From Lt. Jay Webb, Harrison County Sheriff’s Office
HARRISON COUNTY – Harrison County wishes to thank the partners that assisted during the recent Caddo Lake flood disaster.
When the flood event began in early March, plans were immediately put into motion by County Judge Hugh Taylor, along with several county officials, to begin operating the Emergency Operations Center and providing assistance to area residents.
Approximately 25 rescues of residents, from their flooded homes, were conducted by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Game Wardens and Harrison County Deputies.
This disaster involved the temporary closing of 57 Harrison County roads, two Farm to Market roads, and 2 bridges, discontinuing water service to an area, and Panola-Harrison Electric Co-op temporarily disconnecting the power supply to the flooded users.
Increased law enforcement patrol, on land and water, was provided by Harrison County Sheriff’s Office, the Game Wardens from the regional office and Texas DPS Troopers from this region. Numerous agencies, including American Red Cross, The Salvation Army, State of Texas Emergency Management Office, Texas Baptist Men, United Methodist Committee on Relief, and Federal Emergency Management responded within hours of the initiation of the Emergency Operations Center.
Judge Taylor appointed the First United Methodist Church of Marshall to coordinate the volunteer effort that would assist in the recovery. Harrison County began assisting residents and property owners by securing an agreement with US Fish and Wildlife to utilize the Caddo Lake National Wildlife Refuge as a central area where, for six weeks, debris dumpsters would be placed.
Over 120 loaded dumpsters for debris and approximately 25 loaded dumpsters for metal item recycling were removed. Harrison County inmate workers volunteered and assisted by removing debris from Caddo Lake area roadways for several days, as well.
The state of Texas, in cooperation with FEMA, has entered the process of the “long term recovery” for residents and property owners at Caddo Lake. This process entails working with the FEMA Disaster Recovery Center and the State of Texas Emergency Management Office to provide resources to residents that have had their homes declared either destroyed or substantially damaged.
The Karnack Community Center is the location of the FEMA office for the continued assistance of residents of this designated disaster. Next to the Community Center is the office for volunteer sign-up and assistance. That office is open from 9:00 AM -5:00 PM, Monday – Friday. The telephone number to contact the volunteer office is 903-472-8542.