Beta inches closer to landfall, conditions to get worse

Beta inches closer to landfall, conditions to get worse

As we expected we have flooding along the Matagorda County coast. Some roads are closed, including the Swing Bridge in Sargent, Texas. Please stay away from the coast, conditions will only get worst. Please note this storm should make landfall sometime tonight and the predictions calls for the storm to stall and start a slow turn to the east. Continue to watch the weather.

At 400 PM CDT, the center of Tropical Storm Beta was located by NOAA Doppler weather radars and surface observations near latitude 28.2 North, longitude 96.1 West. TS Beta is moving toward the northwest near 5 mph (7 km/h), and this general motion is forecast to continue today. A decrease in forward speed and a sharp turn to the north and northeast are expected on Tuesday.  On the forecast track, the center of Beta will continue to move toward the central coast of Texas today and will likely move inland by tonight. Beta is forecast to remain near or just offshore the coast of southeastern Texas on Tuesday and Wednesday. So this means we can expect another 48 hours of heavy rains and some wind.

Maximum sustained winds are near 45 mph with higher gusts. Little change in strength is forecast before Beta reaches the Texas coast. Weakening is anticipated once Beta moves inland.

The Matagorda County Emergency Operations Center (EOC) continues to be in a voluntary evacuation recommendation for the community of Sargent, the township of Matagorda, and the Bayfront area of the City of Palacios.

Today the main message continues to stress, be prepared for an extended period of rain and high winds. The path of TS Beta currently has the storm hitting the Texas gulf coast very close to Matagorda Bay.

This storm is moving very slowly, 3 to 5 miles per hour. That means it will take days to move through our region. Our message is simple, use common sense, plan for coastal flooding, watch the weather forecast very closely. We have been through this before, we know the areas to expect problems. We have been getting questions concerning power outages, normally we have seen power outages during high wind events. There are protocols for the power companies during events like this storm. If you are concerned please plan on the possibility that you might lose power for short periods of time.

The forecast continues to call for higher than normal high tides that will flood low lying roads. The current expectations could be compared with the flooding that was seen during Hurricane Laura. The coastal areas of Matagorda County experienced road closures and high water. We are already experiencing higher than normal tides along the coast. There are reports of high water in Sargent, Texas.  The high tides are predicted to be close to 4 to 5 feet and remain high for many

The number one goal of the Matagorda County Emergency Operations Center (EOC) is the health and safety of our residents and our visitors. To achieve this goal, we monitor all aspects of a situation and effectively communicate the activities that our citizens need to protect themselves.

We will be asked many times, what should we do different during the Tropical Storm event while we have this COVID-19 pandemic?

Our message continues to be proper hygiene, social distancing, frequent hand washing and following the DHSH and CDC guidelines.

This is the time for preparation, updating your personal hurricane plans and watching the weather forecast.

Whether we are in a pandemic or a hurricane situation, please educate yourself and be ready for what Mother Nature has in store. Continue to monitor the EOC pages and all local radio stations and local newspapers because they share and provide you with the most factual, timely and accurate information we can provide.

Please pay close attention to the weather predictions and stay safe.

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