The sad part about being in television news is that you get to see some really nice places when they are at their worst. Marble Falls is one of those places. It’s set in Texas Hill Country, where rolling hills meet tranquil lakes and creeks, and where I have fond memories of Texas barbeque and Shiner Bock. This week, though, the area is anything but tranquil. The incredible power of Mother Nature has once again made itself apparent.
When we rolled in to Marble Falls, the first thing we noticed was buckled pavement. Huge chunks looked like big jigsaw pieces ripped from the road. We stopped at a cement business that had been flooded. Water rolled up sections of the metal like you might pop the top of a tuna can. A woman standing by was clutching her baby boy. She worried the cement shop might not open again and leave the boy’s father out of work. About 150 businesses and homes were damaged or destroyed here. Governor Rick Perry says the damage alone could reach more than $100 million.
Across town, we came across one of the many bridges that is closed. The mayor says even though some of the bridges may look safe, they are not. They have structural damage that might cause them to collapse if cars drive across. This bridge does not look safe. It’s a mess of jumbled concrete, pavement, and metal. Near it, a car rests in a tree. Strangely, the creek under the bridge hardly looks intimidating. It’s hard to imagine that in the space of a few hours, it went from this to a raging wall of water.
We met a family who lives near the creek and the bridge. They had a few cars and a garage. The garage is gone. The cars are several hundred feet away from where they had been parked before the flood. The family’s brand new riding lawnmower was found three blocks away. The family has lost a lot, but no one was hurt. In fact, no one has been hurt or killed here in Marble Falls. But in the past week, 11 people elsewhere in the state have been killed in the storms.
What will the next few days hold? Residents here in Marble Falls wait and wonder and worry. The forecast calls for more rain.
Maggie Lineback is a Dallas Bureau Producer.