By Vanesa Brashier, email@example.com
Two dozens residents and one prize sheep from the Eastgate community near Dayton were evacuated by high-profile, military-style vehicles and airboats on Friday evening by firefighters with Dayton, Kenefick, Hardin and HWY 321 Volunteer Fire Departments due to rising water.
“The river has gone up a foot since this morning and they are saying it could go up even more. It’s not really a rescue so much as it is an evacuation. Some of the residents are determined to stay but others want to get out before it gets worse,” Hergemueller said.
Liberty County Fire Marshal Bill Hergemueller said the rainwater that fell across the area is causing flooding as it makes into the San Jacinto River and Luce Bayou.
As of Friday evening, water was flowing at a swift speed across FM 1960 west of Dayton.
“Some people’s homes in Eastgate are flooded. Some just can’t get in and out of their homes. The water is pretty deep in some areas,” the fire marshal said.
The evacuation operation was shut down at nightfall because conditions were too dangerous for everyone involved.
“You can’t do much at night because it’s so hard to see. Plus the snakes are out everywhere,” he said. “The firefighters are drained from the last two days. We had three airboats out there helping us from Hazmat Specialties of LaPorte. I called them and they came to help. They were on their way home from Beaumont and offered to help.”
Hergemueller believes that everyone who wanted to leave has been evacuated.
“With this rain and the rising water, there is a good possibility we will be out there again. We encouraged everyone to leave tonight,” he said.
The evacuees were taken to the Hartel Building in Liberty where Red Cross has set up an emergency shelter.