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County Prepares for Potential Severe Weather

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EDINBURG – Experts forecast the remnants of tropical storm Harvey strengthening could threaten the Texas coast later this week.

Hidalgo County officials said they're not taking any chances and announced their game plan for the storm early Tuesday.

The county is preparing sandbags, locating water pumps and making sure county crews and law enforcement are on standby to work some long hours.

Precinct 4 employees are working with probationers to fill sandbags.

Probationers from the Hidalgo County Adult Probation Office are part of a drug and alcohol treatment program.

"I know it's going to be hard to believe, but they actually enjoy it. They feel like they're giving back to the community. They've been, as they like to say, they're locked up and they get out and actually do something that makes them feel good about themselves," said Hidalgo County director of adult probation Arnold Patrick.

Patrick added that the labor fulfills some community service commitments for the probationers. 

Crews are also driving around the drainage systems in the area to make sure they are clear.

Hidalgo County commissioner Joseph Palacios said much of Precinct 4 was under water when record amounts of rain fell in the area two years ago. 

“The storms in 2015 were very unexpected. In this case, we’re very prepared. More than we have been before,” he said. 

If tropical storm Harvey does cast a lot of rainfall over Hidalgo County, it will be a test for many new drainage systems now in place.

The county is expected to decide Tuesday afternoon or Wednesday morning when they will start distributing sandbags out to the public.

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