United States

Wise County Prepares for More Flooding

Lake Bridgeport spilled out of its banks on Wednesday and flooded U.S. Highway 380 in Runaway Bay.

The Texas Department of Transportation has shut down the highway until the water recedes.

"And the water continues to rise," said Wise County Sheriff Lane Akin. "So it's leaving some people on the west side of Bridgeport somewhat stranded."

"We feel like if everyone stays calm, there's no panic, that there won't be any need for real concern," Sheriff Akin said.

But Wednesday evening NBC 5 witnessed a driver try to cross the flooded Highway 380.

"There was no chance," said Robert Riffe, who watched the drama unfold. "I seen him pass me going pretty good."

"He never hit the brakes," Riffe added.

Instead, the truck floated off the road and sank beneath the surface. The driver crawled out of the window to the hood, then jumped into the water and swam to the frontage road.

He was cold and wet, but otherwise okay.

He didn't want to give his name, but when asked if he had any advice for others about going around detours he said, "If they're stupid enough to do what I did, they'll probably get the same result."

The truck was submerged, only part of the antenna showing.

The lesson? "Stay off the road," said Riffe shaking his head. "And go around the detour."

The One Stop Store near the lake in Runaway Bay is once again surrounded by water. It's the second time in less than a year. A team of 50 volunteers placed sandbags around the store Wednesday.

"There's water everywhere. It's flooding downstream," said Berry White, a Wise County resident whose father owns the store.

Along Shady Oaks Drive, a sinkhole has neighbors concerned.

"This is our only through-route. If we were to have an emergency, this is our only viable way out," said Lauren Holt. "It's one of our only emergency exits. This has always been our safety route."

A dirt road turns into mud and another road is shut down during heavy rainfall, Holt said.

The Bridgeport Police Department advised residents of military-type personal carriers in the area. The Wise County Emergency Management Department requested the vehicles from the Texas Department of Emergency Management.

The vehicles will be staged in Bridgeport and will be utilized during high water rescues around Lake Bridgeport, a spokesman said.

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