City to hand out sandbags May 17-18

May 8, 2019

With the start of the 2019 Atlantic Hurricane Season less than one month away, the City of Brownsville wants residents to be ready and will hand out sandbags May 17 and May 18.

Taking a pro-active approach, the city’s Public Works Department will host the Sandbag Drive-Thru Pickup and will provide free sandbags to Brownsville residents and businesses.

Hurricane season begins June 1 and runs through Nov. 30.

The sandbags will be handed out from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Friday, May 17 and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, May 18, at Industrial Park, GBIC Circle in Brownsville.

Residents will receive up to eight bags while businesses may receive up to 10 bags. In order to pick up the bags, residents must present an official drivers license or identification and a water/waste water bill as a proof of residency. City staff will place the bags in the vehicles.

Although NOAA or National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration won’t release its 2019 Atlantic Hurricane Season forecast until later this month, other forecasts indicate it will be a slightly below average season this year.

Colorado State University research scientist Philip Klotzbach in April said this year’s forecast calls for 13 named storms. Of those 13 storms, the forecast suggests that five could develop into hurricanes and that two could strengthen into major hurricanes of Category 3 or greater. An average season would produce 6.4 hurricanes and 2.7 major hurricanes.

Experts urged residents to prepare and cautioned that just one storm can impact a community.

“We have had many seasons in the past that were below-average or average that had lots of storms making landfall,” Klotzbach said. “We cannot say what the storms will do or if they’ll make landfall months in advance. So for the general public, it’s just a matter of being prepared this hurricane season and every hurricane season,” Klotzbach said.

A Hurricane Preparedness Fair will be held May 21 at the Brownsville Public Utilities Board.

For more information on the sandbag distribution, call (956) 546-4357.