By Katelyn Holm
Just as predictable weather seemed to settle into Bell County, severe thunderstorms hit Belton and surrounding cities overnight, both March 19 and 20.
First Avenue and South East Street received the majority of the downpour in Belton, including an overflow of Nolan Creek.
The creek flooded into drainage ditches and adjacent properties, forcing a few homeowners to evacuate.
Sgt. Larry Berg of the City of Belton police department said, “Our biggest concern is obviously personal safety. We ask people to exercise caution when there has been a warning issued. … There was no extensive damage, just some property damage and debris.”
Berg explained the flooding is a continuous concern during the rainy months. Nolan Creek frequently overflows, but the City of Belton has an extensive flood protocol.
In these situations, Berg and the Police Department carry out a “first call warning system.” When they receive notification of a threat, they immediately begin to mobilize warnings. With these precautions, Belton has avoided more serious damage.
Belton businesses have some concerns regarding the storm repercussions. The Gin at Nolan Creek has become experienced in dealing with bad weather.
Bradley Wolf, manager of the Gin, explained that the management and owners actually built their business around the possibility of flooding.
“We aren’t really worried about flooding because we built a wall for that purpose. The water won’t ever reach us. … We enjoy the rain because it cleans up a lot of debris. … We monitor the water situation, but it doesn’t really affect us that much because we built the restaurant off that,” Wolf said.
While the Pavilion, walking paths and parking lot at the Gin flooded, the restaurant itself had no damage and carried on business as usual.
Wolf mentioned that the Gin’s neighbors at Nolan Creek Apartments probably suffered the most from the deluge, with water damage on the lower levels.
Mary Hardin-Baylor students saw firsthand the effects of the downpour.
The intramural fields became a swampy marsh, and sidewalks flooded.
Freshman nursing major Tesca Korbelik got quite the shower on her return home. She said, “When it hit, it hit us hard. I was completely drenched from head to toe just walking back to my dorm from the SUB.”
Local officials, businesses, and students alike felt the effects of the storm. Belton Police encourage people to call if they have any questions or concerns at (254) 933-5840.