Rosenberg residents leave homes behind due to mandatory evacuation order

By Phil Archer - Reporter, Keith Garvin - Anchor/Reporter

ROSENBERG, Texas - The overflowing Brazos River is forcing more and more people out of their homes on the north side of Rosenberg. Dozens have had to abandon their homes, vehicles, and other property as the water creeps 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 have closed FM 723 to all traffic, including residents who live between FM 359 and Highway 90A. A number of other roadways here and other parts of Fort Bend County also have been closed as law enforcement tries to avoid the worst.

Flood water continued to rise 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 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 here are used to flooding when the Brazos runs high, but even long-time residents surprised this time. Carole Vacek left Monday 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 have been 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."

The river expected is to crest at 53 ½ feet Tuesday in Richmond. That's two feet higher than the last big flood in 1994, and eight feet above flood stage. It's the worst flooding along the river in 50 years, and more rain is in the forecast. 

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

“We're also looking at Wednesday and Thursday going into weekend. We could have more rain, and more local rain would just make the situation worse.” said Jeff Braun, Ft. Bend Co Emergency Coordinator.

2016 Click2Houston/KPRC2