At the May 25 Commissioners Court meeting, County Judge KP George asked Mark Flathouse, the county’s emergency management coordinator, for an update on how the county is preparing for the upcoming hurricane season, which begins June 1.
County officials have been closely monitoring area rivers and watching for drainage issues since the recent rains, Flathouse said. Though there isn’t a big concern now, he said officials are preparing for the impact of a storm or hurricane on top of the higher-than-normal river waters.
“When the rivers are up and we have a lot of moisture and a lot of waters, if we do have any tropical activity, it is a concern for emergency management,” he said.
Those concerns are amplified, he said, since the NOAA is predicting another above-normal Atlantic hurricane season in terms of activity, the administration announced in May.
For 2021, experts are expecting a range of 13 to 20 named storms with winds of 39 mph or higher. Of those, six to 10 could become hurricanes with winds of 74 mph or higher, including three to five major hurricanes with winds of 111 mph or higher.
NOAA provides these ranges with a 70% confidence, the administration said. Experts do not anticipate the historic level of storm activity seen in 2020.
Flathouse said his team is trained and ready to act if and when storms form over the coming months. Being prepared is key, he said, since it’s nearly impossible to predict exactly where a hurricane will land.
“We want to make sure that we’re prepared,” he said.