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Lake Brownwood State Park cancels reservations to accommodate evacuees

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LAKE BROWNWOOD, Texas - Tim O'Farrell's extended stay at Lake Brownwood State Park is nearly over after ending up there in the wake of Hurricane Harvey. The park canceled 27 reservations in order to accommodate evacuees.

He evacuated from Galveston August 24, and went to Huntsville State Park to wait out the passing of Hurricane Harvey, but that Sunday he was forced to leave after the park began to flood.

Since then, he's been living out of his trailer at Lake Brownwood for more with his wife, daughter, and granddaughter. On Monday night he hit the road back to Galveston.

"The headache of getting out was just stressful. I mean, my stomach was just in knots," O'Farrell said. "I don't want to go through that again."

The park has a total of 107 areas for people to stay. At its peak, Lake Brownwood housed 77 evacuees from south Texas. As of Monday, the number decreased to 33.

"We're very glad we were able to provide some relief for the folks who didn't have any other place to go, and in many cases, couldn't make other arrangements for places to stay," Lake Brownwood State Park Superintendent John Holland said.

All state parks also waived their fees for those who were forced to relocate because of Harvey. Bobbie Davis welcomed the news.

"Almost as soon as they checked me in they said, 'Oh, we just got notification for evacuees. You can stay at the gratis of the state of Texas," Davis said.

She left Houston on August 24 and traveled as far west from Harvey's path as she could.

"I've only lived there going on four years now and it's flooded at least three times in my area," Davis said.

As for O'Farrell, he's choosing to see the glass as half-full, which is easy for him since he learned from his brother that his home in Galveston wasn't damaged.

"You have to take the good with the bad. There's no sense in getting upset over something you have no control over," O'Farrell said. "I mean, that's life."

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