U.S. 259 and Hwy. 8 bridges likely to close due to flooded approaches

Red River at Pecan Point . 11:30 a.m. 5/26


The Red River continues to rise at Pecan Point north of DeKalb, Texas and was at 32.8 feet as of noon Tuesday. According to forecasts it will reach 34.1 feet by Thursday morning.

According to TxDOT crews at US 259 and SH 8 crossings are watching the flood waters around the clock until the waters start receding.  ‘

“Both highways are open at this time and we do not expect to close them any time soon,” said Marcus Sandifer with TxDOT.  “However, if water does get high enough over the approaches on either end of the bridges to be a hazard, they will be closed. We have portable message signs south of each crossing warning motorists of possible flooding conditions. The signs will be changed to Road Closed due to Flooding should conditions warrant.”

According to NOAA the following happens at each stage:

  • 36 feet -Record flooding occurs. Hundreds of thousands of acres flood catastrophically. All establishments and residences, including farms and ranches, should be completely evacuated.
  • 34.5 feet – Near record flooding of some tens of thousands of acre will continue. Severe backwater flooding of Pecan and Nolan Creeks occurs. The U.S. highway 259 bridge is closed, as well as Texas highway bridges 8 and 37.
  • 33 feet – The approaches to the U.S. highway 259 bridge inundate. Tens of thousands of acres will flood severely. Complete evacuation of livestock is encouraged. The U.S. highway 259 bridge will very likely be closed. In addition, Texas highway 37, that runs from Clarksville, Texas to Wright, Oklahoma, and Texas highway 8, that runs from New Boston, Texas to Critton Ridge, Arkansas, will likely be closed.
  • 30 feet – Thousands of acres of farm land and pasture flood. Livestock must be evacuated to higher ground. Much of the flood plain is inundated, and preparations for a major flood should be made.
  • 29 feet – Evacuations of some half dozen homes required in the pecan bend area of northeast texas.
  • 27 feet – Flooding will increase on the Red River, with much of the flood plain inundated. Ranchers must move cattle and farm machinery to higher ground. Moderate to severe bank erosion occurs.
  • 24.5 feet – Flooding will continue to decrease along the red river, although bank erosion problems will continue. Minor overflow of low banks will continue, especially on the oklahoma side of the river.
  • 24 feet – Minor flooding of the lower banks occurs, especially on the oklahoma side of the river. Residents along the river can expect moderate to severe bank erosion.

TxDOT crews are currently monitoring the bridge 24 hours a day.

Bowie County Judge James Carlow declared a state of emergency on May 25, allowing for help from state and federal authorities.

Index Bridge is at 18.67 feet rising to 29.5 by Sunday.

  • 34.25 feet – Record flooding of tens of thousands of acres will take place.
  • 32 At feet – this stage, the us highway 71 index bridge will likely need to be closed and traffic rerouted. Also there will be widespread inundation of thousand of acres of farmland.
  • 31.5 feet – A 24 hour flood watch will commence at the index bridge on us highway 71. The bridge is in danger of being overtopped and closed.
  • 27 feet –  General inundation of farm and grazing lowlands will occur. Ranchers should have completed evacuation of cattle and equipment to higher ground.
  • 25 feet- Considerable flooding of lowland farm and grazing land will take place. Ranchers should move cattle and equipment to higher ground.
  • 24 feet- The red river is at bankfull with some minor flooding of low pastures. Ranchers are advised to move cattle to higher ground.
  • 19.5 feet – Considerable backwater flooding will take place on walnut bayou at the confluence of the red river and walnut bayou as well as upstream on walnut bayou.

Miller County Judge Larry Burgess has scheduled a press conference in Garland City, Arkansas for Wednesday afternoon at 1:00 p.m.  Judge Burgess, Miller County Department of Emergency Management Director Larry Pritchett, and Garland City Mayor Tyeshekka Antwine will be there to discuss the flood situation.


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