River levels expected to climb in Fort Bend County and more rain could make it worse

Nick Natario Image
Thursday, May 20, 2021
Rain pushes Brazos River at highest level in 6 months
People living near a river in Fort Bend County face the possibility of it overflowing heading into the weekend.

RICHMOND, Texas (KTRK) -- Fort Bend County emergency leaders are asking neighbors living near rivers to prepare now in case another significant rainstorm enters the area.

On Tuesday, the region got hit with a lot of water that saturated the ground, filled retention pools, and caused rivers to elevate. In East Bernard, neighbors thought the worst was over.

"That is weird, but I guess water has to go somewhere," Simple Simon's Pizza manager, Stephanie Jimenez, said.

The San Bernard River is expected to climb through the weekend and could create an issue in some spots, including East Bernard along State Highway 90.

As of Wednesday, the National Weather Service shows the river Wednesday night is at about 16 feet. Minor flooding occurs when it reaches 17 feet. It's estimated to reach 20 feet by this Friday.

"That's a lot of water coming our way," Jimenez said.

Fort Bend County officials explained it depends what happens with the next round of storms.

"If we get two to three inches in 24 hours, that's not a big problem for our ditches," said Fort Bend County drainage district engineer Mark Vogler. "They're designed to carry that water. If you get three inches an hour, that's a problem. Also, if we get more than three inches over 24 hours, that could be a problem."

Because of this, emergency management officials are asking neighbors to elevate household items, especially if you live in flood-prone areas.

While the water is high in the San Bernard River, the Brazos River is in better shape. It's not expected to flood.

"What I've been told so far is nothing to worry to about at this very moment," said Fort Bend County Judge KP George. "Things are changing. We will update you and continue the monitor the situation, and ensure the health and safety of fort bend county residents."

Emergency leaders also expressed caution after the lightning strikes the county saw during Tuesday's storms.

While they're wild to watch, officials said it's important to stay inside while doing so.

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