You have all seen the photos and TV coverage of the devastating floods that impacted hundreds of homes in the Highland Lakes area.  Rivers gushing, boats and boat docks flowing over dams, a State Hwy. bridge washing away.  Heavy rains for several days swelled the Llano and Colorado Rivers to historic high levels.
At the top of Lake LBJ, where the two rivers merge in Kingsland  a wall of water was sent down the Colorado River, through Lake LBJ, through Lake Marble Falls, and down river to Lake Travis and the beyond.  It left in its path a flooded and destroyed homes and businesses and displaced thousands of residence in an area that is  all ready short of available and affordable housing.
Area, State, and Federal First Responders took the lead in getting people to safety, secure flooded roadways and bridges, emergency medical care, and keeping the community services running as much as possible.  After the water began to recede and the immediate emergency level decreased, the support and clean-up began. 
All cities in the area reacted.  The Church Alliance of the Highland  lakes area became the centers for work crews, inventory of cleaning supplies, tools, drinking water, and food rations.  The first week was taking care of immediate needs of the people and surveying the actual damage and response needed.  Cash donations from Rotary Clubs in the area helped stock the collection and disbursement sites with “cash cards” for use at Home Improvement Centers for more intense cleanup supplies and temporary “patches”.  We also provided Gift Cards from area fast food restaurants and eateries for those that did not even have a place to cook.  
The second week saw the volunteer work groups “hit the ground” and begin the cleanup. Going door to door, volunteers offered assistance in two areas:  “mucking out the flooded homes” or “debris clean-up in the yards”.  The third week, the volunteer force and focus zeroed in on Kingsland.  They were the hardest hit and needed the most help.  The Marble Falls Rotary Club organized two crews that helped in the Kingsland area. 
As of 9 November, the need for cleanup crews has lessened but still exists.  If individuals or clubs want to participate in hands on work, contact the Rotary Club of Marble Falls (830-798-8464) for details.  By the end of this month, it is expected that most of the cleanup work will be mostly complete.  The Rotary Club of Marble Falls is planning for the next stages of help and assistance.  First, help families secure temporary or medium term housing.  Help by locating and financial when necessary.  Second, have funds available to help families/individuals that options are slim or none and the needs are modest and immediate.  The Church Alliance and the Rotary Club will both interview the participants and have clear understanding of the each situation.  Third, the area is need of counselors, mentors, advisors - people that can guide and direct those families that do not have the experience or expertise and just need support from a caring group.  We will do our part in filling those needs as well.   Fourth, for longer term assistance, several City and County entities are establishing Emergency Relief Funds that will be available after the initial phases are complete.  The Rotary Club of Marble Falls is reviewing this option for their own funds and the generous donations from other clubs at the wind down of the relief effort.