TX looks at damage

As rivers in saturated Texas receded this weekend, the community of Wharton looked to be one of the hardest hit areas, according to the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

BY SUSAN KIM | WHARTON, Texas | November 29, 2004


As rivers in saturated Texas receded this weekend, the community of Wharton looked to be one of the hardest hit areas, according to the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

By Monday, about 150 residents who were out of their homes over the weekend were able to return and view the damage, according to the mayor's office.

Mayor Bryce Kocian lifted a dusk-to-dawn curfew. City workers inspected homes to assess whether buildings were habitable and whether any health hazards remained. City officials were also offering tetanus booster shots for residents who wanted them.

An American Red Cross shelter open at the Wharton Junior High School was expected to remain open through Tuesday.

On Friday, the Colorado River crested in Wharton at more than 48 feet - inches shy of the level reached during 1998 flooding there. By Sunday, the river had dropped below its 39-foot flood stage.

According to the Wharton County Office of Emergency Management, most of the homes impacted by flooding were single-level, lower-income homes that were impacted during previous floods. Some homes had as much as four feet of water inside.

Forecasters were calling for more rain Monday and Tuesday this week. And, if more rain comes, the river has a tremendous head start, warned forecasters, since the ground is saturated.

The Guadalupe River also rose above flood stage, damaging homes in the Cuero and Victoria areas.


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