Halloween Flood Tests Cross Plants & Produce

2015 is drowning our towns and testing our people.

Of all the natural disasters experienced across our planet, perhaps none are more devastating than floods. Jennifer and Nathan Cross, owners of Cross Plants and Produce, were devastated this weekend. Their business, a small plant nursery and produce market in Kyle, TX, was all but swept away in just a few short hours. On Friday, 10/30/15, the areas of Kyle, San Marcos, and Wimberley received as much as 15.63 inches of rain in 24 hours, with at least one reported tornado touching down in San Marcos.

Jennifer and Nathan’s property sits adjacent to a concrete storm water channel designed to route floodwater across the railroad tracks, underneath I-35, and into the Lake Kyle & Plum Creek Preserve. Normally the channel functions properly, but not this time. Not this flood. This time the railroad was overwhelmed by water and washed out, causing a portion of the watershed to re-route through the heart of the outdoor nursery.

Cross Plants Flood-6With exception to the store itself, their property, by nearly any measure, was destroyed. The fences were toppled, the parking lot was made useless, the pumpkin patch and outdoor produce displays were washed downstream along with gas cans, tables, hay bales, and more.

Steven Cook, a Kyle resident and commander of the Kyle/Buda VFW, was across the freeway filming the flood when he saw something very strange.

“I was just standing there, watching the floodwater, when all of a sudden pumpkins started pouring out from under the freeway. I’ve never seen anything like it,” he told me. “It was just so weird to see a stream of flowing pumpkins on Halloween.” Steven captured the rare sight on video.  A clip will be published in Episode 3 of the OUR KYLE video project later this month. At least 100 pumpkins washed into Lake Kyle.

Pumpkins Rushing to Kyle-1As I walked the property with the owners, I could tell they were fighting back a combination of frustration, despair, and shock. “I’m really glad I wasn’t here when it was underwater,” Jennifer told me, pausing to pick up a welcome sign sunk in the mud. “I’m glad I didn’t see it.”

“We worked so hard to get this place ready for Halloween and Thanksgiving,” she added. “We’ve put our heart and soul into it. And our life savings. Now I don’t know if we’ll be able to recover in time for our Christmas festivals. But God has a plan. So whatever he wants to happen we’re okay with that.”

With community support, I have no doubt they will recover. Small business owners like Jennifer and Nathan Cross represent the bleeding heart of Kyle. They are wholly committed to bringing a unique business to the town, and do not stop when the going gets tough.

“It just goes to show you the indomitable spirit of the small business owner,” Nathan said as he shoveled debris. “We’ll fight our way through this like we always do.”

Cross Plants Flood-7

How you can help: There are a lot of ways to help CPP, but I suggest you go to their store (705 North Highway 81 – Kyle, TX 78640) and purchase a Lake Kyle Pumpkin for $20. The pumpkin you purchase is being used to feed the fish downstream. Just a thought.