The seriousness of the flooding Texas has experienced during the past three weeks may be lost on many Brown County residents, unless they’ve been traveling or have family and friends in the areas that suffered the greatest devastation. From the Red River to the Gulf of Mexico, over a dozen lives have been lost and at least 1,000 homes have been destroyed as a result of the heavy rains.

The tragedy continued this weekend, as searchers looked for a missing 26-year-old man in the Trinity River. The body of a 6-year-old boy was found south of Houston, as was the body of a civilian worker’s body whose car was swallowed by a creek at Fort Hood after a fireworks show July 4.

The death toll is at least 15, and the region affected by flooding covers 49 counties, an area approximately the size of the state of Mississippi, state relief officials said.

The cost of property damage has not yet been assessed by state emergency management officials, and all the state’s major river basins are at flood stage — the first time that’s happened since 1957. But it will be massive when the cost figures are all in.

Most Brown County residents were fortunate — the rising waters were a concern, but the vast majority of residents escaped serious problems. Our neighbors as near as Comanche and Eastland counties, as well as many others not much farther away, were not as lucky.

Most items of property can be replaced or repaired. But lives cannot. The admonition repeatedly endlessly by officials in recent days merits saying one more time: Turn Around, Don’t Drown.

Brownwood Bulletin