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Texas Flood Evacuations May Increase : Weather: Brazos River is expected to crest today. No more rain is expected, but it will likely take up to 36 hours for waters to recede significantly.

From Associated Press

As the Brazos River kept rising Sunday, Kathey Journeay Brown looked over a house and patch of land that has been in the family since her grandparents settled there about 60 years ago.

“What will be washed away is memories,” she said.

The muddy, fast-moving Brazos was running at 48.6 feet late Sunday afternoon--and rising. Forty-eight feet is the river’s flood level.

“It’s continuing to get worse, rising about three-quarters of an inch per hour,” said Mel Speed, Ft. Bend County emergency coordinator.

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The river is expected to crest today at about 50 feet, bringing the likelihood of more flooding throughout the area near Houston. It will likely take up to 36 hours for waters to recede significantly.

“Luckily, there’s no more rain expected. That will help us a whole lot,” Speed said.

Up to 150 people in low-lying areas might have to evacuate, he said. There was some early property damage from flooding in the northwest corner of the county.

Flooding caused by days of heavy rain that began last week has killed at least 15 people across Texas, swamped farmland, drowned livestock and caused millions of dollars in damage.

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Speed said county shelters were empty Sunday because evacuees were able to stay with relatives or friends. The flooding could strand thousands of others whose homes were not in danger because many flooded streets would remain closed for up to two days.

Flooding in Liberty County east of Houston was affecting about 3,500 people living near the Trinity River, which at 29 feet was five feet above flood stage, said Jim Mitchum, Liberty County emergency management coordinator. About 30 residents were staying in a county shelter Sunday.

Officials in Wharton, about 100 miles to the west, set a preliminary estimate Sunday of damage caused by the now-receding Colorado River at $4 million for the city and $4 million for the county.

City emergency management coordinator Larry Hollingsworth said the Red Cross sheltered about 100 people during the worst of the flooding.

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