HAYS COUNTY, Texas – It was just nine months ago, when severe floods swept through Hays County, damaging thousands of homes and wiping out a bridge on a rural road.
The Fisher Store Road Bridge, has now been rebuilt and opened.
The community marked the official opening of the bridge on Friday with a ribbon-cutting ceremony.
It's a day of celebration for many residents, who tell us not having the bridge meant an extra 45 minutes to get to Wimberley or Austin.
Officials with the Texas Department of Transportation said they initially though it would take until May for the bridge to be rebuilt.
"It's an essential part of us living over here," said Steve Kuhns, who lives close to the bridge. "And, having that bridge back in such short time has been absolutely incredible."
Kuhns said he vividly remembers the flood.
"I was shocked and I was sick," said Kuhns. "We lost our bridge. We use it all the time, but I was also shocked that the power of that flood could destroy that bridge."
Barbara Ash, who also lives close to the bridge, lost her home in the flood last year.
She said she is happy to see the bridge back and as she celebrated the day with her neighbors she also took time to thank her neighbor, Clay Hoblit, whom she credits for saving her life.
"He knocks on the door and says you guys have got to get out," said Ash. "And he said, ‘Look. There are no "buts” about it and you don't argue with a lawyer!’"
Ash said just five minutes after she got her dog in the car and drove away, the water came over the bridge and the road.
"I credit this man for making us leave," she said. "I don't know what we would have done."