TxDOT: Floodwaters continue to impact 9-county Brownwood district
News release from the Texas Department of Transportation:
Roadways throughout the nine-county Brownwood district continue to be impacted by floodwaters, as TxDOT crews brace for more expected rainfall through the end of the week.
In Brown County, TxDOT is closely monitoring the level of the Pecan Bayou as it crosses under US 67/84/377 at the Brownwood/Early city limits.
As of Wednesday morning, the water level remains just below the bridge road deck, after having fallen slightly overnight. However, additional heavy rains could result in the need to close the busy thoroughfare should water begin flowing over the roadway.
Also in Brown County, Farm to Market 2525 (Williams Ranch Road) remains closed from US 67/84/377 (Early Blvd.) to FM 2126 due to high water.
In Comanche County, FM 1476 at Proctor Lake and FM 679 south of Gorman remain closed due to high water.
In Eastland County, State Highway 16 remains closed in the Desdemona area, however pavement repairs are underway to get the highway open as soon as possible. FM 2214 remains closed at Lake Leon due to high water.
In Stephens County, portions of FM 1852 and FM 578 remain closed due to high water.
TxDOT strongly encourages drivers to "Turn Around, Don't Drown" and avoid driving over any roads that are covered with water. As the forecast calls for more scattered showers, flooding could continue to impact many of the state's roadways. It is imperative drivers heed all warnings and NEVER drive around barricades or cross roads that are either closed or submerged with water.
Flash flooding is the leading cause of weather-related deaths in Texas. As little as six inches of water can float some vehicles. Drivers should always remember the following safety tips:
• Never try to walk, swim or drive through swift water.
• Stay informed about weather conditions when you are driving.
• If your vehicle stalls in deep water, leave it and move to higher ground if you can do so safely.
• Don't move, tamper with or drive around barriers blocking a low-water crossing.
• Disobeying a warning sign or driving around a barricade is punishable by a fine of up to $2,000, up to 180 days in jail, or both.
Many of the state's roadways remain closed due to heavy rains over the past several days. Please visit DriveTexas.org for the latest road conditions. Drivers are also encouraged to check Facebook, www.facebook.com/txdot and Twitter, www.twitter.com/txdot or http://www.twitter.com/txdotbwdfor additional updates.
For news media inquiries, contact Andrew.Carlson@TxDOT.gov or (325) 643-0413.
Brownwood City Manager Emily Crawford provided a flooding update at 6:30 a.m. Wednesday, noting water levels "actually went down slightly in town overnight."
"The lake did not crest as high as expected," Crawford said, noting Hwy 377/67 remains open.
However, Crawford said: "Continue to avoid high-water areas and obey barricades."
More street, business and other closures have been announced in Brownwood due to flooding.
Lake Brownwood State Park has been closed.
Brownwood street closures, as of 2:40 p.m. Tuesday, included::
*- Lee from Cordell to Victoria
*- Market Place from Clements to Houston
*- Riverside Drive at Commerce
*- CC Woodson from Milton to Williams Ranch Rd.
*- Cordell at Adam's Branch
*- Trapp - Fisk to Riverside
*- Riverside - Trapp to Pecan
*- Vine Street underpass
*- Opal - from Commerce to CC Woodson
*- North Belle Plain from Booker to Belle Plain
Three businesses in the 300 block of East Commerce Street – Tractor Supply, Big Lots and Dollar General – are closed, according to Brownwood City Manager Emily Crawford.
Another business - Humphrey Pete's restaurant -- also is no longer open. It is located in the 100 block of Early Boulevard in Early.
Earlier Tuesday, the National Weather Service predicted that Lake Brownwood may rise to 1430.2 feet today – or roughly six feet above capacity.
"They are forecasting 1/2 - 1 inch of rain on the watershed over the next few days," Crawford said, noting the lake level could reach 1430.4 feet with additional rainfall.
Pecan Bayou has crested at Cross Cut north of the lake, but continues to rise slowly in Brownwood, Crawford said.
"TxDOT is watching the bridge on Hwy 377/67 over the Pecan Bayou, and at this time water is flowing well under the bridge," Crawford said.
The city of Brownwood is warning about the possibility of flooding.
City Manager Emily Crawford says Lake Brownwood is rising "due to substantial rainfall overnight in the watershed."
According to the National Weather Service, the lake is expected to crest at 1430 feet after 7 a.m. Tuesday. That is more than 2 feet higher than the current level.
Crawford says "should the lake crest at the predicted height, the Pecan Bayou will flow higher in town, and likely flood roads, bridges and properties in the immediate vicinity of the Pecan Bayou."
A sand bag station is available to the public at the former Higginbotham's location at 1500 Center Avenue. It is a self-service station, so be prepared to bag and load your own. Bring shovels and gloves.
Businesses, residences and properties prone to flooding should take precautionary measures.
There are currently no street closures in Brownwood.
The following roads are closed in Brown County:
CR 257 (10 mile)
If you see water running across the road, turn around, don't drown.