WIMBERLEY, Texas (KXAN) — As the weather worsened May 23 and water levels along the Blanco River increased, Hays County Emergency Management officials said they sent out multiple notifications through cellphone messages, phone calls, and door-to-door warnings.
Joyce Zook lives along the Blanco River between Wimberley and Blanco. The flooded river wiped out five homes in her neighborhood.
“All of my friends and I have just been focused on helping the people that lost their houses,” she said of the past couple of weeks.
Zook got warning messages on her cellphone, but she admits she took the flash flood warnings lightly, saying they had become so frequent with all of the rain leading up to the massive flood.
“There was nothing significant in the cellphone warning to say, ‘this is off the charts magnitude flooding,'” Zook added.
Hays County Emergency Management activated the notification system, which sent out three regional alerts between 7:30 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. Reverse 911 calls went out too, but visitors to the area for the holiday weekend might not have gotten that call.
“The local Reverse 911 system contacts land lines or residents that have previously registered their cellphones,” said Kharley Smith, the Hays County Emergency Management coordinator, in the days following the flood.
As the recovery and rebuilding continues, Zook was not surprised to see her community come together the way it has.
“We’ll get through it, and we’ll just stay a strong community like we are,” said Zook.
The KXAN First Warning Weather app for smartphones sends alerts based off your phone’s location. You can also register a phone number with the Capital Area Council of Governments to receive warnings across 10 Central Texas counties.