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Mandatory evacuation order lifted on Friday

LIVINGSTON -- The mandatory evacuation order issued for areas along the Trinity River below the Lake Livingston Dam was lifted Friday morning to allow residents of the area to check on their property.

The mandatory evacuation order was issued by Polk County Judge Sydney Murphy on Tuesday, replacing an earlier voluntary order, as the water being released from the dam forced the river levels to rise dramatically.

Although the mandatory order has been lifted, officials are asking that only residents of the impacted subdivisions go into the area.

“The roads have been damaged from having been under water for so long and having too much traffic on them can damage them further,” said Marcia Cook, assistant to the county judge. “Right now the roads are ‘passable’ but that is a relative term so anyone going into those areas need to exercise caution.”

The water level for local creeks and rivers began to subside beginning midweek once the heavy rains generated by Hurricane Harvey ended. During the height of the storm, area firefighters, Texas Parks and Wildlife Game Wardens and others were helping remove residents from the river subdivisions often by boat.