Colorado River could flood Bastrop County neighborhoods


by SHELTON GREEN / KVUE News and photojournalist MATT OLSEN

Posted on October 14, 2013 at 10:39 PM

SMITHVILLE, Texas – Residents in three Bastrop County neighborhoods were asked to voluntarily pack up for higher ground on Monday. The warning comes ahead of floodwaters expected upstream from the Austin area.

The Smithville Volunteer Fire Department sent out a potential warning Monday evening to residents living near the Colorado River.

Hidden Shores is one of three Bastrop County neighborhoods put on alert Monday evening.

John Purser lives in the Hidden Shores neighborhood, he says he's only seen it this high once in the five years he's owned his property.

“It really looks like a golf course. I mean, it's basically Bermuda grass all the way out,” he said.
Residents in Pecan Shores and the Kirtley Subdivision were also notified of a potential evacuation.

As of Monday evening the Colorado River was expected to crest at 20 to 30 feet in the Bastrop area.

“It's come up probably 10, 12 foot. We expect it to crest at about 16 feet,” Purser said.

All eyes will be on the skies in Hidden Shores, Pecan Shores and the Kirtely Subdvision Monday evening into Tuesday morning. The Smithville Volunteer Fire Department is sending out potential flood warnings to all three neighborhoods.

“The water is a great equalizer. No matter how good you think you are, the water will take your life, and can take your life,” Assistant Chief David Williams with the Smithville Volunteer Fire Department said.

Other low-lying areas could also flood, depending on how high the river rises.

“I've heard anything from 20 to 30 feet in Bastrop. And if that comes here, then yes, we'll get that same amount of water too,” Williams said.

The Pursers say the Colorado River will have to reach 25 feet before they're sent packing.

Despite the flood danger, the high water has made for good fishing. And the trees, strained by drought conditions, may have hope as winter approaches.

“It's given us the necessary water. We'll come out and find all kinds of treasures out here next week when we visit the property again,” Purser said.

The Colorado River is expected to crest in Bastrop County sometime around midnight.