

About 3.5 inches of rain came down in Mexia on Wednesday. The two-day total is more than seven inches.

Shanae Hicks came home from work at lunch, realizing her house was at risk for flooding. Her husband was home with their young children.

Hicks had to wade through waist-high water in order to get to her front door.

"I was terrified," she said. "I'm just shocked. I've never been through anything like this."

Hicks' hands were still trembling when NBC 5 interviewed her in her car once she drove away to safety.

"I was shaking pretty bad," she said. "I've never been through something like this. It's a new experience. And I was terrified, really just for my kids' sake. And just coming home to that, to see all that water, I was speechless."

Volunteer Firefighter Jade Candy said he assisted in about a dozen boat water-rescues.

"The roads are flooded and people's yards are flooded. Mainly we've gotten out the elderly. They can't walk through the water. It's too cold for them or the current is strong," Candy said. "The roads are flooded around here and people's yards are flooded."

Candy said no one has been injured in any of the water rescues.

"It's been a hectic day for sure, getting people out of their homes and saving them."

Most of the families who were forced from their homes are spending the night with friends or relatives who live nearby.

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