Officials Brace For More Flooding In Fort Bend County

More rain could bring full Brazos River over 55 feet and cause creeks to overflow as well.


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Fort Bend County Judge Bob Hebert is concerned more rain will worsen the county's flooding emergency.
Fort Bend County Judge Bob Hebert is concerned more rain will worsen the county's flooding emergency.

At its Richmond gauge, the Brazos River was at 54.8 feet Thursday, about four feet higher than its previous record in 1994.

Officials say since Saturday, 558 people have been rescued from homes that were flooded or surrounded by high water.

Stephen Bijune with Texas Task Force 1, a federal urban search and rescue team, said they have rescued some people with boats, military vehicles and in one case with a Black Hawk helicopter.

"We can only move several people at a time by boat," he said. "By using the Texas Military Department's high-profile vehicles, it's allowed us to move 10, 15, 20 people per vehicle. And we've been able to get truckloads of people out that way. They can ford relatively deep water."

Fort Bend County Judge Bob Hebert said dozens were taken to shelters at First Baptist Church in Richmond and Bible Fellowship Church in Brookshire. As of Thursday, a total of 53 people were in those shelters.

Many others have been picked up by relatives.

Mandatory evacuation is in effect in Simonton, Richmond and Rosenberg. Residents in Missouri City, unprotected areas south of Richmond and some unincorporated areas north of the Brazos River are also encouraged to leave.

Judge Hebert said even if someone's home is not flooded, they should consider evacuating.

"This is going to be a long event," he said. "And you have to ask yourself, do you want to spend four or five days locked in your home, surrounded by water?"

He said the coming days could bring up to six inches of rain, which would further raise the level of the already full Brazos River.

"How it will be impacted between now and Sunday will depend on how the rain falls and where it falls," Hebert said. "So it becomes unpredictable."

He said Fort Bend residents who need help evacuating should call the sheriff's office.

The county commissioner's court is holding an emergency meeting Friday morning at 9 a.m. to extend its disaster declaration.


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