Officials feared dangerous debris from the flooding Rio Grande would pound into the bridge pillars. The river that separates the United States and Mexico had risen more than 30 feet above flood stage after Charley dumped 18 inches of rain on Del Rio in 24 hours. The highest water was expected to hit Laredo, which is 174 miles down the river, by Wednesday, making it the worst flood since 1954.
“The flood wave is about a mile wide coming down the Rio Grande,” said Tom Millwee, state coordinator for the Texas Division of Emergency Management.
At U.S. Customs offices along the river, inspectors removed computers and cleared all vehicles from a parking lot that normally handles as many as 2,700 trucks entering this country daily, according to a report in the San Antonio Express-News.
Some shippers are making alternate plans, sending freight by way of Hildago and Brownsville, further east.