Llano residents react to historic river flooding

“I’ve never seen anything like this, not even close,” said Patti Ratcliff who has lived in Llano since 2003.

The rain fell and the Llano River rose. It crested at just under 40 feet Tuesday morning. The Llano Office of Emergency Management encouraged anyone living within 1/4 of a mile of the river to seek higher ground.

“About 4:00 this morning a sheriff came and told us we needed to evacuate. I asked him how long we had and he said 30 minutes,” Ratcliff said.  

Ratcliff lives right by the Llano River with her son, eight cats and three birds.

“One of the vehicles we put all of the animals in our cats and birds and we went to the evacuation center,” she said.

By mid Tuesday morning the river had come down. Her son put this fence post where the water had been just an hour earlier. So they decided to wait it out. 

“I still feel like we’re in danger of losing our house. We’re not out of the woods yet so it’s very, very scary,” she said.

Lonnie Craven says he was born and raised in Llano said.

“I retired from TxDOT here in Llano and I’ve seen high water but I’ve never had to close the Llano bridge. We’ve closed it for various...things...maintenance but not high water like this,” he said.

The bridge closing was an issue for residents, affecting businesses and preventing some people from getting home.

“My sister-in-law lives at Parkview acres. And we can’t get her back home she spent the night with me last night and we tried to get back to her house and all the roads are closed going to Parkview acres,” Craven said.

Phyllis Alexander, owner of a hotel she’s remodeling on the other side of the river, worried about the damage from afar.

“I have my contractor over there and he said it’s up over the slab next to the hotel and it is up underneath the porch but he said it’s going down maybe a foot in the last 30 minutes,” Alexander said looking from the other side of the river.

“We needed the water, we needed the rain. I don’t know if we needed this much Lord,” Craven said.