ANGLETON — The Brazos River fell more than a half-foot throughout the day Monday, but is still still pushing water into the floodplain and forcing more road closures, officials said.
“Once the water goes out of the river, it doesn’t go back in, so we’re seeing water on Highway 35 and it will eventually travel downward through the county to Bastrop Bayou, where it will go out,” County Judge Matt Sebesta said.
Access to Bar X Ranch is restricted to residents as water from the Brazos River continues to stream across the floodplain, county officials said Monday afternoon. Low-clearance vehicles were cautioned against trying to drive into the subdivision because they will not be able to get through most of its roads.
The Texas Department of Transportation closed Highway 35 Monday afternoon from CR 25 to FM 521 as water continued to flow over it.
The department’s public information officer, Danny Perez, urged residents to avoid the areas affected and keep watching for updates.
“People in West Columbia and the points in between should be cautious and avoid the area,” Perez said.
Water will continue to move through the floodplain this week and the county will stay in a moderate flood stage until about Thursday or Friday, Sebesta said. The river remained above 50 feet at the Rosharon gauge Monday evening, and water will continue to flow through the floodplain as long as it remains above 47 feet, officials said.
Sebesta reiterated this event is not comparable to the flooding seen during 2016 and 2017.
While some water-covered roads are physically passable, residents need to slow down to 5 to 10 mph when traveling these areas, Sebesta said.
“Thirty to 50 mph is not a safe speed to drive through. People need to slow down, be cautious — folks are not being safe,” Sebesta said.
Angleton ISD released bus route changes to its Facebook page Monday afternoon but said classes would be operating under their normal schedule.
“The safety of our students and employees is the No. 1 priority,” the district’s news release states. “Any student absent or late due to flooding will be excused. We encourage students to attend school if they can, but we ask parents to make the best call for their children and make sure families are safe.”
When monitoring weather conditions, Sebesta implored residents to follow credible social media accounts from the county and the Texas Department of Transportation.
“Go to official sites for credible information. There was a phony press release floating around social media this weekend, so people just need to be careful,” he said.
Lake Jackson residents were provided an update by the city warning some areas around Oyster Creek and Bastrop Bayou are being monitored, but the flooding is mirroring the 2015 river levels.
“The difference between this year and 2015 is we have had substantially more rain locally with this event,” the city’s statement reads. “Even in that case, the creek should stay within its banks.”
The level at the Dow pump station at FM 2004 was 14.2 feet Monday morning, far below the 19.15 feet experienced during Harvey, the release stated.
Bastrop Bayou is expected to rise, but officials are keeping a close eye on the situation, the statement said.
“Water is going to continue to move across the floodplain throughout the week and create inconveniences,” Sebesta said. “People need to give themselves a little extra time, be careful and just use common sense.”