Despite the remnants of Harvey being gone from the skies over Sealy, problems still exist on the ground.
Flooding has remained on many of the roads and other areas around the Sealy area and the Texas Department of Transportation is closely monitoring its progress.
Cari Hensley, a public information officer for TxDOT’s Yoakum district, which includes Sealy, said despite the storm’s absence, no one is taking any chances.
“We’re not going into this with the mindset of ‘the worst is behind us’,” Hensley said. “In Austin County I would still advise these people don’t drive around barricades.”
Hensley stressed that when flood levels finally begin to recede and roads become visible, another type of danger is still present. Any damage the floods could have potentially caused the roads still pose a serious threat to drivers.
“We can’t remove the barricades until we inspect the road and if it’s safe to do so then we’ll open it up,” Hensley said. “If it’s damaged, we’ll repair it as fast as possible.”
TxDOT can recover road damages such as sinkholes fairly quickly while any damages to bridges will take a little longer to fix. As for when TxDOT will be able to assess any potential damages, it will have to wait until water levels decrease.
“We don’t have a timeframe for receding water,” Hensley said. “We watch it like everyone else.”
TxDOT is still in 24-hour emergency operation mode and will likely stay that way for the next several days. A hundred additional employees of TxDOT have come into the area from all over the state to assist in recovery efforts.
The reinforcements began staging all over the state in cities such as San Antonio, Bryan and Waco then moved in where the damage was the worst. More were deployed overall and are assisting in areas such as Houston.
Hensley, who has been working for TxDOT for two years, said she and her employees have never seen worst weather in the district but are doing everything they can to keep the people in Sealy and all around the district safe.
“Our response has been amazing,” Hensley said. “We’ve had a team keeping drive Texas up to date and I think it’s helped drivers a lot.”