The scene along neighborhoods adjoining Pecan Creek was one of residents standing outside their homes watching the water rise in yards and police cruisers combing the streets.

Some roads, including Smith Street which runs parallel to Pecan Creek, was submerged in several feet of water and blocked off by police barricades. Other nearby streets were drying out nicely as the sun peaked out following days of heavy precipitation.

Ronnie Carpenter, a former Walnut Bend area farmer and now resident of The Summit Village for Seniors, said Pecan Creek came higher than he has seen it since he has lived there.

He said he mows part of the residence and notices tell-tale signs of previous flooding on occasion, such as natural and man-made debris.

“I was wondering where the hell all these logs came from. Now I know,” he said.

Waters came about six feet from the raised-earth foundation on which the homes are located, he noted, pointing to a fence post at the water’s edge. Prior to the construction of the residential development, a flood control pond and other measures were taken to make sure that runoff from Pecan Creek did not flood the homes.

Wally Cox, assistant fire chief for the Gainesville Fire Department, said firefighters and police were knocking on doors early Wednesday afternoon in what he called “problem areas” a the western ends of Myrtle and Olive streets.

“After the hard rain yesterday it took Pecan a while to take its rise,” Cox said. “We did some preliminary evacuation — asking a few people to leave because it was rising pretty quick.”

He said no shelter was established for displaced residents, and most had a place they could go.

“Anytime the water starts rising like that we have to inform the people they could be trapped in their homes,” he said.

Cox said Wednesday’s flooding could have been a lot worse if not for rechannelization and cleaning efforts in the creek.

“We have nowhere near the problems we had 20 or 25 years ago,” he said.

Sharon Watson, executive director of the Texoma Area Chapter of the American Red Cross, said volunteers were notified to be on standby in case a shelter or other emergency operations were necessary.

“We were fortunate the water did not get that high,” Watson said in an interview this morning. “It was sort of wet, though.”

Watson, a Pottsboro resident, noted the roads were covered in her community briefly yesterday but quickly receded.

In Gainesville, though the rain took a break Wednesday afternoon, runoff from other areas continued to feed Pecan Creek until around 2:30 p.m. when it leveled off.

Forecasts call for partly cloudy conditions for the rest of the week with the chances of thunderstorms up to 40 percent.

Watson said emergencies of many varieties can happen in a moment’s notice and that the Red Cross is available to assist. She requested that those interested in helping consider making a financial donation to the Red Cross or signing up to become a trained Red Cross volunteer.

Watson may be contacted at 1(903)465-1330 or by e-mail at swatson@texoma.redcross.org.

To report rapidly rising waters or other emergencies in the city call the Gainesville Public Safety Center at 668-7777. In the county, call the Cooke County Sheriff’s Department at 665-3471.

On the Net:

www.texoma.redcross.org

Reporter Andy Hogue may be contacted at andyhoguegdr@ntin.net

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