More help on the way for Hays County flood victims

 President Barack Obama signed a disaster declaration for the State of Texas Friday night.

That makes flood victims in Hays County eligible for federal funding for temporary housing and home repairs.

It's good news for people who live in Wimberley and say the town is barely recognizable after the Memorial Day weekend flood.

"That gorgeous lawn, the crystal blue water, the flow going over the water, the sound of the water, it was so gorgeous," said Barbara Ash whose home suffered major damage in the flood.

"I couldn't have gone through this if it hadn't been for my friends," Ash added.

Hays County officials said last week the Blanco River climbed to 44 feet.

"We were told we were beyond the 500 year flood plain. We didn't need flood insurance, so we didn't. It'll never reach your house. I watched it creep up to my house until it was touching," said Ash.

The flood damaged about 1,200 homes.

"We walked in, we looked at the door, and it's just indescribable. It looked like someone was playing with my toys in the mud and everything was painted black and I said, 'I can't stand to look at this anymore,'" said Ash.   

According to the Hays County Emergency Operations Center, 209 homes are beyond repair and that number is expected to rise.

People like Ash were left wondering where to turn for help.
    
"We spent every dime we have on this piece of property. We live a good life, thought we were living a good life, and now it's all destroyed and we have to start all over again," said Ash.

Ash found some of the resources she was looking for at the Wimberley Community Center Saturday. Nonprofits filled up the center offering help and hope to victims of the historic Wimberley flood.

"That way they're able to come together and not just get assistance from us or Red Cross, but from so many other agencies here," said spokesperson for American Red Cross Eric Maldonado.

 "I was surprised in the fact the first group of ladies I talked to they were giving emotional support. I have somebody I can call and cry on their shoulder and I didn't know that and I need that, so that was good," said Ash.  

Ash is hopeful that aid from the federal government will help people rebuild in Wimberley.

"I have signed up. I did all the paperwork I was supposed to. I had people at my house and they told me they would call, so I'm waiting for the call," said Ash.

A resource center will be set up in San Marcos Sunday and Monday. Nonprofits will be at the St. John Catholic Church from 8 am-8pm.

Flood victims can register for federal assistance online at www.disasterassistance.gov or call 1-800-621-FEMA.



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