What's next for Gainesville

By: Daniel Gotera Email
By: Daniel Gotera Email

GAINESVILLE -- The city of Gainesville is still recovering from its worst flood in the last 25 years. City leaders say the road to recovery is not going to be quick.

Officials are trying to figure out how to make sure this destruction doesn't happen again, but they're afraid the solution won't come until a later date.

Scenes like this along Pecan Creek with homes completely washed out and families left to clean up are common just days after the floods.

"Everything was a wreck we lost everything," said Gainesville resident Greg Kang.

"When I woke up, got my car keys, went outside, and my car was floating, I’d never seen it rise that fast," said Brent Vaughn of Gainesville.

Brent Vaughn says he wasn't supposed to be home on Monday. Now, he has no home.

"What we do now, we're living in a tent because it's pretty bad inside there."

Now it's time to clean up, and city officials know it's a long process because none of them expected anything like this.

"This well exceeded a hundred-year storm. That's why you get what you get." said city manager Mike Land.

Land says getting the city back on track will start with widening the narrow Pecan Creek and replacing six bridges.

It's an $8.5 million project which was approved back in 2001 but hasn't happened yet because of a lack of federal funding.

City officials hope that funding will be available soon, as federal officials see the need to prevent this devastation in the future.

"If we're fortunate, we'll get the money, but things do take a long time."

Even though this project may prevent future flood damage, it's no consolation to flood victims right now.

"It took so long to get all this, now I don't have anything.”

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