Heavy rains across Anderson County Wednesday and early Thursday led to flooded roads, road closures and traffic issues, with rainfall in the area totaling more than eight inches.
“Palestine got 8.3 inches of rain — one of the highest in our region except for Teague in Freestone County which had 11 inches of rain and several high water rescues,” National Weather Service Meteorologist Matt Bishop told the Herald-Press. “Long Lake got 6.93 and Frankston had 7.18 inches of rain. So there was anywhere from 6 to 8 inches all across Anderson County.”
Early Thursday morning, both the city and county sent out separate Code Red alerts to warn residents about flood warnings, as the City of Palestine police, Anderson County sheriff's department, Palestine Fire Department and volunteer fire departments responded to weather-related calls. As daylight approached Thursday, Anderson County commissioners, their staff and constables also manned the roads.
“For the most part, the impassible roads were FMs (farm to market), state highways and county roads,” City of Palestine Emergency Management Coordinator Shelby Wells said. “In the city we had dangerous situations due to water on the roadways that are prone to high water, and we definitely had high water.”
Wells opened up the Emergency Operations Center at 10:46 p.m., leaving at 6:20 a.m. when Anderson County Emergency Management Coordinator Tammy Lightfoot took over.
“I stayed in contact with the National Weather Service the whole time,” Wells said.
As of Thursday afternoon, some of the roads that were still closed included CR 2202 on Salt Works Road, CR 2715 and CR 2301.
“Salt Works Road may take several days to go down,” Lightfoot said.
CR 312 in Frankston will be closed to through traffic until next week due to the road washing out.
“We had a house that flooded on CR 2301 off of (U.S.) 287 North. Lake Creek got out of the banks. She had six inches of water running through her house, but she got out of there safely,” Lightfoot said.