City of Rosenberg lifts mandatory evacuation orders


ROSENBERG, Texas – The City of Rosenberg has lifted its mandatory evacuation order as water leaves the city.

The overflowing Brazos River forced people out of their homes on the north side of Rosenberg over the past week. Dozens had to abandon their homes, vehicles, and other property as the water got closer and closer to their doorsteps.

"It makes me nervous," says Linda Castaneda.

The rising water forced Castaneda to move her elderly mother to another home with relatives. She and her husband are still here with their dogs but know evacuating is only a matter of time.

"As we see the water rising I already told him that we had to make other preparations as far as leaving for the night," says Castaneda.

Rosenberg police closed FM 723 to all traffic, including residents who live between FM 359 and Highway 90A. A number of other roadways and other parts of Fort Bend County were also closed as law enforcement tried to avoid the worst.

Flood water rose in the Valley Lodge subdivision in Simonton, also under a mandatory evacuation order. Ft. Bend County OEM reports 26 high water rescues were carried out in Valley Lodge since Sunday. Austin Lynch and his father Mark were among those coming out on air boats last Monday.

“Never had a drop of water in the house and decided we were going to sit it out. Obviously not a good idea. But at least my feet get dry now.” Lynch said.

Residents are used to flooding when the Brazos runs high, but even long-time residents were surprised this time. Carole Vacek left when the rising flood water covered the top of her five-rail pasture fence.

“It started coming up the back which it does, we moved 4 cattle trailers out and the horses went yesterday. We should have gone with the horses.(laughs).. but we didn't.” Vacek said.

Besides mandatory evacuations in Simonton and part of Rosenberg, voluntary evacuation calls were issued for parts of Ft. Bend County near Richmond, Missouri City, and areas in Quail Valley and Lake Olympia.

"I have never seen this before. Never in my life," says Juanita Cardenas. "I've been here 45 years."        

Cardenas lives on 6th Street in Rosenberg and was forced to leave her home Sunday. She and her family had to leave everything behind except important documents and a few clothes.

"It's so sad because my husband built the house with his bare hands, and he's gone now," says Cardenas. "We don't know what to do."

To give you another idea of just how much water is in the river, at one point in time, one section was flowing at 40.4 million gallons a minute, a substantial amount of water.

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