Area school districts, most businesses and government offices plan to return to normal functions today after the remnants of Tropical Storm Imelda have cleared out of Brazoria County.
All Southern Brazoria County school districts closed for the day after Imelda-spawned storms brought at least 11 inches of rain to the Brazosport area Wednesday. At Quintana Beach County Park, rainfall totaled more than 20 inches since the tropical system approached the Brazoria County coast.
Brazosport ISD announced it anticipates returning to normal school hours today and will post a weather update at 5 a.m. Angleton, Danbury, Columbia-Brazoria and Sweeny ISDs echoed similar statements. Brazosport College announced Wednesday afternoon it plans to return to a regular schedule today.
The Velasco Drainage District began planning for Imelda days before it hit the coast, Chairman George Kidwell said.
The district encompasses 236 square miles and includes 14 pump stations, according to the drainage district’s website. The district staffed every station overnight Tuesday into Wednesday morning, operating all its pumps, Kidwell said, reporting no problems with the operation.
“Everything went according to plan,” Kidwell said.
Between 11 and 15 inches of rain fell on the district the last two days, he said.
Lake Jackson was fine after Wednesday morning’s storms began to dissipate and move to the northeast, City Manager Bill Yenne said.
Some streets in the older part of the city flooded, which is an integral part of the drainage system to keep water out of buildings, he said.
“The system handled it pretty well,” Yenne said.
There was more sewer intrusion than anticipated, but the city already has major projects underway to combat infiltration, he said.
Based on the weather service call officials listened to Wednesday afternoon, it seemed once “this thing” passed, it should be OK. Most of the rain went east, so Brazos River flooding should not be as much of a concern as it was in prior events, Yenne said.
“This is a reminder that these things can spit up and hit you pretty quick,” he said.
Richwood Public Works removed a downed tree in the 600 block of Hollyhock Street and placed some preemptive high water signs, but Interim City Manager Lindsay Koskiniemi classified road flooding as more “uncomfortable” than “impassable.”
Richwood’s municipal court canceled its docket for the day.
Water threatened three houses in Jones Creek on Wednesday morning, but it dropped and left the city “sitting good” with no house flooding, Marshal William Tidwell said.
He credited ongoing projects to clear the city’s outfalls for the successful drainage.
Brazoria’s biggest problem was its overwhelmed sewer system, leaving residents without the ability to flush their toilets, Mayor Roger Shugart said.
The mayor said 8 to 10 inches of rain fell on Brazoria overnight.
The sewage problem cleared up when water receded about 11 a.m. Wednesday, he said.
By mid-morning Wednesday, Angleton no longer was seeing rain, Assistant Police Chief Katherine Davis said.
Authorities alerted residents Tuesday evening to conserve water and stay off the roadways after drainage pumps couldn’t keep up with the heavy rainfall, with about 6 inches dumped on the city in a matter of hours, Davis said.
All roads were clear by a Wednesday afternoon, she said.
West Columbia only received about 4 inches of rain during the storm system that largely hovered over coastal areas.
Mayor Laurie Kincannon said things were looking good Wednesday afternoon and she was grateful the city didn’t see as much rain as some of the surrounding areas.
By 4 p.m. Wednesday, Freeport was recovering from water-covered roadways, Freeport Detective Clay Hutcherson said.
“All the water is gone from the roadways,” he said. “There’s still some standing water in places but nothing on the roads. Highway 36 is open. Just got an update from our emergency management that says the only concerns now are some scattered thunderstorms throughout the night that may produce a little rain and some wind.”