Emergency management coordinator: Prepare but don’t panic

Brazos River is not an immediate concern locally


While the Brazos River has crested in other areas of the state, there’s no immediate cause for concern in Austin County, Emergency Management Coordinator Ray Chislett said Tuesday morning.
Right now the river is at 119.5 feet above sea level, and flooding could occur at 122 feet.
Chislett said he does not expect any structures to flood locally.
“[The current level] makes a high river but it’s not going to flood out any of the structures,” he said. “There’s no large amounts of rain in the north part of Texas that are going to impinge on us. There’s no local water that is being contributed to the river level. It takes 24 hours to get from Bryan to Hempstead to us.”
Still, he said, he’s observed residents near Lazy River moving equipment to higher ground and he encourages residents to stay informed. Citizens can sign up for text message alerts by clicking on the “emergency notification system Regroup” button at austincounty.com.
“We’ve been checking the river level at least twice a day for about a week,” Chislett said. “The rain up north stopped and Mill Creek flattened down. We have low-lying areas that absorb the water for some time.”
The emergency management coordinator added that local residents are aware and observant; many have been through flooding events before.
“You’ve got to be aware of your surroundings,” he said.
A meeting is set for 6 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 10, at Christian City Fellowship Church to discuss plans for Voluntary Organizations Active in Disasters (VOADS). The group, which includes elected officials, churches and organizations such as the local food pantry, is planning ahead for the next local disaster so that a clearinghouse of information is set up for sheltering, water and food delivery, cleaning and other recovery necessities.


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