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Blanco River Levels Still Too High for Damage Assessment

Veronica Zaragovia/KUT News
It's been one month since the Memorial Day weekend flooding devastated communities in Central Texas. Pictured here is discarded damaged furniture in a neighborhood in San Marcos.

One month ago, the Memorial Day Floods devastated many communities here in Central Texas, and today, the rebuilding continues.

How much officials can do is still limited, though, because the water hasn’t fully receded.

Local agencies are still searching for two children who went missing when the Blanco River flooded. The problem is that the water hasn’t receded enough to enable search teams to access all the areas.

"There are those people whose lives were so tragically and dramatically affected that I’m not sure we’ll ever say that things are completely normal again," says LaureenChernow, a spokesperson for Hays County. She says as June closes out, roughly 1,600 people in Hays County have applied for federal disaster aid.

The water is still so high, though, that a full damage assessment hasn’t been done. "There’s been well over 600 homes that we’ve identified as having been destroyed or with major damage. There’s still debris everywhere. There’s still a lot of damage that needs to be repaired."

Volunteers continue to help with the recovery. This Sunday there’s a benefit concert at the Palmer Events Center in Austin to help the Hays County United Way and the Austin Disaster Relief Network, which is made up of 150 churches in the area.

Yesterday, the relief network opened a big warehouse in San Marcos in response to all the people who want to donate furniture. They already have a furniture collection warehouse in Austin.

"When they want to donate, you want to capture that opportunity, and as the weeks go by there will probably be less and less people aware and wanting to donate," said volunteer Rita Davis.

Among the donations they need are new mattresses and pillows in their plastic wrapping, bedding and comforters, gently used furniture, new plates, new cups and new silverware. The warehouse is at 110 W. Martin Luther King Drive, in San Marcos. Read here about about volunteering and donation needs.

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