Effective as of 10 a.m. on May 6, Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo has lifted the mandatory evacuation order for the east fork of the San Jacinto River, the Harris County Office of Homeland Security & Emergency Management announced in a May 6 news release.

How we got here

As previously reported by Community Impact, Hidalgo issued a mandatory evacuation May 2 for residents along the east fork of the San Jacinto River as well as a voluntary call for evacuation for residents along the west fork of the San Jacinto River in response to rising floodwaters. According to data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, both the east and west forks of the San Jacinto near Porter, Humble and New Caney had crested, or reached their peak, by the afternoon of May 4 and have since begun to recede.

Following closures on May 3, both Humble and New Caney ISDs resumed normal operations May 6. Lake Conroe likewise reopened May 6, while Lake Houston remains closed as of press time.

What residents should know

In the May 6 news release, county officials urged caution as residents re-enter their communities, noting dangerous conditions may still exist as river water is still receding and leaving standing water on some roadways, in drainage ditches and in yards.
  • Residents should use protective gear, such as heavy work gloves, when handling and moving debris that may have washed downstream. Heavy shoes or boots are also recommended.
  • Some debris may be extremely dangerous, possibly consisting of hazardous materials or substances.
  • Wildlife, such as reptiles, rodents and other animals common to the river basin, have also been displaced by the flood waters.
Additionally, county officials noted the following shelters for residents displaced by the floods remain open:Next steps

County officials also outlined several steps property owners can take to expedite the disaster recovery process.
  • Residents can dial 211 for information on available resources to help with recovery; operators can make connections for material needs, such as food and shelter, as well as recovery assistance, such as muck-and-gut services and debris removal.
  • Click here to provide information on damages to homes and property, which will help the state of Texas receive disaster aid from the federal government.
  • Click here to fill out a disaster needs assessment through Connective, which will in turn provide links to assistance providers.
  • Click here to access the Disaster Recovery Resource page at www.readyharris.org.
Additionally, for those wanting to give back to the community during this time, click here to learn more about volunteer opportunities and donation needs in the Greater Houston area.