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Judge Hidalgo Signs Disaster Declaration 

Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo, in a recent press briefing, unveiled the signing of a disaster declaration for Harris County. The move comes in the wake of unexpected heavy rainfall, particularly hitting the northern precincts of the county throughout Wednesday night and into Thursday morning. Hidalgo highlighted that the precipitation surpassed initial forecasts, wreaking havoc on communities adjacent to the eastern branch of the San Jacinto River.

But what exactly does this declaration entail?

As outlined by the Harris County Commissioners Office, such a declaration empowers public officials to deploy emergency measures aimed at safeguarding lives, properties, and public welfare in the aftermath of a disaster. These measures encompass a spectrum of actions including:

  • Mandating evacuations from disaster-prone or impacted zones
  • Regulating access to affected areas
  • Imposing financial responsibility on individuals who defy evacuation orders
  • Temporarily waiving specific regulations and deadlines
  • Soliciting federal aid for recovery endeavors within the disaster-hit locale.

Typically, such declarations are pursued to unlock federal financial assistance not only for individuals but also for local and state entities within the affected region, kickstarting the recovery process.

In response to the escalating threat posed by the rising San Jacinto River, mandatory evacuation orders were issued on Thursday for residents residing on the eastern banks of its tributary. Hidalgo underscored the gravity of the situation, emphasizing it as “life-threatening,” and urged affected residents to evacuate promptly. Projections indicate the river is poised to crest at 78 feet, a mere three feet shy of the levels witnessed during Hurricane Harvey.

Additionally, voluntary evacuation advisories have been issued for numerous other communities in the vicinity of the San Jacinto River. Residents in the following areas are encouraged to either evacuate or brace for potential isolation lasting two to three days as floodwaters surge:

  • Kingwood, situated near the western fork of the river
  • Forest Cove
  • Northshore
  • Belleau Wood
  • River Crest
  • Kings Point
  • Atascocita Pointe
Written by RA News staff.


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