AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — On Thursday morning at 2 a.m., members of the Stone family were forced to flee their homes due to rising water in their homes.

“The water started rising so quickly that we didn’t even have a chance to do anything as far as clearing out any belongings or anything,” said Ron Stone. “It was in the houses within minutes.”

Stone shared they were able to get most of the stuff out of his home and make contact with the insurance company.

“She’s not going to be able to do anything until the waters actually down,” said Stone. Then she’s going to come out and take the pictures and everything. It’s basically just up to us to hire the contractor and get the mitigation started and the repairs.”

The neighborhood has been without water since Thursday and according to the family, the city has only sent officials with the environmental health department.

“The city has only sent environmental health people out here to tell us that we need to boil the water,” said Stone. “Which we don’t have any water because the wells and the septic tanks are flooded.”

Even with a boil notice the family is already having negative health effects.

“Most of the people that were out here helping we’ve kind of been in contact with them the last couple days to thank them and everyone who’s been feeling unwell with some kind of stomach problems,” said Kimberly Hamlin, daughter of Mary and Jimmy Puckett. “GI issues so this water is contaminated and very toxic so anyone around here it would be in their best interest to stay out in a way.”

Unfortunately, Stone’s sister Mary Puckett who lives across the street wasn’t as fortunate. Puckett and her husband’s home was completely destroyed, and the insurance agency canceled their flood coverage in February.

“They sent her a letter and said oh, you’re not in the flood zone anymore,” said Stone. “So, we’re going to cancel your insurance and refund you the difference.”

As rain continued to fall and the water rose Puckett and her children rushed to reactivate flood insurance, but it was too late for it to help with the current disaster.

“It doesn’t go into effect for 30 days after that, so we are not going to be covered,” said Hamlin. “The only glimmer of hope that we won’t have to owe money on a lake house if the state declares an emergency for this area. Randall County has declared a state of disaster, but until the state recognizes it that is the only way that we can get help on that.”

In 2015 the area flooded and since then the family has been trying to encourage officials to look into solutions. Instead, the family feels ignored as more development causes more issues.

“I did some research, and the flood map is periodically amended by the city and they had amended it lately, “said Hamlin. “Sure enough, the place where the house sets have gone out of the flood zone by a hair.”

Hamlin continued, “I noticed that the only other place that was removed from the flood zone is the area right over there. The latest addition to this development over here, and it was this, this area.”

Their family is worried that as the land continues to develop the flooding will only become worse.

“I’ve been told there’s also plans to put in a permanent pump, but that could be months out,” said Hamlin. “It isn’t until the newer homes on the ridge up there are threatened and that it becomes serious enough to start the pumps.”

“These developers come in and build up the area around these lakes,” said Stone. “The people that are already here get flooded out because of all the runoff. They cover up all of the permeable surfaces so the water can’t soak in, and where does it go? Right down here into the lake.”

Although their family has lost memories captured in photo and video albums, as well as heirlooms they are grateful they have each other.

“We all grew up out here,” said Hamlin. “When we were kids, this was just the best place in the world. It was green, the sun was always shining, and we had gardens and it was just the best childhood we could have ever had. Now it has become awful.”

Hamlin continued, “I know that if we didn’t have our family here, that this would be even worse. Right now it’s pretty rough. It’s worse than you could imagine. I don’t even want to think of what it would be without the help of family and friends, getting what was left of their belongings out.”

The family is currently fundraising to build a new home and keeping in contact with insurance companies, the Red Cross and seeking legal help.

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