Hidalgo County Officials Prepared for Floodwaters

Friday, July 9, 2010 - 9:02am

In Hidalgo, county officials are wasting no time in preparing for the rain that was forecasted in the region, Daisy Martinez has more.

Residents in Hidalgo county haven't even fully recovered from the rain that Hurricane Alex brought to the Valley last week, but without much of an alternative they've now began to prepare for even more water headed our way. "Lots of water." That's what was on Hidalgo County Judge Rene Ramirez's mind as he and other first responders met on Thursday in lieu of the storm headed that way.

Ramirez says he and his emergency operations center staff have been working closely with the International Water Boundary Commission, the National Weather Service and other agencies to better prepare and inform the public on any possible threats.

"Just keep in mind that the ground is saturated we didn't have that for Alex or at least not to that level, but we have moved a bunch of water, but our system is designed with a four inch drain and if we get more that four inches, there will be some flooding, but we're going to go through the same exercise that we did with Alex."

With the unexpected flooding that Hurricane Alex caused in some low lying areas and in the Rio Grande river, county officials recommend that residents stay weather ready.

"If you don't feel safe evacuate, this is a dynamic a changing situation that can change hour by hour and the water can come really fast either from the Gulf or from the river that's what a flash flood is."

From some damage control, the county has already set up pumps in the interior floodway to drain out water as soon as needed from low lying areas. There is no mandatory evacuation at this time, but officials do recommend that people living in low lying areas near the river, such as the Rincon Del Diablo area, evacuate as soon as possible.

Ramirez says he believes the county as well as the levee systems will hold up for the fast approaching rain.
"They've never been tested for this kind of water yet, but they were built to specs with the IBWC so we're expecting them to do well."

Residents will need to contact their city authorities for information on sand bags as far as shelters, they will be set up as needed."

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