Mother Neff State Park helps flood victims

Channel 6 news reporter Andrew Moore reports.

CORYELL COUNTY - Flooding victims who are taking refuge in Central Texas now have a few more options for shelter. 

More than thirty Texas State Parks, including Mother Neff near Gatesville, have offered cabins or RV space free of charge.

Mother Neff State Park has a cabin and nearly 20 RV sites for evacuees to use. The area holds about 50 evacuees in all, many of which arrived in the past week. 

Most of the visitors fled north with their RV's to stay ahead of Hurricane Harvey. Most victims were originally told they may have to leave the park after a week due to all the reservations Mother Neff booked for Labor Day weekend.

However, Texas Parks and Wildlife postponed all of those reservations, which gave flooding victims room to breath before they return home.  

"It's been fabulous," Bay City evacuee Fred Bakley said. "Being a dad and all, having to worry about everything you know? Me and my son have been on the trails and enjoying what park has to offer. I think it's been great."

Bakley bought an RV for work, but he never thought he'd be moving it five times in a week. When Bakley and his family made it to Mother Neff State Park last week, they could finally take a breath. 

"The park is beautiful," Bakley said. "It's quiet and real safe above everything else."

The Bakley family is one of 14 taking refuge at Mother Neff, and can stay there now with no deadline to leave.

"Our costumer service center in Austin has worked feverishly to make arrangements to renegotiate or reschedule," Mother Neff Superintendent Melissa Chadwick said.

Phones at Mother Neff were ringing off the hook all week. The phone calls were not complaints, but people calling to give back to the community. 

Central Texans showed up to the park to feed the evacuees with hot dogs, and to offer support in hopes that the victims can gain some strength to move on as they prepare to rebuild. 

"When things clear up, we can get back home," Bakley said said. "Help other people if we can, get back to work, and try to get life back to normal."

© 2017 KCEN-TV


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