A 4 p.m. briefing and conference call Sunday between the Matagorda County Emergency Operating Center and the National Weather Service yielded a more positive outcome for the flooding in Matagorda County.
According to the report, Tropical storm Harvey is drifting southeast towards Matagorda Bay and is expected to turn to the north through southeast Texas making its way to Louisiana and South Arkansas by Friday.
48-hour rainfall estimates for Matagorda County is 12.89 inches with parts of the county receiving over 20 inches. This is a decrease from earlier estimates. A flash flood watch is in effect until further notice in Matagorda County.
Some storm models show Harvey drifting back over the gulf. If this happens the projected storm surge on re-entry will be one to three feet.
This morning about 11 a.m. Brazoria County judge Matt Sebesta issued a mandatory evacuation for portions of the county. The evacuation route included Highway 35 through Bay City. Mayor Mark Bricker asked all remaining Bay City residents to stay off of that highway to allow an easy pass for evacuees of Brazoria County.
Bricker stated, “Brazoria County has ordered evacuation due to river flooding. Their evacuation route was Highway 35 to Highway 71. You are encouraged to seek shelter and stay in place and not disrupt evacuation routes.”
Bricker also reported that 62% of Bay City has no power and multiple lift stations are down at the city wastewater plant.
There is currently one shelter in Bay City. First Baptist Church opened their doors to displaced citizens Sunday afternoon. Picture ID is required. Pets and weapons are not allowed. The church is located at 2321 Avenue F.
The Bay City police department has reported they are receiving over 100 calls per hour.
Currently Matagorda County is still under a mandatory evacuation. According to EOC chair Judge Nate McDonald and Sheriff Skipper Osborne, the only people allowed to enter must have proper credentials. The list includes persons with a red EOC badge affixed to their driver’s license, plant workers with plant ID to go to work, essential city, county and district employees as called or as needed and livestock producers. This list extends to the persons listed, not their families.
If you need to enter the county you can call the public information line at (979) 318-7206 with your information and point of entry. This will be passed to EOC for decision. Do not wait until the last minute, it may take a while to get back to you.