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Elected Officials From Southeast Texas Analyze Potential Response To A Hurricane In 2016

Evacuation routes, debris removal and power restoration were some concepts addressed during a briefing organized by Harris County Judge Ed Emmett.

Montgomery County Judge Craig Doyal; Brazoria County Judge Matt Sebesta; Harris County Judge Ed Emmett and Liberty County Judge Jay Knight, during the briefing on the 2016 hurricane season, which was held at NRG Center.
From left to right: Montgomery County Judge Craig Doyal; Brazoria County Judge Matt Sebesta; Harris County Judge Ed Emmett and Liberty County Judge Jay Knight, during the briefing on the 2016 hurricane season, which was held at NRG Center.

Elected officials and emergency management coordinators from across southeast Texas met in Houston to attend a briefing on the potential response to a hurricane hitting our region.

Harris County Judge Ed Emmett hosted the briefing, which brought to Houston mayors and judges from surrounding cities and counties, such as Seabrook and Brazoria.

This year, the forecast by the National Weather Service calls for an average season with 10 to 15 tropical storms or hurricanes.

The briefing touched on specific aspects of the response to a hurricane, such as restoring power, removing debris and fuel supply.

Emmett underscored the region is well prepared in that regard, because “there is a definitive plan in place to have fuel pre-storm and then also, along the evacuation routes, and as soon as possible post storm.”

“The most critical thing out there is the evacuation, the fuel supplies and people being ready to act,” commented Brazoria County Judge Matt Sebesta.

Emmett also noted that contraflow – when all lanes of a given roadway are going in the same direction — is almost a last resort to be used in extreme situations, like a massive evacuation.

Texas Highway Patrol Captain Terry Truett explained contraflow entails a lot of manpower.

“Just to run Interstate 45 takes over 200 people, with Highway Patrol and TxDOT personnel. When you include Interstate 10, you are looking at over a 100 people to run that roadway. So, together, we are talking over 400 people,” Truett detailed.

Officials emphasize the need to be prepared by knowing your evacuation routes, having a basic survival plan and trying to always have a full tank of gas in case you have to leave your home unexpectedly.

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Alvaro ‘Al’ Ortiz

Digital News Producer

Alvaro ‘Al’ Ortiz is originally from Madrid (Spain). He worked for several years in his home country and gained experience in all platforms of journalism, from wire services to print, as well as broadcast and digital reporting. In 2001, Al came to the United States to pursue a Master’s degree...

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