Valley Agencies Spearhead Preparation for Possible Severe Weather
WESLACO – Many Rio Grande Valley agencies are making preparations for the possibility of severe weather.
Magic Valley Electric Co-Op is one of several organizations preparing Wednesday morning. With the potential for severe weather from Harvey, company officials said they’ve put their level one emergency operation plan in place.
They have crews on standby to respond in case electricity is knocked out.
“Our linemen, the crews that work out in the field, most of those individuals are placed on standby. Our senior management, in case we need to call other organizations for help,” MVEC communications manager Luis Reyes said.
Magic Valley supplies power to more than 97,000 homes.
“Not knowing what’s going to happen, we’re going to anticipate the worst but hope for the best,” Hidalgo County Pct. 4 Commissioner Joseph Palacios said.
On Tuesday, emergency management crews met to discuss the use of sandbags, water pumps and extra law enforcement patrols. Two years ago, Precinct 4 was hit hard with flooding.
The area covers the northern half of Hidalgo County between Edinburg and Brooks County.
“We’ve cleared out a lot of debris. We’ve been doing a lot of this during hurricane season,” Palacios said. “We’re going to make sure that at the end of the day, overall, we’ve done everything in regards of preparation.”
County officials will decide if sandbags will be handed out soon.
Shelters will open at the Port Isabel Community Center (213 Yturria St.) and the Port Isabel Police Department/Municipal Court (110 W. Hickman St.). If you are in need of shelter, you should take water, snacks, bedding such as pillows and blankets. No alcohol or firearms allowed. ID is requested.
There are no other shelters opened at this time in the RGV.
Cameron County will start distributing sandbags beginning Thursday morning until 8:00 p.m. Residents and business will be allowed six bags. The distribution sites are as follows:
- Precinct 1 & 2 - 3243 E. 14th St., Brownsville
- Precinct 3 - FM 510 and San Jose Ranch Rd., San Benito
- Precinct 4 - 201 N. T St., Harlingen
The following Cameron County cities will distribute sandbags. There is a six bag limit per vehicle and no ID is required. Some locations are "bag your own":
Harlingen will also have a distribution site at the city's public works warehouse located on 404 S 54th Street.
La Feria will be distributing sandbags Thursday from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. at 717 W 1st Street.
Los Fresnos will have a sandbag pick-up location at their public works facility located at 907 S Nogal Street until sunset.
Los Indios will give out sandbags at city hall located at 309 E Haywood Street.
Port Isabel's sandbag distribution will take place at the city's public works facility located on 217 W Hickman until 8 p.m. Thursday.
Primera residents can pick up sandbags at the water department/tower located on 16466 Judge Alex Trejo Street until 5:30 p.m. They must bring their water bill as proof of residence.
The town of Combes will distribute sandbags at their local warehouse building located at 21559 U.S. 77 starting 3 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Thursday.
Rancho Viejo will distribute sandbags at city hall on 3301 Carmen Avenue until 8 p.m. Thursday.
Rio Hondo will start distributing sandbags until dusk at the city hall pavilion located at 121 N Arroyo Boulevard.
San Benito is set to distribute at the city's shop located on 925 W Stenger Street until 5 p.m. Thursday.
Santa Rosa will hand out sandbags at the old city hall building on 413 W Santa Cruz until 8 p.m.
Brownsville will start issuing sand and bags to residents Thursday until 8 p.m. at two locations:
- Main Library Branch, located on 2600 Central Blvd
- The corner of Les Mauldin Road and Emery Watts Street near the airport.
Distribution for Brownsville will continue Thursday starting at 7 a.m. until 8 p.m.
South Padre Island officials have also announced they will be distributing sandbags at the SPI Public Works Workshop facility on 4601 Padre Boulevard until 5 p.m. Thursday.
For more information, contact city hall at 956-968-3181 or City of Weslaco Office of Emergency Management at 956-447-3415.
Residents and businesses will have to fill the bags themselves. Residents will be allowed five bags per property and businesses will be allowed 10 bags per property.
It is a “self-bagging” preparation. Bags can be picked up at the SPI Public Works Workshop at the corner of West Venus and Laguna Boulevard. The sand will be available at the convention center at 7355 Padre Boulevard.
Officials suggest signing up for their notification system - Swift911. People can do that by visiting http://www.myspi.org/.
All Hidalgo County Precincts will continue distributing sandbags Friday, Aug. 25.
Precinct 1 (Mercedes, La Villa, Weslaco, Alamo, Donna, Elsa, Edcouch, Monte Alto, Hargill, La Blanca and Progreso)
Hidalgo County Precinct 1 officials will begin to issue sandbags Thursday. People must take proof of residency. Sandbags are for residents who live outside city limits.
Sandbags for Precinct 1 can be picked up at the following sites:
- Sunrise Hill Park in Mercedes, on Mile 11 North and Mile 1½ West until 9 p.m.
- Monte Alto residents: Empty lot across Monte Alto Fire Department located at 25141 FM 88 until 7 p.m.
- Hargill residents: Hargill Pavillion Park on 4th Street until 7 p.m.
If anyone has any questions, please call the precinct office at 956-968-8733.
