Brazoria County prepares for potential flooding

BRAZORIA COUNTY, Texas – County officials have issued a voluntary evacuation for residents living along the San Bernard River in Brazoria County.

They expect a voluntary evacuation will be forthcoming for residents who live by the Brazos River. Officials said they believe mandatory evacuation could be forthcoming with the data they are receiving from hydrologists with the National Weather Service.

Those who live by both rivers are encouraged to leave as soon as possible.

Video: Brazoria County authorities update on Harvey preparations

Brazoria County officials, including Judge Matt Sebesta, Sheriff Charles Wagner and Emergency Management Coordinator Steve Rosa met Friday night after Hurricane Harvey was deemed a Category 4 hurricane.

They are asking those who live by the San Bernard River to leave as soon as possible. The San Bernard River is expected to hit records levels Saturday at 5 p.m., according to Sebesta.

Historic river crest is imminent according to the National Weather Service river hydrologists. Sebesta said the record water levels for the San Bernard River was at 23 feet.

By Tuesday, the river is expected to reach at least 31 feet. Voluntary evacuation for this area is immediate. Residents living along the San Bernard River should stay informed for mandatory evacuation information forthcoming.

Those who live by the Brazos River are also asked to prepare tonight. At 5 p.m. Friday, the river levels were at 7 feet; Monday they expect the water levels will be at 52.2 feet.

Sebesta compared this flood to previous floods except that this one is much more serious and much faster.

"Anyone who was affected by the Brazos River flooding last year, you will be affected over the next week. We're asking our citizens that are along the Brazos River in that floodplain -- need to prepare now. We will be coming forth with voluntary evacuations shortly on the Brazos River, we will be coming forth next week, if this projection holds true, we will be calling for mandatory evacuations," Sebesta said.

Sebesta said those with cattle and livestock should start moving them soon, the animal shelter opened today and is at the fairgrounds.

Brazoria County Emergency Management Call Center is now open 979-864-1064

Evacuations will be set up.

"They are going to be evacuating in downpours with winds of 30-40-50 mph," said Sheriff Wagner.

Residents are asked to keep on the lookout for new updated information. For more information please visit http://brazoriacountytx.gov/

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