PHOTO GALLERY: Conroe residents, businesses feel the effects of Hurricane Harvey



Homes, businesses and Conroe facilities along the San Jacinto River  have been flooded by rising Hurricane Harvey floodwaters.

Conroe city officials met in an emergency city council meeting Monday afternoon to discuss damage in city and approve an ordinance extending the local declaration of disaster for Hurricane Harvey. The city has evacuated residents of McDade Estates and nearby neighborhoods, and is preparing to repair its wastewater treatment plant—which was flooded and put out-of-service on Monday morning.

"We have been very fortunate that we have not had any loss of life or any injuries," Conroe Mayor Toby Powell said. "We have been really blessed."

Floodwaters from record-setting water release rates from Lake Conroe led the city to evacuate residents of McDade Estates overnight. Other nearby Conroe neighborhoods have been put under recommended evacuation, including River Plantation, Woodhaven Forest, Artesian Forest, Riverbrook Drive and Sherbrook Circle. By early afternoon on Monday, for example, some homes in the Artesian Forest neighborhood were surrounded by waist-high floodwaters.

"We had to evacuate a lot of people and get them out of harms way in a short period of time, but we did well," Conroe Fire Chief Ken Kreger said.

In addition to affected neighborhoods and businesses, city facilities near the San Jacinto River were also damaged. The city's wastewater treatment plant and police department training facility were completely inundated by floodwater from the San Jacinto River. The wastewater treatment plant is currently shut-down, Public Works Department Director Norman McGuire said during the meeting.

"We have received significant damage at our wastewater treatment plant early this morning due to a large release from Lake Conroe," he said. "Our plant went underwater, it is offline. That is going to be pretty problematic. As soon as the flood waters recede we will get in there immediately and get it up in operation as soon as possible."

During the emergency meeting, Conroe Council authorized disaster pay for city employees as well as the purchase of up-to $250,000 of additional emergency equipment such as pumps and generators to restore waste water treatment plant operations.

The city also extended its local declaration of disaster that was originally signed Aug. 25, but only lasts 7 days, city attorney Marcus Winberry said. The extension adds another 7 days from Monday to the proclamation.

Officials also stated that the city's drinking water is safe for residents to continue to consume.