KINGSLAND, Texas (KXAN) — It’s been four months since October’s flooding along the Highland Lakes. For many, cleanup efforts are still ongoing in Llano County and rebuilding is underway.
This weekend, the Llano Chamber of Commerce is hosting a two-day benefit concert to help those still recovering like Patricia Heinecke in Kingsland.
She’s in the process of repairing four flooded homes — three of which were rental properties.
“That’s my rental income, I can pay my bills (with the rental income) and I lost all of them,” Heinecke said.”Now, I’m having to rebuild all of them and I never in a million years would have thought that would happen.”
It hasn’t been an easy road for Heinecke who says she’s at times felt hopeless and inundated with the amount of work in front of her.
“I’ve cried for months and days, and still I have bad days,” she said. “But I am doing a whole lot better.”
Like many other residents in the area, she didn’t have flood insurance. Since October, she’s had to shell out almost $200,000 in repairs. “That was my retirement money,” she said.
Heinecke has been checking big things off the list.
“All the flooring is done, all the walls are back up,” she said. “Furniture needs to be done, I need to get a few more spots of taping and floating and painting done.”
But she’s finally seeing a light at the end of the tunnel.
“It’s just little, it’s a punch list now,” she said of the work that’s left to be done. “It’s called a punch list going on.”
Despite the situation, she’s remained positive and has a smile on her face.
“It’s going to be pretty when I get done, I did some different colors,” she said about brightly painted yellow wall. “It’s going to pretty in here.”
The Heinecke family has set up a fundraising page to help with their repair costs.
Safety Concerns on the River
She also mentioned to KXAN she was concerned with a big tree stuck in the Colorado River near the RM 1431 Bridge. She worries a boater could crash into it late at night. Heinecke said she had reached out to the Lower Colorado River Authority in hopes of having it moved, but was told they would not be moving it.
KXAN’s Candy Rodriguez reached out to the LCRA and officials confirmed they would not be removing it. Many in the area have wondered the same thing about debris in the water. KXAN also reached out to the county for more information, Llano County Judge Ron Cunningham said the county is not responsible for removal of debris.
This is one of the reasons the LCRA lowered its lake levels to allow people in the area time to cleanup the debris.
However, starting on Sunday, Feb. 24, the LCRA plans to refill Lake LBJ. The refill will last through Wednesday, Feb. 27. As soon as that happens, the LCRA is going to assess conditions and remove any hazards and debris from the lake.
The entire lake will be a no-wake zone during the night starting 30 minutes after sundown and ending 30 minutes before sunrise. That will be enforced until further notice. Violation of the no-wake requirement is a Class C misdemeanor.
Boaters can also expect to see Lake LBJ’s river channel marked with buoys from the confluence of the Llano and Colorado rivers downstream to Wirtz Dam, a distance of about 12 miles. The markers will include solar-powered lights to guide boaters at night.
Also, signs will be posted at public boat ramps to alert visitors to use extreme caution on the lake.
If there is a hazard area, LCRA encourages people to contact them by emailing AskLCRA@lcra.org so crews can take appropriate action. They will also be offering free warning signs to marinas and local property owners associations with boat ramps.
LCRA will remove abandoned flood-damaged docks from the lake.
Then, in March, the refill of Lake Marble Falls is scheduled to begin.
Flood Aid 2019
For those who would like to attend the concert, gates will open at 10 a.m. Saturday at the John L Kuykendall Event Center located at 2200 RR 152, two miles west of town.
All the musicians are donating their time and 100 percent of the proceeds go to flood survivors in Llano and Burnet counties. Flood Aid 2019 will also have T-shirts for sale, and silent auction items.
In Llano county alone, more than 60 homes were 100 percent destroyed and over 450 homes had damage that ranged from moderate to severe, according to a press release from the Chamber of Commerce.
Here’s a rundown of the performances:
- 11:00 – 11:30: Jerialice Arsenault/ Deann Rene
- 11:45– 12:15: Nick Dooley
- 12:30 – 1:00: Harold Castleman/ Matt Hilton
- 1:15 – 1:45: Manny & Teru With Larry Nye
- 2:00 – 3:00: Riley Mountain Band
- 3:15 – 4:15: Avogadro’s Number
- 4:30 – 5:30: Smoke Wagon
- 5:45 – 6:45: the Train Wreck Shipping Company
- 7:00 – 7:30: Alex Harvey
- 7:45 – 8:30: Dick Gimble & Friends
- 8:45 – 9:45: the Cadillac Gypsies
- 10:00 – 11:00: Dub Miller
- 11:15 – 12:30: Les Hartman