When storms hit Erath County, Emergency Management hits back with info

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By JESSIE HORTON

TheFlashToday.com NEWS & SPORTS – FREE & LOCAL

ERATH COUNTY (May 12, 2015) — After about a half day of sun and a full day of minimal to no rain, the storms have returned to Erath County. It appears while Tuesday will be mostly rain, the same can’t be said for the rest of the week with thunderstorms and flash flooding predicted for the area through the weekend. As of 1 p.m. on Tuesday, Erath County and almost all of North Texas was under a flash flood warning until Wednesday evening.

RUSSELL HUFFMAN photo
RUSSELL HUFFMAN photo
RUSSELL HUFFMAN photo
RUSSELL HUFFMAN photo
RUSSELL HUFFMAN photo
RUSSELL HUFFMAN photo
RUSSELL HUFFMAN photo
RUSSELL HUFFMAN photo
RUSSELL HUFFMAN photo
RUSSELL HUFFMAN photo
RUSSELL HUFFMAN photo
RUSSELL HUFFMAN photo
RUSSELL HUFFMAN photo
RUSSELL HUFFMAN photo

But fear not, Erath County residents, John Wooley and his county emergency management staff are hard at work, making sure we stay informed with up-to-the-minute updates from their Facebook page (HERE) and the Code RED notification system (you can sign up for that HERE). The city of Stephenville has another option, Nixel, which keeps those residents within the city limits informed (sign up HERE).Other great sources of weather information include those found online and with smartphones, officials say.

“Just over the weekend we had more than 11 inches of rain in Stephenville and thanks the hard work of county personnel and the many notification systems available to Erath County residents, we didn’t have a single emergency rescue related to the weather,” Wooley said of last weekend’s storms. “We were up at the command center working every day and well through the night some nights. We’ll do it again this week, if we have to. Maybe some residents should consider getting in touch with someone similar to roofing McKinney TX.”

Contributed by Joe Brown, commissioner of Precinct 3
Contributed by Joe Brown, commissioner of Precinct 3

Wooley, his staff and Erath County Commissioners worked together to help the county recover from the last storms and prepare for the next.

“We just need to let residents know that we’re out there working hard to prevent further flood and repairing major damage done to structures, as well as infrastructure damage caused by the water and wind we’ve already faced,” Commissioners Scot Jackson (Pct. 4) said Monday. “Our crews aren’t out keeping up with the regular maintenance schedule at this time, please understand that. The crews will not be out patching little holes in the roadways at this time, we’re out making sure all our drainage and roadways are passable and safe.”

Crews worked in all precincts worked late into the day Monday, repairing major damage caused by weekend storms, including heavy damage done in Morgan Mill Sunday night. Commissioner Joe Brown (Pct. 3) said his crews are on site picking up debris and helping residents remove downed limbs and whole trees that uprooted in yards, some damaging homes. He expects crews will be there for another three or four days.

Contributed by Joe Brown, commissioner of Precinct 3
Contributed by Joe Brown, commissioner of Precinct 3

Erath County’s towns were also effected. Wooley said he worked closely over the weekend with Stephenville PD officials, who were on hand during the storms and had officers working with sheriff’s deputies as storm spotters.

“I was so proud of the way all our spotters worked together with emergency personnel and first responders to make sure everyone had the information they needed,” Wooley said. “For one example, we had more than we were prepared for in Stephenville. We closed roads I’ve never seen closed in all my years of living and working here. We closed Washington Street near Tarleton, we closed residential streets like Oak and Elm, we closed Belknap over by the tracks, I’ve never know the emergency management office or the city to close those streets. And it went off without a hitch all because of the hard work everyone put in.”

And residents weren’t the only ones affected by the storms. As previously reported, Erath County officials have reported major damage to county property, including two Tahoes that were totaled from the Erath County Sheriff’s Office.

The Tahoe driven by Erath County Sheriff's Department Chief Deputy Jason Upshaw was a total loss according to the county's insurance adjuster. However, the insurance will only cover $15,000 of the estimated $35,000 it will take to replace the unit. || JESSIE HORTON photos
The Tahoe driven by Erath County Sheriff’s Department Chief Deputy Jason Upshaw was a total loss according to the county’s insurance adjuster. However, the insurance will only cover $15,000 of the estimated $35,000 it will take to replace the unit. || JESSIE HORTON photos

Wooley and other county officials remind residents to always have a plan when storms hit. Keep a weather radio and flashlight handy in case of power failure. Know where the nearest storm shelter is and at least two routes there. Make sure your family all know the plain and where to meet if they are separated. Always make sure to stay informed, either online or with a weather radio. If you must be out during the storms, or encounter flood waters due to recent rains, do not enter high or fast moving water. Wooley said, “Just tell them ‘turn around, don’t drown’!”

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