Commissioners review storm damage


Austin County Sheriff Jack Brandes presented a seven-minute video during the June 12 Commissioners Court meeting showing damage incurred by a recent storm, which was deemed a “microburst” by the National Weather Service.

The video showed an aerial view depicting “the worst of the worst” from an hour and a half of footage from the weather event that was designated more destructive than a tornado.

“CenterPoint [Energy] brought an army of trucks,” Brandes said of the local response. “It’s amazing what they did. You name it; they had it. We saw a lot of barns that are not there anymore. People got hit really hard.”

County officials assessed damage last week with the Texas Division of Emergency Management. No major injuries were reported, but several properties were damaged or destroyed.

“Thank God no one was hurt,” Brandes said. “I don’t think we had any major injuries.”

The sheriff said after the commissioners’ court meeting that he’s not sure how long it will take to assess and repair all the damage done by last month’s storm.

“I can only get involved in saving lives, rescuing people and [deterring] criminal activity,” Brandes said. “I cannot use the weight of my badge to get involved in any monetary transactions. I haven’t really had a lot of calls about storm damage, but if I do, I direct them to the county judge’s office.”

Brandes added that, even three weeks later, debris was still scattered throughout the county.

“People are trying to get their buildings in livable condition whether it be a barn for animals or a house for humans,” he said.


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