Galveston County OEM tracking storms, says having plan in place is critical

GALVESTON, Texas – All eyes will be on the Gulf of Mexico this weekend.

The KPRC 2 Severe Weather Team is tracking three systems that are moving through the Atlantic Ocean this week. Two of these systems will be in the Gulf of Mexico by Monday morning.

The Galveston County Office of Emergency Management says being prepared and having a plan in place is critical.

On Friday, it was a beautiful day along the seawall in Galveston.

“This is paradise,” Lisa Moore said.

Living along the island brings trouble during Hurricane season. Lisa Moore and Gary Mitcham has experienced several storms.

“We chose to leave if it’s big like Ike we left because it was so big, Harvey we stayed,” Moore said.

In the next 48 to 72 hours, Tropical Storm Laura and Tropical Depression 14 could make landfall, packing a powerful punch along the Gulf Coast.

Tropical Depression 14, which will get the name Marco once it strengthens, is the storm people in the Houston region should be watching. The forecast track has the storm making landfall Tuesday. The exact intensity of the storm at landfall and the exact landfall location is still uncertain.

“It depends on how the intensify and where they actually make landfall,” County Judge Mark Henry said.

County Judge Mark Henry stresses the importance of having a plan in place. He says to build a kit for items you need and pack plenty of food and water.

“People forget about prescription medications make sure you have enough for 7 days as well,” he said.

A National Weather Service Center is located inside the Office of Emergency Management.

The system provides up to date information about storms in the area.

County Judge Mark Henry says they are prepared If an evacuation is ordered.

“One of the wrinkles is for evacuation. We had planned on evacuating people in buses that capacity of 45 has now shrunk down to about 12 or 15 because of distancing,” he said.

It’s the calm before the storm and making sure you and your family are ready is critical.

“I’m ready to ride it out,” Gary Mitcham said.

“Well If it’s a two or above we will leave. If it’s below a two we will stay,” Moore said.

County Judge Mark Henry says people will be taken to Austin, Texas if an evacuation order is put into place.

He said they have plenty of PPE for first responders, staff and workers.

A day at the beach

For many on Galveston Island Friday, it was a day of fun at the beach.

“I’m on vacation this week. So I just came to bring the family this weekend,” said Jose Martinez, who was visiting the island.

Families enjoyed the beach, while two disturbances brew out in the tropics.

“It’s kind of scary because you just don’t know what could happen. Are we going to have like one hit us and then the other one right back to back,” said Yolanda Armster.

Galveston native, Yolanda Armster, said despite the latest models, she doesn’t anticipate heading out anytime soon. However, she said she will if she has to.

“Typically we get the heck out of dodge because it’s just safer. I’d rather come back to the unknown instead of stay and have to deal with whatever,” Armster said. I mean if they say evacuate I think that you should not waste time. I think that’s what you should do,” Armster said.

“All I can say is get ready to be prepared and do the best we can,” Martinez said.