AUSTIN -- The cleanup begins for flood victims after Halloween’s heavy rains. Austin city officials estimate high water damaged more than 1,100 homes, businesses and churches.
The hardest hit areas were Onion Creek, Onion Creek Forest and Onion Creek Plantation in Southeast Austin.
On Thursday about 30 members of the First Independent Baptist Church off Bluff Springs Road helped remove damaged equipment and furniture inside.
Pastor Mike Marc Marcellus says church pews valued at $35,000 were damaged. All of the church’s musical equipment, including a piano, guitars and speakers, were also destroyed by flood waters.
Like many homeowners in the area, Pastor Marcellus’ church did not have flood insurance. “We cannot afford flood insurance. Our small congregation cannot afford it.” Marcellus said.
He estimates the church lost $80,000 worth of contents.
On Friday morning some roads remain closed the Onion Creek Forest subdivision.
The Austin Police Department patrolled some streets, including trying to corral two horses.
Homeowners say Thursday’s flood waters rose more than five feet inside living rooms. Dozens were forced to wait on top of their roofs until the water receded.
Grace Briseno, visiting her brother from out of state, said she and her family waited six hours for the water to go down.
“They lost everything,” she said.
The City of Austin says 15 homes were deemed "uninhabitable."
Rescue efforts have turned into recovery efforts. Crews are working to restore power to 319 customers.