Montgomery County judge issues local disaster declaration due to flooding


HOUSTON – Montgomery County judge Craig Doyal has made a local disaster declaration and submitted a request for the same at the state level to Texas Governor Greg Abbott.

The declaration follows after a similar flooding even a month earlier.

"As our emergency crews and first responders have assessed the initial impact from Thursday and Friday's flooding, it is clear we have experienced widespread damages sufficient to qualify as a disaster," said Doyal. "Deputy Emergency Management Coordinator Darren Hess is working with other agencies to assist and coordinate responses to the flooding, and has activated our Emergency Operations Center to support those efforts."

According to the Montgomery County Office of Emergency Management:

• In Precinct 1 - Several Roads under water, at least three known washouts for partial or total road closure

• In Precinct 2 - Several Roads under water, houses with flooding, no known infrastructure damage at this time; in city of Montgomery, more damage to buffalo springs bridge, which is completely closed at this time; over 100 water rescues performed, 57 people evacuated; there are more than 20 homes with water in them

• In Precinct 3 -  Several streets are underwater, numerous within the Woodlands, but most have cleared. Timber Lakes and Timber Ridge had homes under water again.

• In Precinct 4 - Several roads with trees and power lines down, blocking traffic movement. FM 1485 likely to close again

• 911 center lost power and generator last night, causing a loss in 911 calls and radio communications for short periods of time.  MCSO training academy building lost part of a roof. Unknown other county damages at this time.

• All in all there were well over 150 water rescues Thursday night, with homes flooded and an unknown number of flooded vehicles.

• As of this morning, Entergy reported 25,500 customers were still without power, including several Montgomery County government offices.

• Lake Conroe is at a pool of 203 feet (normal pool 201); the San Jacinto River Authority has opened the dam gates to 8120cfs (they had water sheeting over the top of their gates)

Judge Doyal asks Montgomery County residents to monitor weather conditions, remain safe and avoid roadways affected by water. Critical updates will be provided by the Office of Emergency Management for the next few days at www.mctxoem.org.

With drenched clothing, Jackie Lamartina carried only a bag of belongings on Thursday night.

“From the time we turned around, my car was underwater,” Jackie LaMartina said.

LaMartina drove into high water on Decker Praire and FM 249 Thursday night.

“It stalled out and we started getting our stuff to get out. We were crawling out of the car. The water was up in the car,” she said.

PHOTOS: Severe weather and flooding in Montgomery County

She and her husband escaped, and another driver brought them to a gas station – a place where others also stopped.

“I just saw that it was getting up pretty fast. I didn't want to chance it and go through it because once you get stuck and you're engine stops, then that's it for you,” Christin Cardenas, a stranded driver, said.

The Montgomery County Emergency Management has announced the Red Cross has poened two shelters to serve those displaced by flooding. It's located at:

#1 Wildwood United Methodist Church

8911 FM 1488 Rd.

Magnolia, TX 77354

#2 First Baptist Church

445 Main Street

Hempstead, Texas

The Goodmans live along an overflowing creek nearby and say the water was up to their porch.

“If it's coming this fast and once that hits Spring Creek, it's gonna back up even more, I'm kinda nervous about it getting into our house,” Zachary Goodman said.

The Goodmans grabbed what they could and quickly evacuated.

“We loaded up the kids in the truck and pets in the other and here we are,” Goodman said.

It's something they have got accustomed to doing.

"Home is where you make it. We'll rebuild if anything does happen, but I think we'll be alright,” Goodman said.



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