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4 Die, 300 Homes Damaged as Swollen Rivers Swamp Texas Towns

June 25, 1997|From Associated Press

LAKEWAY, Texas — More than 300 homes have been damaged and four people have died in flooding spurred by weekend rains that turned quiet streams and rivers into raging rapids along a 100-mile stretch from just west of San Antonio to just west of Austin.

At least 200 homes around Lake Travis have been damaged. In Marble Falls, 60 miles northwest of Austin, at least 100 homes were damaged or destroyed. In Llano, a bedroom community roughly 100 miles northwest of Austin, at least 30 homes were damaged.

Many areas of central Texas picked up between 5 and 10 inches of rain on Sunday in a matter of hours. Skies were mostly clear in the area Tuesday, but scattered showers remain in the forecast through Thursday.

Jim Strubar checked his wife and 2-year-old son into a motel Tuesday and went back home. What he found was a family of ducks swimming down Lone Star Lane and 8 feet of water in the living room.

Strubar, 47, built his house on Lake Travis in 1992, a year after a record flood in the same neighborhood, called Graveyard Point because it was once a cemetery.

The Lower Colorado River Authority, which provides water and electric service to about 1 million residents in 58 Central Texas counties, said Lake Travis has risen from a normal of 681 feet above sea level to 703 feet Tuesday.

"Most of the homes in Llano were damaged by crushing water as opposed to rising water," said Robert Cullick, spokesman for the river authority. "Some of the homes were simply lifted off their blocks and sent downstream."

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