Wimberley: Epic Flood Tests a Small Town's Strength


Wimberley:  Epic Flood Tests a Small Town’s Strength

 Available in Wimberley and online beginning Monday March 7, 2016

On May 23, 2015, a massive storm system dumped as much as 13 inches of rain on the watershed feeding the Blanco River southwest of Austin, Texas. As the rain accumulated, the river began rising and collecting debris, moving quickly toward the charming Hill Country community of Wimberley. Overnight, the river rose to an unprecedented and catastrophic level as it moved through Wimberley and to the east. Raging waters destroyed 300 homes. Eleven people died in what’s been described as a flood of epic proportions. 

 The Wimberley community joined together to record experiences during and just after that Memorial Day Weekend flood. With the volunteer offerings from professionals in the community, funding support from the Wimberley City Council, the Wimberley Village Library and Wimberley Institute of Cultures, and under the umbrella of the Wimberley Village Library, the collaborative team of Stephen Klepfer, Nancy Williams and Carroll Wilson blended the talents offered along with photographs and accounts of rescue, recovery and support, to craft a book that tells a vivid story of what took place during that weekend and in the days that followed.

 The book’s developers created a place for residents and visitors to share and preserve the community’s stories, in a way that respects, honors, and encourages those who have been impacted and enlightens those who will hear about this historic time in the life of the Wimberley Valley. About 100 stories are featured along with photographs, maps and charts that portray what took place when the storms came and the otherwise peaceful waters became roaring forces of nature, rushing out of their banks and through the Valley.

 You’ll read about the preparation, escape, survival and rescue that took place that Saturday evening into Sunday, along with discovery and initial responses to the damage that occurred.  You’ll also find many stories of support, recovery, restoration and rebuilding, along with accounts of the amazing outpouring of assistance that flowed into Wimberley from all over the country and beyond.

 In this book you’ll find testimonies of the grief, loss, fatigue and uncertainty that were present. Yet, along side those struggles, you’ll find strength, determination, perseverance, resilience and hope – reflections of the character of the people of the Wimberley Valley.

 Underneath the debris and despair, beyond the echoes of the cries for help, the piercing crack of the trees and the roar of the water, join these people in celebrating strength of character, a true spirit of community and an awareness of blessings that fill this place the people of Wimberley call home.