Another Tough Disaster Year
Last year it looked like it would be quite a while before we would see a deluge of destruction like we did with Hurricane Harvey, Irma, and Maria. As it turned out, the wait wasn’t very long. In September Hurricane Florence hit, and moved slowly inland dropping as much as 35 inches of rain in the Carolinas. Faith based organizations responded in force, including The Churches of Christ Disaster Relief Effort out of Nashville, TN. We sent over twenty truckloads of relief to victims of the wind and flooding from a category four Hurricane.
Florence was quickly followed in October by Hurricane Michael that destroyed entire towns in the Florida Panhandle and moved across Georgia, finally dropping more rain on the Carolinas. A steady stream of trucks have headed south to provide relief for victims. Those efforts in both the Carolinas, as well as Florida and Georgia continue.
In the middle of all of this Texas has not been spared. But here, it has been flooding in the Texas Hill Country. First, it was in Sonora and The Churches of Christ Disaster Relief Effort sent a truckload there to help with the 75 homes that had been flooded. That was soon followed by flooding nearby in Junction and other surrounding cities. The Church in Sonora had some of the relief supplies left over, so they shared with their neighbors. Then even more flooding hit in the same area and lives were lost.
The rain continued and moved into the Highland Lakes area, along the path of the Llano and Colorado rivers. Lake Buchanan and its tiny sister, Inks Lake flooded and the floodgates were opened, sending a deluge of water into Lake LBJ, which is normally a “Constant level lake.” Homes along the normally quiet lake not only became flooded with the rising water, they were engulfed in a raging torrent with huge swells that looked like the spring melt on the Columbia river. Flooded homes and boat houses were not only flooded, they were rammed with boats, trees, jet skis, wooden decks, and every type of debris you could imagine along a lake.
Photos from Highland Lakes News with permission:
When I was there last week I talked to one of the flood victims who told that he had knocked out all of the skirting around his house to let the flood water flow through and that is probably what spared his house. The piers were pretty high, so water barely got into the house, but in the middle of it all the heard something battering the house, shaking it to it’s core. When they went outside, they found there was a 26-foot-long boat being rammed into the house. The father and his adult son tried to push the huge boat back into the lake, but found it was still attached to the moorings that held it to its boat house and that had obviously been destroyed. With a great amount of effort, they managed to get it pushed back into the raging stream, saving their home. They described the sick feeling they felt as they watched the huge boat tumble over and over when it hit the main stream.
Several people on the lake told me a story I will have to treat as a pretty credible urban legend, because I never learned the name of the man it happened to or got his story straight from him. The story I was told several times, was of a man who saw his boat floating out into the fast-moving lake. With little thought for his own safety he jumped on his jet ski dodging debris and huge swells to rescue his precious boat. He caught up to it just in time before it went over the spillway at the Max Starke Dam. His intention was to fire up the engine and turn his boat toward home. However, with utter dismay he realized he didn’t have the key. It is widely reported that he went over the spillway….and survived.
It is estimated there are over 500 homes that have been flooded in the area and on Monday the Highland Lakes Church of Christ in Kingsland unloaded a truckload of relief. Later in the week another truck will be delivered to the Marble Falls Church of Christ on the opposite end of the lake.
There are a lot of Americans hurting right now, including a lot of fellow Texans. Please keep them in your prayers, as well as those who are helping them.