Breckenridge Texan

County Judge to issue disaster declaration for Stephens County due to flooding

County Judge to issue disaster declaration for Stephens County due to flooding
May 31
20:47 2021

By Tony Pilkington and Carla McKeown/Breckenridge Texan

Following heavy rain in the area, some Breckenridge residents were evacuated from their homes this evening, Monday, May 31, and more evacuations could be in store for the community as rainwater from around the area continues to flow into local creeks, rivers and lakes. County Judge Michael Roach said he is preparing to issue a disaster declaration for Stephens County due to the flooding that has affected some homes and businesses.

First United Methodist Church has been opened as a shelter for those who have been evacuated. By about 8:30 p.m., no one had been to the church for shelter, and it will close at 9 p.m. Monday night, unless it is needed before then.

City of Breckenridge employees put out barricades at the corner or East Hullum and South Baylor on Monday evening to prevent traffic from driving through the high water. (Photo by Tony Pilkington/Breckenridge Texan)

According to Breckenridge Fire Chief Calvin Chaney, residents on South Cutting, the 300 block of East Hullum, 300 block of South Roberts, North Front from Lindsey to Fourth streets need to leave their houses.

The water level at Lake Daniels is about 18 inches over the spillway, aka the “morning glory” or drain hole. When the water goes over that spillway, it feeds into the Gunsolus Creek. Additionally, Hubbard Creek Reservoir is nearly full, and six of the floodgates have been opened.

“Then, there’s all the other water that’s being dumped in there from all these other creeks that are absolutely full and tanks that are full, so basically what you have now is a situation where, if you get an inch of rain, it’s going to end up in that Gunsolus Creek because no place else can hold it. Tanks are full, ditches are full … there’s no place for it to go,” Roach said.

Several streets in Breckenridge have water crossing the roadways, and Chaney reminds drivers to “turn around, don’t drown.”

Roach said the emergency managers in Breckenridge and Stephens County do not expect the flooding to last very long. However, in case of severe flooding, local emergency departments are prepared to split up their equipment, including fire trucks other rescue vehicles, on both sides of the Gunsolus Creek to ensure that responders will be able to reach local residents.

The National Weather Service has issued a Flash Flood Warning until 10 p.m. tonight, May 31, and a Flash Flood Watch until 7 a.m. Tuesday, June 1. Additionally, there is a 20 to 40 percent chance of rain/thunderstorms throughout the week.

The Gunsolus Creek flows across the road on East Hullum Street on Monday evening. (Photo by Tony Pilkington/Breckenridge Texan)

Floodwaters threatened local businesses on South Breckenridge Avenue/U.S. Highway 183 South on Monday evening. At one point, Stephens County Judge Michael Roach rescued a cat sitting on a log outside of Sissy’s Cafe. (Photo by Tony Pilkington/Breckenridge Texan)

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