ANGLETON — Dozens of Brazoria County homes could be flooded if the Brazos River reaches its projected crest in coming days, but not the hundreds or thousands affected the last two times the river topped its banks, officials said.
Brazoria County emergency managers advised residents affected by the 2015 Brazos River floods especially to be prepared as that year’s event is most similar to what could occur this weekend. National Weather Service forecasts a crest of 51.6 at the Rosharon gauge by Sunday morning, well below the historic levels seen during the June 2016 flood and after Hurricane Harvey in September 2017.
“I can’t stress this enough. This is a foot less than the 2016 flood and over a foot less than 2017 Harvey,” Brazoria County Judge Matt Sebesta said. “It is a couple inches higher than 2015 flood. In 2015, we had 50 to 75 homes with water, in 2016 we had about 1,000 homes with water, in 2017, 13,000 homes that received water,” he said.
Sebesta stressed the events are very similar to 2015 and “people need to really reflect on that — it’s not going to be anywhere near Harvey,” he said.
Heavy rainfall predicted to arrive late Thursday and continue through the weekend means residents will need to remain vigilant, Sebesta said. They also should be aware the National Weather Service is doing something new this year in its forecast models.
“The National Weather Service has updated their hydrograph,” he said. “What they put out this afternoon has 48 hours of rain into the forecast, which is what they anticipate as maximum rainfall, so over the next couple days if we don’t see the rainfall as they predicted, the levels will fall.”
Residents also on the San Bernard River, which has a much smaller watershed, need to be on alert because of the impact possible from significant rainfall, Sebesta said. The weather service’s worst-case model shows a potential 22-foot river level by tonight.
Even if that occurs, however, flooding still won’t be on the scale seen after Harvey, when the San Bernard reached more than 30 feet — four times any previously recorded level. This time, flooding likely would be confined to some low-lying areas, Sebesta said.
Sebesta signed a disaster declaration Thursday afternoon in advance of possible flooding.
“We will not see as much volume of water, but we do have a few roads with water and we’re watching that,” Sebesta said.
County officials said CR 31 at CR 32 and CR 385 from CR 30 to the Brazos River were closed because of being overtopped by water
So far county officials say there are no plans to evacuate anyone but people should keep an eye out for updates and download the Ready Brazoria app for all flood-related information.