By Tony Farkas
Last week’s deluge in San Jacinto County left areas flooded and caused closures of schools, businesses and county facilities.
The average rain reported for the county was just under 9 inches, but more would have fallen in certain areas.
The weather prompted County Judge Fritz Faulkner to declare a state of emergency, and the county opened the storm shelter. At Wednesday’s Commissioners Court meeting, Faulkner said the basement of the courthouse was flooding as the surrounding ground was saturated from the rain.
The American Red Cross set up shelter in Coldspring, and as of Friday, helped 23 people and 10 pets throughout the area.
Flooding concerns prompted the San Jacinto County Office of Emergency Management to issue a voluntary evacuation of Camilla Twin Harbor and Cedar Valley due to rising water.
Both school systems, Shepherd ISD and Coldspring-Oakhurst CISD, closed schools on several days as well as changed start times.
The rains also prompted the Trinity River Authority to release water, which at its top rate was 84,800 cubic feet per second to reach its optimal water level.
According to the OEM, individuals who sustained flood damage from the excessive rainfall should report damages to the State iSTAT.
By reporting damages, it aids the county in gathering initial damage assessment information to assess the scope and size of the event impacting residences and businesses.
The reporting tool can be found at: https://survey123.arcgis.com/share/344d59d323fd47b3bab8e8cd60b64585?field:incident_id=24-0000%20General%20Incident%202024.