Travis County reveals flood damage totals

TRAVIS COUNTY, Texas— Travis County officials released flood damage totals for the rain that fell Halloween weekend. More than 300 properties were affected. Fifty of those were not in a floodplain.

Last Friday, the rainfall proved disastrous for Travis County residents. In total, 336 properties were affected with 161 having major damage.

For the most part, the areas affected are known to flood. What is puzzling to flood plain administrator Stacey Scheffel is the 50 properties that saw damage that were not in a flood plain.

"Well, we're certainly questioning it. My recommendation to the court will be to do reconnaissance, try to figure out why these flooded, try to figure out what went on, did we get a bigger storm than our statistical 100-year, one-percent storm? Or was something else going on. We've spent this past week just trying to figure out what was damaged and what extent the damage is," Scheffel said.

The homes in question are located in the Arroyo Doble and Thoroughbred Farms areas.

Residents at Thoroughbred Farms experienced a wall of five to eight feet of water when they would typically endure what Scheffel calls shallow, nuisance flooding.

"It's sad. Thoroughbred Farms, especially. It was devastated. The scary thing about that is I have no idea what went on. I wouldn't expect that flooding there," Scheffel said.

Scheffel will keep those victims in mind as she begins to make recommendations to the commissioner's court next week.

For now, 95 people remain at a shelter at Dittmar Rec Center. Some don't have a home to return to. Scheffel says everyone can apply for buyouts. That is one option she will ask the court to consider.

"It's not realistic to think we can buy everyone out, but I do think we're going to be looking at multiple options to reduce our risk for floods," Scheffel said.

The City of Austin and Travis County will open the Volunteer Resource Center on Nov. 8 to assist in flood recovery. Officials said the VRC will launch a coordinated volunteer effort beginning then.

Volunteer duties will continue throughout the week in clean-up, debris removal, or other duties.The VRC will be located at Crossroads Christian House of Prayer, located at 5201 East William Cannon Dr., Austin, TX 78744.

The hours will be as follows:

            -Sunday, Nov. 8, 2015 from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m.

            -Monday, Nov. 9 to Saturday, Nov. 14 from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Limited parking is available at the Onion Creek Soccer Complex, at 5600 East William Cannon, Austin, Tex, 78744. Volunteers are strongly encouraged to carpool. If additional parking is necessary, and identified, it will be posted at austintexas.gov/howtohelp. Volunteers should check for updates daily.

To sign, head to handsoncentraltexas.org before your planned arrival, informing how many people are expected to be in their group and what tools (gloves, shovels, etc.) can be provided.

For more information, please call 3-1-1 or 512-974-2000.

Donated Goods:

The Austin Disaster Relief Network (ADRN) is accepting new pillows, blankets, socks and undergarments. Items can be dropped off at the Hope Family Thrift Store located at 1122 East 51st Street in Austin. For more information, call (512) 467-4940. The Teri Road Baptist Church drop-off location closed on Thursday, Nov. 05. 

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