Athens Review, Athens, Texas

September 30, 2013

Several inches of rain hit HC

Long steady downpour causes problems for well-known Athens structures

Rich Flowers
The Athens Review

Athens — Henderson County got the long steady downpour many had been hoping for over the weekend, but the heavy rain caused a few problems.

The sheer weight of the water dumped on the roofs of some buildings was enough to cause considerable damage. 

Rain on the roof at the Cain Center caused a portion of it to collapse on Saturday afternoon. The Center was closed Monday as work crews mopped up and repaired the damage.  The Center was set to reopen on Tuesday morning at its regular time. Damage was also reported at the Henderson County Judicial Center on East Corsicana Street.

At 7 a.m. on Sunday, the National Weather Service reported that the remote automatic weather station in Athens had recorded 3.81 inches of rain in the preceeding 24-hour period, bringing the county to more than nine inches for the month. The measured precipitation is the most in September since 1974.

Henderson County Sheriff’s Office dispatch received multiple storm-related calls from about 6 p.m. on Saturday until Sunday afternoon. Roads were blocked by trees or high water in several locations, including County Road 3412, CR 3411, CR 1208, CR 3607, CR 4325, CR 4328 on the east side of the county. Power lines were down in a few locations, notably in the Chandler and Lake Palestine area.

On the west side, Precinct 1 County Commissioner Scotty Thomas said his crews had to block CR 1114, Beck’s Chapel Road, because of high water.

“We have a lot of spots that are low, so we went to those spots and watched them,” Thomas said. “CR 1114 is just a low spot where the rain was enough you couldn’t see the road.”

Precinct 1 workers were on the job replacing culverts on Monday. Thomas said barricades used to block CR 1114 were stolen sometime between Saturday night and Sunday morning. The theft has been reported to the Henderson County Sheriff’s Department.

A house fire reported at 5:27 p.m. on Saturday on County Road 1119 caused that road to be blocked for a time and traffic diverted to other roads while firefighters fought the blaze. The structure was destroyed, but no one was injured in the fire. The Southside Volunteer Fire Department was first at the blaze, with assistance from the Malakoff VFD.

After the rains the previous weekend, the Trinity River crested at 19.38 feet on Sept. 22. On Monday the river had risen to 12.5 feet. Flood stage is 33 feet.

The level at Lake Athens stood at 436.02 feet on Monday, well below its normal 440 feet. Cedar Creek Lake rose to 316.65, more than six feet below the normal 342-foot reading.