WHARTON, TX – Safety is the word of the day for the residents of Wharton.
Mayor Domingo Montalvo issued a mandatory evacuation order for people living on the city’s west side, those at the most risk from Colorado River flooding. “Hopefully, we were trying to contain this just to the west side of Wharton, but if we get substantial rain, the whole community could become involved.”
Officials predict the river will crest Saturday at around 44 feet, about 4.5 feet above flood stage.
Marty Bennetsen said the river level was higher several years go. Even so, “I can’t get to my boat, because my boat is in a tree.”
About 300 homes sit in the affected area bounded by the river on the south, FM 102 on the north, US 59 to the west, and Sunset to the east.
Al Bryant, a Wharton City Council member said he’s not leaving. “We just got to deal with it. The good Lord’s working. We just got to deal with it.”
The Red Cross has set up its shelter at Wharton Junior High, and the fairgrounds is the place to take pets and livestock that can’t make the trip out-of-town.
Residents in Rosenberg are also keeping an eye on the Brazos River, but right now, they don’t have to leave their homes.
Lt. William Henry, of the Rosenberg Police Depart said “it’s still a good idea to go ahead and pack what you’re gonna need, just to be on the safe side. And leave now, if you can.”
Some folks in Rosenberg are just watching and waiting, and hoping the high waters will pass them by.
Valerie Kimble is one of them. “I’m not gonna leave my house, unless the water start coming all the way up into my house. Now when it come up into my house, then I leave.”
The Brazos River is backing up into tributaries in Missouri City, but officials aren’t ready to call for voluntary evacuations.
“The creeks in Missouri City are at their bank-full, and some of them are out of their banks, but not to the point that they’re impacting homes,” said fire chief Russell Sanders.
As we said, safety is the word of the day.
Officials throughout the flood areas urge folks to keep their eyes on the rivers and creeks, and to check web sites and news media for the latest information on possible evacuations.