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County Judge Wayne McDaniel Gives Assessment of Flooding In Hardin County

A resident uses a canoe to reach his home between Cooks Lake Rd and Keith Road in Lumberton. Photo by Jerry Jordan/SETINVESTIGATES.COM

LUMBERTON, Tx – Hardin County Judge Wayne McDaniel says the situation across the county in the wake of Hurricane Harvey’s impact is “bleak” and there are “so many homes and businesses that have flooded this time that have never flooded before.”

McDaniel called into KFDM TV6 morning show and spoke with Dan Gresham about what is happening from Lumberton to Silsbee to Kountze and over to the Votaw and Batson areas. He said parts of the west side of the county is cutoff due to flood waters.

Currently, Pine Island Bayou which separates Jefferson County from Hardin County is at 39.1 feet. The floodwaters have backed up into Pinewood and Countrywood communities on the east side of Sour Lake. Late in the day, on Tuesday, floodwaters backed up nearly two feet deep across Hwy. 69 and forced its closure.

“The situation is pretty bleak in Hardin County,” McDaniel said. “We also have some major problems in the Lumberton area, in town and, as well as, south of town on Keith Road and Cooks Lake Road. Honestly, it’s a large area of Hardin County.”

McDaniel said descriptions of catastrophic and historic would be fair to say.

“It is very unfortunate but that (catastrophic) is a word we have been hearing used a lot,” he said, adding that emergency responders are getting ready to resume rescue efforts. “They are tired. They have been working from can to can’t. We do have a lot of help here. They have been sent in from the state and the federal government and we are very appreciative of that and it will be daylight here pretty soon and they are going to get back to work. We are going to do everything we can to help the people of Hardin County. Our local people are tired but they are going to keep working and they are going to do what they have to do.”

I know it’s just human nature and they want to get out and see what is going on and check on their families or their neighbors or what have you … it’s really a necessity, we need everybody to please stay off the road,” he said.

McDaniel said the county will need additional resources and is assessing what those needs are as the situation plays out. He said Hardin County has already received some resources but will likely need additional manpower, as well as, boats, high-water rescue vehicles and possibly even helicopters. Additionally, McDaniel believes once the storm subsides and people find they cannot remain in their homes, the county will need additional places to provide shelter.

Currently, there are shelters at Woodcrest Methodist Church in Lumberton, Sour Lake Elementary School, the Baptist church in Kountze and a couple of churches near Batson.

“Parkway Life (in Lumberton) was a shelter but they flooded,” McDaniel said. That people there were moved across the highway to Woodcrest Methodist Church. “Just continue to keep everyone who has been affect in your thoughts and prayers and I can’t say enough how much I appreciate our first responders, our local first responders and all of those who have come to help; all of the volunteers who are volunteering their time and risking themselves to help the people of Hardin County, we just can’t thank them enough. Keep them all in your prayers, they are going to need it.

“It is going to take a long time to recover from this but we will do that.”

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