The sun shone through on Saturday, but flooding remains a concern after a week of torrential downpours.
All along the Brazos River, the saturated ground and floodwaters are causing headaches and fractured nerves.
In Hood County, officials remain concerned that the Lake Front Apartments and Townhomes could eventually plummet into Lake Granbury.
In Parker County, residents of Horseshoe Bend are bracing for yet another flood as more water is released from Possum Kingdom Lake upstream.
In Johnson County, which endured a series of flash floods, 13 roads remain closed as a result of high water.
The most immediate concern is in Granbury, where saturated soil from the week’s heavy rains caused retaining walls to collapse into the lake, leaving the Lake Front apartment complex teetering over the shoreline’s edge. On Friday, 16 units were hastily evacuated because of fears that they would start falling into the water.
Granbury Assistant City Manager Sheri Campbell-Husband said four structural engineers from the Texas Department of Transportation looked at the complex with the city's building official and fire inspectors. Everybody agreed that the complex is unsafe.
There is a real fear that the apartments could crumble and slide into the lake.
“I think that is everybody’s concern at this point,” Campbell-Husband said Saturday. “Is there any way to prevent that worst-case scenario?”
Officials are trying to determine the best way to prevent any further erosion, especially with more floodwaters moving into the lake in the coming days.
Horseshoe Bend: More water coming?
In Parker County, residents of Horseshoe Bend are bracing for their second flood in a week. The Brazos River Authority opened a third floodgate Friday night, sending another surge of water downstream. Authority spokeswoman Judi Pierce said it was unclear how long the third floodgate will have to remain open.
Forecasters are predicting that the Brazos will crest this weekend at the Dennis gauge, just upstream from Horseshoe Bend, at 25.41 feet, more than a foot less than the rise on Thursday.
It won’t be quite as bad as the previous flood but will only add to the mud and debris that the Brazos River has dumped into the low-lying neighborhood.
“It’s going to be a mess,” said Bart Salter of Horseshoe Bend. “Those sunny skies we’ve waiting for will be a godsend but they’ll bake that mud into the ground. The only way you’ll get it out will be by power-washing it.”
So far, no water has seeped into Salter’s 13 rent houses, but one tenant left.
“He lived in an area where it never floods but he got scared, packed up all of his belongings and took off,” Salter said. “I wish he had called me first.”
The Brazos at Glen Rose reached 35.31 feet on Friday, just short of the record 35.8 feet. The same surge that will affect Horseshoe Bend is expected to send the river back into a moderate flood this week.
Johnson County: Bridges, roads closed
The Brazos also impacts southern Johnson County, which is still dealing with flooding. The Texas 174 bridge at Kimball Bend over the Brazos, which connects Johnson and Bosque counties, was closed and will likely remain so for several weeks, said Jamie Moore, the Johnson County Emergency Management coordinator. The rural Brazos Point Bridge, which also connects the two counties, will also likely close in the coming days, Moore said.
“It’s going to impact a lot of people in southern Johnson County,” Moore said. “The highest water probably won’t pass until June 9.”
The 13 roads that are still closed in Johnson County are causing more of an inconvenience. Moore said residents aren’t cut off but must take longer routes to get where they’re going.
Farther downstream, floodwaters were surging into Lake Whitney, which climbed nearly 4 feet over the last day.
Unlike Possum Kingdom Lake and Lake Granbury, Lake Whitney is an Army Corps of Engineers reservoir designed to hold back floodwaters. It is now 41 percent into its flood pool.
Other corps lakes holding back floodwaters include Lake Benbrook, which is 49 percent into its flood pool; Lewisville Lake, which is 43 percent into its flood pool; Joe Pool Lake, which is 25 percent into its flood pool; and Lake Grapevine, which is 19 percent into its flood pool.
On the West Fork of the Trinity River, both Lake Bridgeport and Lake Worth remain closed to boat traffic. Eagle Mountain Lake is still open to boaters. The Tarrant Regional Water District will be managing the flows that fell from Bowie to Jacksboro for the next 5-6 days as they through the West Fork.
“We’ll be below people’s houses so it should be OK,” said David Marshall, the water district’s director of engineering and operations support.
Forecast: Sunny skies to stick around
Rainfall totals from last week vary, but Hood and Johnson counties were among the hardest hit, with Granbury receiving 5.56 inches and Cleburne 3.12, both since Tuesday.
At Dallas/Fort Worth Airport, 2.38 inches has fallen since Wednesday, putting us at 19.41 inches for the year. That’s 2.45 inches above normal, but far behind last year’s total of 31.63 inches through Friday.
The sunny skies that appeared Saturday should stick around for a while.
No rain is in the forecast all next week, and summerlike temperatures will return with highs near 90 by Tuesday.
“This is what we’ve been waiting for,” said National Weather Service meteorologist Jennifer Dunn. “There will be a low chance of rain next weekend but I don’t see any big rainmakers currently in the forecast.”