Hays County authorities celebrated for flood response

627 first responders from 13 different agencies helped rescue people in Hays County during the Memorial Day weekend floods.

Friday, Congressman Lloyd Doggett, (D) Texas, honored many of them at a ceremony in San Marcos.

The night Wimberley flooded, 170 people were rescued from rooftops and trees along the river.

"We lost quite a bit," said Wimberley Fire and Rescue Chief Carroll Czichos.

 
Every firefighter, law enforcement officer and paramedic said they couldn't have helped so many people if other nearby agencies didn't show up to help.
 
"It was very crazy. We normally have around 350 calls a year, that night we had around to 120 calls that night. And so it was very chaotic trying to tell people that, 'You have to standby. We can't get to you right now because we've got other rescues going,'" Czichos said. 
 
The Blanco River climbed more than 40 feet, catching many off-guard. Several lives were lost that night, hundreds of homes damaged or destroyed. Every first responder in the surrounding area was called in.
 
"I've never been prouder than I was of the people of this County and especially those who answered the call," said Hays County Judge Bert Cobb. 
 
Friday, Rep. Doggett had a message for those who helped pull people out of the rain- swollen Blanco River.
 
"You put yourselves on the front lines to save the lives of others and we want to be on the front line to say thank you to you," Doggett said. 
 
Czichos was one of the responders on the front lines that night. The floodwater chewed through 15 of the 20 cabins at Czichos' 7A Resort. The Chief didn't find out until two days later because he was so busy saving others. 
 
"It is an incredible story of personal sacrifice. To put the good of the community and the safety of others ahead of your own safety and your own interests," said Doggett. 
 
Friday, Czichos humbly accepted a certificate to honor his sacrifices. 
 
"It's an honor. I've never had this done. I've heard about it before. Never thought it would happen in Hays County and it's a very nice honor," said Czichos'. 
 
"All these first responders, despite the risk that they took, survived, saved so many of their neighbors, and did so much to make us all feel proud of them. This is the best of Hays County," said Doggett. 
 
Rep. Doggett says he is committed to making sure every flood victim receives the Federal assistance they were promised. He also wants to update warning systems so people in Hays County have more time to get to higher ground.
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