Economic impact of Cooke Co. flooding

By: Daniel Gotera Email
By: Daniel Gotera Email

COOKE COUNTY, Tex. -- This is just a glimpse of some of the destruction floodwaters left behind in Cooke County that county officials say could cost thousands of dollars.

"I’ve never seen it rise so fast," said Cooke County farmer Kenneth Hodebeck.

Hodebeck has lived on the same piece of land since 1948. Now 59 years later, he's shocked at the amount of water that flooded his property in such a short period of time.

"I never really did notice it, woke up a couple times, and when I got up it wasn’t so bad."

By the time the rains subsided, Hodebeck had lost 46 head of cattle, most of which haven't been found.

Thousands of acres of crops were also destroyed. USDA officials estimate 75 percent of flooded areas have been washed away.

Officials say this disaster could not have been prevented.

"A lot of our crops are gone, but we just have to plant them again and hope this doesn't happen again," said Wayne Becker, Cooke County agriculture ext. officer.

But fixing the crops is just the beginning. County officials also have to rebuild washed out roads, some of which will be underwater for two or three more weeks, which county judges say could cost up to $600,000.

But at the end of the day, no matter what needs to be done, people in Cooke County say they're ready to get started as quickly as possible.

"In 1981 it took awhile, and I’m afraid it might happen again this time."

Governor Rick Perry declared Cooke County a disaster zone on Tuesday. County officials say a federal announcement should be made in the coming weeks, and it should help bring money to the county to start repairing those roads.

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