By Emily Banks Wooten
As of Friday afternoon, Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) reported that FM 1987 at Piney Creek, just northeast of the City of Corrigan, was passable. However, water was over the bridge at Nine Bridges Road at Piney Creek and it was impassable. Holly Grove Road had water over the road, but not over the bridge.
According to TxDOT, Menard Creek is currently in flood stage and FM 943 at Menard Creek is an area to watch cautiously as it may be impacted by rising water over the next few days.
“Remember to be cautious when driving, especially at night when visibility is limited and avoid flooded areas. Remember turn around, don’t drown,” TxDOT urged.
Polk Countians have been inundated with weather events. Coming right on the heels of an Arctic Cold Front has been heavy rainfall and flooding.
Water from the Trinity River began to encroach on Route 66, a low-lying area along the Trinity River just west of Taylor Lake Estates Subdivision in Livingston on Thursday. The Polk County Office of Emergency Management (OEM) reported Friday afternoon that floodwaters remained on Route 66. This area is prone to flooding when the Trinity River is in flood stage. Recreational vehicles and some permanent structures exist in the area.
Polk County issued a voluntary evacuation order at 9:40 p.m. Wednesday for low-lying areas along the Trinity River below the Lake Livingston Dam. Residents who chose to evacuate were encouraged to first seek shelter with relatives or friends. For those in need of shelter, the county opened the Dunbar Gym and it was staffed by the American Red Cross. However, as there were no shelter occupants, the shelter closed Thursday morning. The voluntary evacuation order is expected to remain in place until the level of the Trinity River and flooding impacts improve.
Due to the heavy rainfall, a road washout occurred Tuesday on the west side of Crystal Lakes Subdivision at Choates Creek and Crystal Lakes West located off U.S. Hwy. 190 East and Polk County Road & Bridge crew were onsite.
Precinct 4 Commissioner Jerry Cassity informed the OEM that the road was continuing to deteriorate and was not safe for vehicle or foot traffic. Residents on the west side of the subdivision were to shelter in place until further notice. Residents on the east side of the subdivision were able to access their homes via Crystal Lakes East. Roadwork repair began Wednesday and by that afternoon, Crystal Lakes West was passable to local traffic only.
Other roads impacted included Dove Road, Duff Road at Menard Creek, Kitty Wells Road, Clark Springs Street at Latimer, Yarbrough Loop, Upper Leggett Road, Redhorse Road, River Lakes Road, Stryker Road/FM 352, FM 1276 at Double A Lakes, FM 350 North and multiple locations on East FM 942.
The National Weather Service (NWS) forecast a 70% chance of precipitation Friday with new rainfall amounts between a tenth to a quarter of an inch, with higher amounts possible in the event of thunderstorms. There was an 80% chance of precipitation Friday night. Flooding was ongoing on the Trinity River and the NWS extended the flood warning for the Trinity River near Goodrich until Monday morning.
According to NWS, the Trinity River near Goodrich was in flood stage and was forecast to rise to a crest of 39.2 feet Friday evening and fall below flood stage Sunday evening. NWS issued a flood warning for Menard Creek near Rye with minor flooding forecast.
The Trinity River Authority increased the discharge at Lake Livingston Dam to 84,819 cfs (cubic feet per second) on Thursday but by Friday evening had decreased the discharge to 77,163 cfs.