By Pearl Cantrell
Monitor Staff Writer
CEDAR CREEK LAKE–Fallen trees, flooded roads, minor sewage spills seems the extent of the damage caused by 18-20 inches of rainfall over last weekend.
Belts of rain pummeled the area, starting late Thursday and continued through Saturday with heavy cloud cover all day Sunday.
Texas was already expecting a slow, steady rain from prevalent weather patterns forming before news of a monster hurricane, Patricia, forming over the Pacific Ocean and hitting the western coastline of Mexico, adding to wind and rains to much of Texas and the southwestern United States.
Patricia was later described as the most intense tropical cyclone ever recorded in the western hemisphere, according to the National Weather Service.
Reports from nearby Corsicana in Navarro County, included 32 inches of rainfall!
The Cedar Creek Reservoir filled its remaining two and a half feet to reach full pool plus nearly five inches.
Tarrant Regional Water District reservoir manager Bucky Butler ordered the flood gates open in an attempt to maintain Cedar Creek Lake at normal pool. Stream flows were still filling the lake on Monday and expected to continue through the early part of the week.
Purtis Creek State Park near Eustace saw numerous cancellations of its nearly full park last weekend and had to close the lake to boaters along with the day area beach.
Park office manager Sandy Jones said the day area was expected to be reopened by today (Oct. 29).
Primitive campsites along the water’s edge will remain closed through the weekend for flood cleanup. No one was hurt, as news of the impending rains was well publicized beforehand.
An ancient oak tree came down on four vehicles at one residence in Mabank. No one injured. Three more trees came down in Seven Points, one on top of a fifth wheel at the Lakeshore RV Park, temporarily trapping a resident inside.
Police were able to free her without further incident and only minor injuries.
Parts of several roads in Mabank and Seven Points were closed for short periods of time due to flooding. A driver from Irving moved barricades and attempted to drive a van through the end of flooded Pritchett Lane where it joins Country Line Road 4044 and had to abandon it there, with water coming up over the hood of the van, according to fire chief A.J. Kirksey.
East Cedar Creek Fresh Water Supply District crews were busy with three overflows at liftstations in Tres Largo and Spanish Shores subdivisions, as well as a liftstation on Main Street in Gun Barrel City near the Lake Jackson Seafood Restaurant. These were all repported to the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, district manager Bill Goheen said.
His bigger concern centered around the integrity of water lines in the Tamarack Subdivision where continuous soil erosion in a creek bed in the Longleaf Road area washed out more embankment and new bridge and culvert installed by Gun Barrel City.
Goheen said rainfall measured at the wastewater plant on Hammer Road broke an 11-year record at 18 inches.
Posted by : October 29, 2015| On :
By Pearl Cantrell
Posted by : September 24, 2015| On :
Monitor Staff Reports
ATHENS–Henderson County Commissioners agreed to reinstitute a ban on all open outdoor burning Tuesday at the request of Fire Marshal Shane Renberg. The ban expires in 14 days on Oct. 6.
Commissioners had lifted the ban over the prior two weeks, however the two-week forecast put out by the Texas Forestry Service predicts another bout of hot dry weather.
The Keetch-Bynum Drought Index puts the counties of Henderson, Kaufman and Van Zandt in the red zone, or the top of the chart (700-800) that measures the driest conditions.
“If things improve, we will recommend lifting it again,” Renberg said.
Kaufman County Fire Marshal Randy Richards agreed. “Things are looking better, but until the numbers improve, I can’t recommend lifting the ban,” Richards said.
County Commissioners in Van Zandt County lifted its burn ban Sept. 14, which remained lifted on Tuesday.
The tiniest spark on a windy day can destroy hundreds of acres of grasslands and anything on them, Renberg pointed out.
These types of wildfires typically start on the side of a road from a carelessly tossed cigarette to a piece of metal from a vehicle dragging the roadway causing a spark.
Extra precautions are being taken during the Uncle Fletch Hamburger Cookoff in Athens and the 4th annual Mabank Jubilee barbecue cookoff in Mabank.
The Mabank event planners are requiring all contestants to carry a fire extinguisher at their cooking site. In addition, the Mabank Fire Department will post firefighting equipment at the park pavilion, near the event.
Richards, who is entered into the contest as are several firefighters for bragging rights and a traveling trophy, said the burn ban really only applies to the unincorporated areas of the county, but even then does not apply to outdoor grilling as long as the cooking is being done in a cooking/grilling vessel with a lid.
Tarrant County, which is also under a 90-day burn ban give the following guidelines to those planning outdoor grilling events:
• if possible use a gas grill and keep flames covered during operation.
• if using charcoal or wood-burning grills or smokers, place the grill or smoker on a concrete, gravel or dirt surface at least 10 feet from any combustible materials and keep grill covered during use.
• be sure to have a water source or fire extinguisher nearby in case of emergencies.
Residents in rural areas are also urged to keep an area of at least 10 feet around their homes mowed short to prevent fire from reaching structures.
Posted by : September 13, 2015| On :
Monitor Staff Reports
TRINIDAD–Henderson County Sheriff’s Office reports the arrest of two individuals who attempted to flee a marijuana grow house after deputies arrived at the scene Wednesday.
According to a press release narcotic investigators Kendell Wellman and Kay Langford received a tip from the Henderson County Crime Stoppers that marijuana was being grown at 409 Door Key Ranch Road in the Key Ranch Estates subdivision in Trinidad.
Upon arrival, Wellman and Langford met with resident Teressa Long, 56. Long told investigators that her boyfriend, John Scott Chiesl, 65, was in the guest residence and she would go inside and get him.
While at the front door, investigators detected a strong odor of marijuana coming from inside the residence.
Wellman then walked to the back of the structure and saw Long slipping out the back door with her arms full of packaged marijuana. Chiesl followed her out and the pair was attempting to conceal the marijuana when Wellman interrupted and made the arrests.
A search of the residence located more than 30 marijuana plants and an elaborate indoor plant growing set up.
In addition, investigators found several more packages of marijuana, packaging material, scales, drug paraphernalia and approximately $27,000 in cash.
Chiesl was also observed attempting to hide a quantity of methamphetamines.
Inside the main house, investigators located more drug paraphernalia, marijuana and suspected methamphetamines.
Chiesl was charged with possession of marijuana more than 4 ounces, less than 5 pounds, manufacture/delivery of a controlled substance penalty group 1 more than 1 gram, less than 4 grams and tampering with physical evidence.
He posted $48,500 to cover his bonds and was released on Thursday, according to jail records.
Long was charged with possession of marijuana over 4 ounces, less than 5 pounds and tampering with physical evidence. However, no jail records exit for her at the Henderson County Jail.