Precinct 2 (Alamo and San Juan)
Precinct 2 will be distributing sandbags beginning Thursday at 2 p.m. at the three locations listed below:
- Alamo Community Resource Center located on 1429 S Tower Road
- San Juan Community Resource Center at 509 E Earling Road
- P2 Field Operations Facility located on 4011 S Veterans Boulevard
Residents are asked to show proof of residency and are allowed five bags per household.
Precinct 3 (Mission, Palmhurst, Alton, Palmview, Penitas, La Joya, Sullivan City)
Residents in Precinct 3 can pickup sandbags on the corner of La Homa and 7 Mile Line in Mission, across from a Family Dollar, Thursday from 4 p.m. to 7 pm.
Precinct 4 (North McAllen, Edinburg, San Carlos, Faysville)
Sandbags for residents of Hidalgo County Precinct 4 can be picked up at the Hidalgo County Precinct 4 Annex Building, located on 1124 N. M Road in Edinburg, Wednesday until 7 p.m. and Thursday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
The city of Mission will distribute sandbags to residents today from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the following locations:
- Ray Landry Fireman's Park at 906 Canal St.
- Bannworth Park located on 822 N Shary Road
- Jaycee Park on 1020 N Los Ebanos Road.
You must show proof of residence with a utility bill or driver's license. There is a limit of six bags for households and 10 bags for businesses.
The city of Alamo is also preparing for the possible arrival of Tropical Storm Harvey and will be having sandbags available for the community.
In order to get sandbags, residents must go by city hall, located on 420 North Tower Road, to pick up voucher before heading to a site for pick-up or filling up your own bags. Shovels will be available for use, but taking your own will make the process go faster.
Alamo distribution locations:
- Pick-Up for Disabled/Ages 55 and over at Alamo Public Works Department located on 803 South Tower Road
- Fill your own bag at the Alamo Sports Complex located on 501 North 13th Street
- Fill your own bag at the corner of 6th Street and Citrus Road
The city of Pharr will start distributing sandbags to residents Thursday starting at 12 p.m. until 8 p.m. in preparation for possible inclement weather. The self-service pick-up sites are as follows:
- Boggus Ford Events Center
- Pepe Salinas Civic Center
- Cesar Chavez Middle School
There is a limit of six bags for residents and 12 bags for businesses. Residents can take their own bags if they need more. Proof of residency, either a driver's license or utility bill, is required.
The city of Edinburg is distributing sandbags to residents and businesses until 5 p.m. at the following location:
- City of Edinburg Service Center located at 1201 N. Doolittle Road
Limit three bags for residents, and five for businesses. Proof of residence required.
The city of Palmview will start distributing sandbags on Thursday to residents and businesses in response to potential flooding from Harvey.
Sandbags will be available at the city park, located near 406 W Veterans Blvd, from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., Aug. 24.
Palmview residents must present the following to receive sandbags:
- Valid photo ID
- Bring a shovel for faster service (self-service bagging)
- Residents will receive four bags
- Businesses will receive six bags
San Juan will be distributing sandbags on Friday at two locations. The limit will be four bags per resident and six per business. People must provide an ID or proof of residence.
Recycling Center – 323 W 1st Street. From 9:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m.
Mayfield Park – 1419 S. San Antonio. From 9:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Sandbags for Weslaco residents will be distributed starting at 10 a.m. on Thursday only at City Park. They will be handing out bags until 7 p.m.
To receive sandbags, people must show proof of residency, such as a driver's license or a utility bill. There will be a six sandbag limit per household.
Weslaco will continue to make available sand and bags at four locations Friday, Aug. 25 at 8 a.m. These will be self-service stations, where bags will be provided but shovels may not.
- Weslaco City Park, 300 North Airport Drive
- Weslaco City Hall, 255 South Kansas Avenue
- Weslaco Harlon Block Park, 1020 West 18th Street
- Former Weslaco Recycling Center, 2900 South Border Avenue
Sandbag distribution from Willacy County precincts will begin after 10:00 a.m. on Thursday. They are as follows:
- County Precinct 1 - Lasara Community Center
- County Precinct 2 - San Perlita Fire Department.
- County Precinct 3 - Recycle Center, So. Business 77, Lyford.
- County Precinct 4 - Sebastian Fire Department.
Households are allowed six sandbags. For more information contact the commissioners office at (956) 689-4214.
The city of Lyford will be distributing sandbags at Lyford City Hall. Residents must bring a water bill or proof of residency. Six bags per household will be given.
Raymondville residents can pick up sandbags at the city parking lot on the west side of city hall, along the railroad tracks. They must bring proof of residency and are allowed six bags. Anyone with questions can contact the Raymondville police at (956) 689-2441.
Rio Grande City will be distributing sandbags beginning at 4 p.m. Thursday near the water tower located at 632 W Eisenhower Street. People residing in city limits will be allowed five sandbags per household and 10 per businesses. Proof of residency (utility or water bill ) is required.
Sullivan City is distributing sand at the fire department located at 500 Cenizo Dr. Residents are required to bring their own bags and shovels, only sand will be provided. There is a limit of six (6) bags per household.