Raging floods destroy bridge over Texas river

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Fast-moving floodwaters destroyed a bridge, forced the evacuation of riverside homes and led to numerous water rescues in Central Texas on Tuesday after more than a foot of rain fell in recent days.

"Right now, the Llano River is at about 12 ½ feet, down from just shy of 40 feet yesterday", Llano County Emergency Management Coordinator Ron Anderson said Wednesday. Initially, forecasters expected the river to rise to near-record levels Thursday, but modified their forecast to show the river dropping below flood stage instead.

On Tuesday morning, Scott Turner's family of four discovered the Llano River had surged half a mile into their house, ruining nearly everything they owned.

The National Weather Service said the Llano River is expected to rise again Wednesday morning
The National Weather Service said the Llano River is expected to rise again Wednesday morning. Credit Andrea Garcia for KUT

The swollen Llano River overran the FM 2900 bridge Wednesday morning in Kingsland, about 65 miles northwest of Austin.

Officials say there's a continued threat for flooding in Central Texas as more rain is expected to fall on the already saturated area and dams along the swollen Colorado River release some of the flood downstream.

Four people were washed away when the South Llano River overran an RV park in Junction last week.

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Water levels along the Llano River at Llano have subsided but are still well above major flood stage.

A flash flood warning was put into effect, and forecasters described it as a "very risky situation". No one appeared to be on the bridge, and no injuries were immediately reported.

The Governor of Texas has declared a state of disaster as floods ravage 18 counties.

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The Lower Colorado River Authority has closed until further notice lakes Buchanan, LBJ, Inks, Marble Falls and Travis as a result of flooding along the Colorado River.

More than ten inches of rain have fallen in central Texas since Monday, causing severe flooding. The bodies of three men were recovered and on Tuesday morning, one remained missing. Evacuations are underway in the cities of Kingsland and Marble Falls, both northwest of Austin.

At least two people are known to have died. The record crest level is 12.6 metres set in June 1935.

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