AP NEWS

Officials concerned for homes along Brazos River in Simonton

May 9, 2019

As Fort Bend County officials continue to monitor the weather after Tuesday’s storms made roadways impassable, threat of flooding to homes along the Brazos River -specifically in Simonton - is a major concern.

Precinct 3 Commissioner Meyers said Wednesday morning that while the water on streets in Precinct 3 receded rapidly once the rain stopped, additional rainfall through Monday could make the Brazos River a major hurdle for homeowners in the Simonton area.

“We anticipate that the heavy rains that are coming in the next few days is going to at least flood our streets again,” Meyers said. “We’re hopeful that the river doesn’t get to the flood stage. If it does, obviously we’re going to have several properties that are going to flood again.”

“It’s not there yet,” he added. “We’ve had reports of about eight to 12 inches in about a six hour period. That exceeds the 100 year event. That’s a lot of water.”

FORT BEND OFFICIAL: Logjam on Brazos River under FM 1093 bridge is a ‘growing concern’

The Brazos River at Richmond exceeded the minor flood stage at 45 feet Wednesday morning by just over one foot, according to the National Weather Service. It is expected to remain at a minor flood stage through throughout the weekend.

Meyers and other county officials, who monitored the storm throughout the night, met with Simonton Mayor Laurie Boudreaux and the city’s emergency operations center to coordinate strategies in preparation for the upcoming rainfall.

Four high-capacity pumps were placed near the gates of Cowhide Road overnight to help reduce water in flooded areas, Meyers said.

Across Precinct 3, residents experienced heavy rains, lightening and major flooding along roadways, said Precinct 3 Constable Wayne Thompson.

LOOKING AHEAD: Continual storms, rainfall to create additional flood risks in Houston area

“The majority of the streets have cleared in our area and there were no high-water rescues that I am aware of,” he said. “There were a few lighting strikes, a couple of house fires and smelling smoke…”

At least one home in Simonton caught fire after it was hit by lightning, Thompson said.

There were no reports of any injuries, deaths or near drownings in Precinct 3, he added. Thompson said he had placed “additional patrols in the area and has been in close contact with Simonton officials.”

In other parts of Fort Bend County, many residents were dealing with stalled vehicles and flooded homes.

Sheriff Troy Nehls said his deputies rescued a woman in the Tara neighborhood who was trapped in a home that had about six inches of water in it.

“We pulled her out of her home and took her to a local hotel, her and her cat” Nehls said.

BREAKING NEWS UPDATES: Get your Houston breaking news alerts delivered to your inbox

Nehls said his deputies responded to many people who were trapped in their vehicles with water “up to the door handles” after storms dumped up to 12 inches of rain in many parts of Fort Bend County.

“We were able to get some people of their vehicles that were in the middle of some very high water,” he said.

At one point in the night Nehls said he stepped out of his five-ton truck and into water “that was almost up to my belt line. That was the was the highest water I saw last night.”

“Several vehicles” along Interstate 59 south that were left behind due to their passengers attempting to escape rising waters, had to be towed, Nehls said, adding that drivers should attempt to make their way back to their cars.

“If your vehicle is still there, coordinate, take some initiative and have a wrecker company have the vehicle removed,” Nehls said. “If it’s not there, it was in a moving lane of traffic, and we moved it.”

He also advised those individuals to call the sheriff’s office phone number to get more information on where their vehicle is.

If you believe your car was towed, contact the sheriff’s office at 281-341-4665.

michelle.iracheta@chron.com