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Damages, assistance, and images of the Kirbyville flooding

The damage from last night's storm is, in the words of Kirbyville Mayor Frank George, "The worst I've ever seen. Even worse than with Hurricane Harvey."


Jeff Muckleroy with the Kirbyville Auction Barn said, "We got all the animals out and we will be up and running next week" Muckleroy was speaking about the dramatic footage on his Facebook page showing the harrowing rescue of several horses, mules, and cows following the flooding. Videos of these rescues will be at the bottom of this article.


West Greenlawn Cemetery in Kirbyville has had several vaults and at least one casket float out of the ground and into the fence and tree line. Rodney Norsworthy said that there were a lot of headstones that had floated into the woods. "A lot of my family is out here. I've never seen anything like this. Jasper County Pct 3 Judge Mark Allen said, "I've lived here all my life and I've never seen it this bad. We saw caskets lifting out of graves in the Deweyville area and in Louisiana when hurricanes came through, but never here." Norsworthy said that they loaded up the one casket that floated free and took it to Adams Stringer Funeral home where they would pump the water out of it and place it back in the vault, but it will take some time for the ground to be dry enough to put them back in their graves. Smith said, "The ground is completely saturated and there just isn't any way to get the equipment in place for a good while."


Norsworthy added, "We had a guy in Newton County that was told he couldn't cross an area because the water was just too strong. He tried and sure enough, he was swept away. It was believed for a while that he had drowned, but a couple hours ago someone found him hanging onto a tree. His name is Sammy Nash. This happened in Biloxi."

 

Jasper County Judge Mark Allen has issued a disaster declaration for the area. When asked if that will assure funding and what type Allen said, "A lot will be determined on whether the Governor or President will sign a declaration as well for the disaster event. We are encouraging everyone to assess and report damages on the Texas Department of Emergency Management reporting page to help in the process." Basically, as with other disasters, the squeaky wheel gets the grease.


When asked about Federal funding, Mayor George added, "I'm not expecting any but we can always hope. We didn't get any for Hurricane Laura because it didn't cause enough damage statewide. I feel the same here but we can hope."


ETB asked Judge Smith about what the declaration would encompass and he said, "This will be a Mark Allen question, but I know that we have a local declaration but not sure how far it will extend. I think it goes by the number of houses damaged, and damages across the area that will determine if we get federal or state assistance. I was told that as much as 15-17 inches of rain had fallen so far."


Homes and businesses all around the Kirbyville area were damaged or destroyed in the flooding and high winds. Dawn Lewis of Kirbyville submitted photos of her home. Lewis said that their home had waist-deep water inside of it and it happened within minutes! Lewis said, "We don't live in a flood zone so there is no reason these homes should have flooded with the amount we pay in taxes".


Allen said regarding people who weren't required to have flood insurance but flooded anyway, "Hopefully we will get State or Federal Aid for these individuals. Also, our long-term recovery groups may be able to help with (home) restoration."


Images below show the damage Dawn Lewis and her family woke up to


Images below were submitted by Rodney Norsworthy of the cemetery.

The graves most damaged are those of Viola Griffin,Robert Kennebrew , Charles Lank ,Dorcas Riley , Leevia Kennebrew and Poke Griffin .



Kirbyville Auction Barn rescues






Below are photos submitted by ETB Sharpshooters Stacey Sheffield, Gene Clark, and a short video by Judy Miller





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