Breckenridge Texan

City of Breckenridge, Stephens County plan for potential flooding

City of Breckenridge, Stephens County plan for potential flooding
June 03
17:10 2019

UPDATE: On Tuesday evening, the National Weather Service advised the Stephens County emergency coordinators that the major rainfall expected to come up from the Gulf of Mexico is expected to hit to the north and east of this area. Scattered showers and thunderstorms are still possible through Thursday night. As of Wednesday morning, the forecast shows rain mostly clear skies on Friday and Saturday with a 20 percent chance of rain returning on Sunday.

Original story:

Stephens County Judge Michael Roach called an emergency meeting this morning, Monday, June 3, to discuss potential flooding that could occur in Stephens County if the area gets more rain.

The meeting was attended by many of the community’s leaders, including the county commissioners, the mayor, city manager, police chief, fire chief, sheriff, school district superintendent and representatives from the hospital, law enforcement dispatchers, Texas Department of Transportation, churches and more.

Roach said that during a conference call with the State Operations Center, he learned of a tropical storm system moving up from the Gulf of Mexico that could impact the Stephens County area. “Where that hits is really going to determine how much rainfall we get over the next 48 hours or 72 hours or so,” Roach said. “The predictions right now put it a little to the east of us, which is a good thing. We still are in line for some significant rainfall, but not what it could be if that system moves directly upon us.”

The current weather forecast from the National Weather Service shows a 20 percent chance of rain and thunderstorms Monday night and Tuesday morning, increasing to a 40 percent chance on Tuesday night. By Wednesday, the experts have predicted, a 60 percent chance of thunderstorms for Breckenridge. That forecast could change as the forecasters are better able to determine where the tropical storm will hit.

Roach explained how Hubbard Creek and Gunsolus Creek (aka Gonzales Creek) meet north of Breckenridge and are part of the system that feeds Possum Kingdom Lake. If enough rain causes the creeks and rivers in the area to get backed up, Gunsolus Creek will start flowing backward – from north to south – and that will lead to major flooding in Breckenridge, he said. “When that happens…we don’t have long,” Roach said. “It can get away from us in a quick hurry.”

Breckenridge Fire Chief Calvin Chaney brought maps that showed the flood zones, which are on either side of Gunsolus Creek, Walker Branch and along a stream in the southwest part of Breckenridge. “This is the known flood zone,” Chaney said. “This is the area that will be evacuated first. These are the areas that flooded in ’81, ’08, ’16. These are the areas that we have to concentrate on to get people out. There aren’t a whole lot of people that live in those areas, but that’s where the issues are going to come from.”

Local residents can sign up to receive “Code Red” messages, which will include notices for evacuation, as well as bad weather warnings, by clicking this link from the City of Breckenridge website:

If the local creeks and rivers start to flood, the City and County emergency services will separate their resources so that they have police, sheriff and fire vehicles, as well as ambulances, on both sides of the flooded areas. Additionally, the fire department, and the area volunteer fire departments will provide critical entities, such as the hospital, nursing home and jail, with water for flushing toilets and other needs.

First United Methodist Church and The Lighthouse Church will be used as temporary shelters, and the former American Legion building can be used as an evacuation center.

The Breckenridge Texan will be keeping up with any news related to flooding and will post information both on this website and on the Breckenridge Texan’s Facebook and Twitter pages.


Story by Carla McKeown/Breckenridge Texan

Cutline, top photo: Breckenridge Fire Chief Calvin Chaney addresses the Stephens County Commissioners Court on Monday morning regarding the areas of town that will likely be affected if flooding happens in Breckenridge. (Photo by Tony Pilkington/Breckenridge Texan)

Editor’s note: This article was updated with new information and a weather graphic at about 10:30 a.m. on Wednesday, June 5.

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