Pictured: This Rancho Alegre man rode his bicycle down the street to check on his neighbors.
High waters rushed through the San Felipe Creek Thursday in the Rancho Alegre area as heavy rains continue to come down on Jim Wells County. Photo by MAURICIO JULIAN CUELLAR JR.
Flooding conditions persist in Alice, county areas
Ofelia Garcia Hunter, Alice Echo-News Journal
For five consecutive days, heavy rain and thunderstorms have resulted in flooding throughout Jim Wells County as 6.39 inches of rain have fallen here this week, and 17.38 inches have fallen this month.
Maggie Lopez walked barefoot in the flood water on Range Street in Rancho Alegre Thursday, carrying her dog in a kennel.
"The water got worse last night. We're going to a room somewhere else, last time it rained like this it dropped the gas tank," Maggie Lopez said, pointing to the large metal gas container in her front yard on Range Street. "The water is up to our knees and it is already at the back porch.
"We took off this morning to park our cars at my work. They said it might rain until Saturday. We're afraid the house might move and fall because of the water level now."
Federico Gonzalez, who lives in the 900 block of Range Street, said the rain is bad, but the potholes are worse.
"When it dries, there are big holes in the road after the patches wash away.
"They just put in caliche in the holes, but once it rains again, the patches are gone again. My nephew's car broke down last time it rained after hitting a hole here," Gonzalez said, pointing toward the lake sitting on top of Range Street.
Gonzalez said his wife, Dahlia, and sister-in-law, Tomasa Ramirez, are both wheelchair-bound and the water conditions make it difficult to transport them to their appointments.
"They're both in wheelchairs, so it's very hard," he said. "When I take them for their doctor's appointments, I have to pick them up and carry them to the car, or they would get wet."
Jim Wells County has been under a flash flood warning for several days. Some road closures included Farm-to-Market Road 1930, several streets in the Rancho Alegre area and FM 665 out towards FM 70 and FM 625 near Highway 281. In the city, low lying areas such as Highland Street, the creek near Josephine Street, Freer Place and E. Main Street near Long John Silver's Restaurant and the Wal-Mart area have had flooding problems.
A Flash Flood Watch means that flooding of small streams, creeks and other drainage areas is possible within the watch area, the National Weather Service reports. Residents living in the watch area should be prepared for immediate action should heavy rains and flash floods occur and a Flash Flood Warning is issued.
With the ground already saturated, any additional rainfall will quickly run off and increase the potential for Flash Flooding, NWS reports.
Jim Wells County crews were on County Road 336 Thursday to warn drivers about rushing water that was covering several portions of the county road. Several homes in the Bentonville area were completely surrounded by flood waters.
Homes on the north side of FM 665 near the Flournoy Road intersection were also surrounded by flood waters, and several cars parked in front of the homes had water up to their windows.
Today, rain and thunderstorms are likely with more heavy rainfall, the Corpus Christi National Weather Service reports. It will be mostly cloudy with a high near 89 degrees.
Scattered showers will continue tonight.
NWS calls for more showers and thunderstorms Saturday with a 60 percent chance of precipitation and temperatures in the lower 90s. Saturday evening chances of rain decrease to 30 percent, mostly cloudy with a high around 76 degrees.
Sunday continues with scattered showers and thunderstorms with an expected high near 93 degrees with a 40 percent chance of rain.
Sunday night chances of rain decline to 20 percent chance of showers with partly cloudy and low temperatures around 76 degrees, NWS reports.
Reporters Christopher Maher and Mauricio Julian Cuellar Jr. contributed to this report.