Grayson Co. declares state of disaster, local refuge closes due to flooding

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GRAYSON COUNTY, TX-- Grayson County is asking for help after recent storms and flooding. The severe weather and flooding is also now forcing several parks and businesses to shut their doors.

Barricades now block the road to Hagerman National Wildlife Refuge.
They are one of several parks that's had to shut their doors due to severe weather damage and flooding.

"All the hiking trails are under water, all the roads are underwater," said manager Kathy Whaley. "So right now the only places people can get to right now is the Good Day use off Hagerman Road, and the Sandy Unit, for the time being."

Right now about 6,000 of the refuge's 12,000 acres is underwater.
Whaley says once Lake Texoma hits 635 feet, the entrance road leading into the visitor center will be underwater, and that's a public safety issue.

Whaley said, "the visitor center will be closed and I'm not sure when it will reopen. It's going to depend on the water level and when people can get back here safely, then we will reopen the road."

Grayson County Judge Bill Magers signed a disaster declaration Friday. With losses from the severe storms totaling more than $1.3 million, Magers is sending a letter to Texas Governor Greg Abbott requesting disaster relief to help rebuild public streets and roadways.

But the state of Texas will need to qualify before any county will get money for help.

"The state of Texas needs to become eligible for disaster relief from the federal government and they will need to quantify a loss in excess of $35 million," said Emergency Management Coordinator Sarah Somers.

The county says they will continue to assess storm and flooding damage, and follow up with their request made to Governor Abbott.

"We just hope that the federal government will realize we have a problem here and will exercise their authority," said Judge Bill Magers.