Today the main message is, 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 has 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 days, some predictions say though Wednesday night. This does not count the wave action during landfall. The other concern is heavy rains could be possible with this system. Predictions at the Sunday morning (1030 am) NWS briefing stated as much as 10 to 15 inches are possible.
The Matagorda County Emergency Operations Center (EOC) has issued a voluntary evacuation recommendation for the community of Sargent, the township of Matagorda, and the Bayfront area of the City of Palacios.
The National Weather Service along with the National Hurricane Center as issued a coastal flood warning for most of the counties in our area, we expect the conditions to continue to get worst throughout tonight and continue to worsen all day Monday.
Matagorda County has declared a state of disaster for the County of Matagorda. This is one of the procedures we must follow in case we need State and Federal assistance. In an overabundance of caution, this declaration went into effect yesterday, September 19, 2020
The path of the tropic storm is uncertain. It is reported there is a 15% chance Beta could be upgraded to a Hurricane. The amount of time that the system stays over warm waters are also uncertain. That is the reason we are issued a voluntary evacuation recommendation.
The areas that normally have problems with a strong south wind and high tides will be prone to damage.
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.