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Cleanup effort bring
About seven hours later the students
"We went through the alley and the
back yardf' Donna said. "You didn't
realize how deep the water was, because
you didn't remember how low the ground
was. As we got to the door, the water was
close to our chests."
"We were -under the impression that it
wouldn't go into our house," she said. "I
guess because we didn't want it to."
When Donna and Lisa looked through
their kitchen windows, Donna said they
saw water two and a half feet deep, toppled
furnishings and mud everywhere. "Then
when we opened the door," she said,
"makeup, shoes and everything floated
The students' experience was one varia-
tion of a tale told throughout the city by
occupants of the 356 residences damaged
by the Columbus Day Hood.
Final damage estimates were S3 million
to S5 million in losses to individuals and
51.6 million to the city, according to the
Abilene Reporter-News. President Reagan
eventually declared Taylor County and six
other Texas counties disaster areas
because of the heavy flooding.
After extreme flooding in 1974 city of-
ficials conducted a flood plain study and
drew a "l00-year flood map,', which was a
projection of flooding that would occur in a
storm so bad it would happen only once a
Day flood almost
reached the 100-
year flood mark
Creek in the Fair-
way Oaks area and
along Cedar Creek
i n s o u t h e a s t
Creek also damaged many homes at the
foot of the ACU Hill on College Drive.
The deluge of muddy water was followed
by a surge of community spirit and
helpfulness. Sportsmen's boats, Air Force
equipment and city buses were used to
evacuate residents and take them to nine
shelters set up in the city, including one in
ACU's Bennett Gymnasium. Church
members, Boy Scouts, students, city
employees, Dyess Air Force Base person-
nel and many others worked in the evacua-
tion and cleanup.
P. H. Hill, who directed aid efforts for
University Church of Christ, estimated
that several thousand Abilenians aided
flood victims in some way. He added that
the "best and greatest work was done not
"Just knowing some
to stop and help
through any organized work at all, just
people and neighbors wanting to help."
Charles Ramsey, an ACU junior in-
dustrial education major, was one such
neighbor. Charles lived on Cedar Creek's
bank at 401 College in, as he said, "the lit-
tle white house that moved."
The junior said he left his home after a
neighbor woke him about 3 a.m. Later he
helped evacuate people. "We rescued the
CDr. Edwinj Headricks and a 95 year-old
woman, her daughter who was in her 70,s
and their four pets."
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