Neighbors in Thoroughbred Farms hoping for help from County

The Thoroughbred Farms neighborhood has been hit with its second flood in just seven months.

“The first time was October 30 and now it's almost seven months away and happened again,” said John Gonzalez who has lived in Thoroughbred Farms for 26 years.

“I see all the hard work that these people have put into their homes, and ready to move in, and some of them already living in there, just to have it taken away again and starting all over,” said Lori Petty who has lived in the neighborhood for almost 30 years.

John Gonzales said for the second time in the last year, he lost his belongings to the wall of water that rushed down his street.

“Back in October 30 of last year, we flooded worse than what we did this time, but as you can see I hadn't finished renovating my entire house and here we go again,” said Gonzalez. 

Last week firefighters responded with rescue rafts after two feet of water filled the area, but neighbors said having a heads up before it floods could have saved lives last October.

“We don't have any warning system out here. They were supposed to put something on the creeks around, but they haven't gotten to that yet,” said Gonzalez. 

Rumors circle the neighborhood about possible explanations for the flooding. The SH 130 toll road, FM 973 and debris in Dry Creek have all taken some of the blame.

“I don't know what could possibly be causing it, but we have had a lot of rainfall, but then again we've been here 30 years with a lot of rainfall. We've never had it do this before. If they can solve it quickly before, you know, the more and more lives are being taken and that's sad,” Petty said.

Without an end in sight, Gonzalez would rather be safe than sorry.

“I don't think we're going to rebuild again because what's there to stop it from coming again?” said Gonzalez. 

He and several of his neighbors are hoping for help in the form of a buyout from Travis County officials, but Travis County Transportation and Natural Resources staff said they already have a waiting list of people who want to be bought out and no funds to get it done.
               
“We don't know what's going to happen. Maybe next time we won't be able to save our lives, so yeah, I think that's our last resort is to move out,” Gonzalez said. 

Others said they can't imagine life anywhere else.

“We just invested everything we have into it. I was just hoping they would solve the problem so we can live in our own home. We raised all our children here and I'd just hate to leave this place,” said Petty. 

Because for Petty, as long as this place is still standing, it's not just a house, it’s home.

Although there are no flood gauges in the Thoroughbred Farms area, the County said they do have a reverse 911 warning system set up for those with a home phone.

Neighbors are meeting at Creedmoor Elementary School Saturday, June 4, to discuss the process of applying for a buyout.

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