AUSTIN -- Mayor Lee Leffingwell has declared a local state of disaster for Austin after recent flooding destroyed homes and killed at least five people.
After it's ratified by the Austin City Council, the declaration will be in effect for the city for a week. The issue will be on the Nov. 7 agenda of the council, a release by the City said on Monday.
A letter from Mayor Leffingwell to Governor Rick Perry explains how the flooding on Halloween affected the city and how additional state and federal support is needed at this time. The letter also asks for help in assisting victims and making repairs.
The council will consider approval of an ordinance that waives permit and development fees for houses which were damaged.
Mayor Leffingwell asked council members to discuss these issues by noon Thursday. This means other issues on the council's agenda may be postponed.
On Monday Travis County Judge Sam Biscoe also signed a disaster declaration. About 622 homes were impaced by the floods. Thirty-seven of those are possible destroyed, and 259 suffered major damage.
Hays County Judge Bert Cobb, M.D. also signed a disaster declaration on Monday.
“Hays County has experienced a severe flooding event, thankfully with no reported fatalities,” said Cobb. “The rainfall ranged from moderate amounts to 15-17 inches in the Village of Wimberley and the City of Woodcreek. Many roads were closed as low water crossings and bridges were inundated, with some in low lying areas flooded. Many Hays residents were caught off guard because they have never experienced the hazards of flash flooding. County assets, city assets and emergency service districts responded quickly and saved lives and property. We are now assessing the monetary damages caused by the flood. The rain fell so quickly that a lot of the water ran off rather than recharging needed surface and groundwater. The official drought still remains so residents are encouraged to use water wisely.”
The Buda Fire Station and Buda Elementary School were damaged significantly. At least 74 houses have major damage as well. Another 86 have minor damage.