Residents evacuated from downtown Pflugerville as heavily armored agents surrounded the Austin bombing suspect’s Second Street home are being allowed to return.
The all clear was sent out by Pflugerville police at 8:40 p.m. Wednesday.
At 4 p.m., Pflugerville Police Chief Jessica Robledo said the perimeter was shrinking to west of Railroad Avenue, north of Walnut Street and east of Second Street.
Between 4 p.m. and 6 p.m., a few families started trickling back into the neighborhood.
“I’ve got supper in my crock pot here, fixing to eat in about 30 minutes, sure am glad they opened the streets,” Main Street resident David Ward told us.
He said he was happy to be back home after having to stay away all day.
According to Ward, law enforcement officials came around to give residents a heads up Wednesday morning. One of them, Ward said, helped him pack up and lock up. He said after each house was evacuated, law enforcement put an “X” by the door with blue tape to mark the house.
Another family in the area, Frank Alvarado and his two children, left their home when an officer came by and told them they needed to evacuate.
“You would never think it’s going to happen over here because everything was happening down south,” says Alvarado. “You never think it’s this close to home – I’m just two blocks away.”
When Alvarado asked an officer if it were serious, he responded “yes.”
KXAN noticed several locally owned businesses on Main Street were closed as well. One restaurant opened back up around 6:30 p.m.
“All these businesses were closed all the way to Pecan,” Cliff Tullos who works from home said. “It’s stressful. We need to run a business. But I think about all the families and everybody who’s lost a lot more than what we have.”
Tullos said he understood why they had to evacuate. He said he’s still shocked something like this happened in his neighborhood. “Things like this happen all over the world and until it’s nextdoor. I don’t know how I’m going to… I guess I’ll be more vigilant watching people,” he said.
During the day, displaced residents were allowed to stay at the Pflugerville Community Library at 1008 Pfluger St. or the Pflugerville Recreation Center on Bohls Loop until 9 p.m. Wednesday.
At 3:30 p.m. the FBI tweeted it was working with ATF to safely remove and dispose of homemade explosives they found inside Conditt’s home at 403 Second St. That is why the agencies asked nearby homeowners to evacuate.
Both of Mark Conditt’s roommates have been taken into custody for questioning. One of them has been released as of Wednesday afternoon.