Nacogdoches rescue team helping evacuate flooded Nacogdoches apartments

Source: KTRE Staff
Source: KTRE Staff
Source: KTRE Staff
Source: KTRE Staff
Source: KTRE Staff
Source: KTRE Staff
Source: KTRE Staff
Source: KTRE Staff

NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - Around 2 p.m. Tuesday, The Nacogdoches Swift Water Rescue Team got busy evacuating people living along Banita Creek. The rescuers' day may have been a bit more relaxed if people had listened to earlier warnings.

Sheets of rain swept over Nacogdoches in force beginning early Tuesday morning.

The deluge was more than gutters and many streets, including Raguet at Pine could handle.

The swiftness could easily knock a person down.
All the rain created a deja-vu experience -twice in one year. It felt like June all over again.

"It's real unusual," said Frankie Hamby, a battalion chief with the Nacogdoches Fire Department.

Hamby knew from experience the Swift Water Rescue Team would be busy up and down Pearl Street.

"Where do you want us to go?" asked a member of the NFD Swift Water Rescue Team.

"West California," Hamby said.

"West California, roger." The team member said.

The rain was a lot to contend with. It was also tough on Banita Creek. It was full to its banks in a very short time. Emergency crews kept a close watch on it throughout the day.

The rain would let up, but not for long. Weather radar was a valuable tool to learn what to expect next.

"Right now it looks like it's about an hour away before the rest of storm will be here," Hamby said.

Hamby's forecast was accurate, as were his expectations about residents not following the advice to seek higher ground.

"About two hours ago we tried to get them to leave," Hamby said. "Now, they're wanting to go."

Instead of walking out, a man and a woman with a small child living near Banita Creek Apartments had to load up in a raft. Swift water team members pulled them to safety.

Emergency workers say people tend to forget or simply ignore safety precautions.

"It just happens over and over again. People get stranded," said Chief Keith Kiplinger with the Nacogdoches Fire Department. "They get stuck, and sometimes, they get swept away."

Floods like today will happen again and the Swift Water Rescue Team will know exactly where to go first.

Banita Creek is usually the first creek to cause problems. That's not to say Lanana Creek can't be a trouble maker, too.

The new trail leading to the North Loop that opened up just a couple of weeks ago looked like a lake. The ball park on Martin Luther King Jr. Drive was covered with water, too.
Manholes couldn't be seen, except for the bubbles and the gurgling sound that surfaced to the top.

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