Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Flooding at Mother Neff


Once again, Mother Neff State Park is experiencing massive flooding. According to Park Superintendent Melissa Chadwick, over the past week, the park had received over 8 inches of rain and due to the excessive flooding in the areas upstream along the Leon River and the lower regions of the park are now covered with flood water.

“The Leon River at Gatesville surpassed the historic crest that occurred in June of 2007 reaching 33.78 feet, according to the National Weather Service, Chadwick said.

In 2001, Texas Department of Transportation announced plans to replace the aging State Highway 236 bridge at Mother Neff State Park to alleviate some of the repeated flooding at the park due to log jams underneath the bridge.

It was reported in 2022 that, once the new bridge was in place, seasonal flooding events should not impact SH 236 as much as was experienced over the last few years or cause the massive flooding in the original section of the first state park in Texas.

The old bridge, constructed in 1936, was recently replaced and expected to deter the flooding at the park and prevent log jams.

The new bridge increased the elevation levels of the road from both approaches, and it was assumed that park flooding and log jams under the bridge would decrease. During the most recent flooding last week, the park, already located in a flood plain, is now under water once again.

Jake Smith, the public information officer for Texas Department of Transportation, said that, when the new bridge was constructed at Mother Neff State Park, it was “built to current hydraulic standards.” He also said that flood waters covering SH 236 at the park had receded, and the road was now open again to the public.