Coryell County still assessing storm, flood damage

An aerial view of the flooding in Gatesville's Faunt Le Roy Park. (Courtesy Justin Hoover/file)
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GATESVILLE, Texas (KWTX) The emergency management coordinator in Coryell County said Monday he is calculating damage left in the wake of flooding two weeks ago that left many areas inundated.

Bob Harrell said it will take some time because “it’s not over yet.”

Harrell is charged with coordinating emergency management efforts throughout the county and he serves as EMC for each city, too, except Copperas Cove.

Coryell County has asked the state for disaster aid, but it was not among the 36 counties for which Governor Greg Abbott announced disaster relief last week.

Those counties include: Bandera, Bastrop, Baylor, Blanco, Brown, Burnet, Callahan, Cameron, Coleman, Colorado, Comanche, Eastland, Edwards, Erath, Fayette, Gillespie, Hamilton, Haskell, Hidalgo, Hood, Jim Wells, Jones, Kendall, Kerr, Kimble, Kinney, Lampasas, La Salle, Liberty, Live Oak, Llano, Madison, Mason, McMullen, Mills, Nolan, Nueces, Palo Pinto, Parker, Real, San Jacinto, San Patricio, San Saba, Shackelford, Somervell, Stephens, Taylor, Throckmorton, Travis, Uvalde, Walker, Willacy, Williamson, and Zavala, the governor’s updated list says.

Coryell County Judge John Firth didn’t wait for the state as he issued a “local state of disaster” by proclamation on Oct. 25.

It reads: “Due to prolonged flooding starting on October 13, 2018, Coryell County has suffered widespread or severe damage, injury, or loss of property (or there is imminent threat of same) resulting from the prolonged flooding has exceeded the County's capabilities to protect the citizens, property and infrastructure.”

Masking the local proclamation set certain measures in place, such as “this declaration of a local state of disaster activates the Coryell County Emergency Management Plan.”

Harrell said once all the data is accumulated, he’ll present it in required form and submit that to the state for reimbursement.

“We even have to have estimates from the (Texas Department of Transportation) TxDOT for the repairs they made to highways and roadways,” Harrell said.

Harrell said Monday the waters had subsided a significant degree, “but we have more rain coming this week, so this isn’t over yet,” he said.

Forecasters have said there will be widespread rain on Wednesday.

The damage already done is what Harrell is dealing with now.

“We had roofs damaged, we even had roof damage at the courthouse,” Harrell said.

“But there was no loss of life,” he said.

So far there haven’t even been any reports of loss of livestock, he said.

“Our biggest problem was roads,” Harrell said, “but the sheriff’s office and (Texas Department of Public Safety) troopers handled that pretty quickly.”

Only two remained blocked Monday morning and Harrell said he thought those would open sometime Monday.

Coryell County last was designated a disaster area on August 29, 2018, when the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Farm Service Agency (FSA) made emergency loans due to weeks of severe drought.