With the threat of flooding on their minds, Brazoria County officials felt better by Saturday afternoon, with rainfall amounts dropping below what previous National Weather Service models had projected.
The San Bernard River near Old Ocean is expected to crest at the moderate flood stage of 14.4 feet at midday Sunday, according to projections Saturday evening.
That is lower than previous predictions Friday, which had the river cresting at the major flood stage of 21.1 feet midday Sunday.
Two days ago, the predicted water levels were much higher and Brazoria County Judge Matt Sebesta said he is happy with these latest models.
“The last couple of days we have not had that much rain in the San Bernard River watershed,” he said. “I am ecstatic about that. That’s a 6- to 7-foot drop. That is great news.”
The San Bernard is a smaller river that is more heavily impacted by localized rainfall, Sebesta previously told The Facts. Unlike the Brazos River, which distributes the water it collects along its 1,200-mile path, the San Bernard is affected by the closest 100 miles of rain, he said.
Meanwhile, the Brazos River near Rosharon was not expected to get higher than 51.3 feet Saturday night before beginning to decline, according to the model. The latest models show the Brazos River starting to decline and be at about 51.2 feet midday Sunday.
The Brazos River crested Friday night at about 51.4 feet, Sebesta said.
The river has started trending downward and is expected to drop Sunday and into next week, Sebesta said.
Since less rain fell Thursday night than expected, and less rain fell Saturday, he is feeling better, Sebesta said
“Things are going OK,” he said. “This is not a Harvey. We never, ever thought it would be anywhere near Harvey.”
There should still be 50 to 75 homes that will flood along the Brazos River, similar to the 2015 flooding event, Sebesta said.
The flooding will be of homes in low-lying areas, the judge said.
Brazoria County Pct. 4 Commissioner David Linder said he knew of two homes already flooded by Friday afternoon, he previously told The Facts. They are in low-lying, rural areas of the county, he said.
There are people affected by the rainfall but he feels fortunate that projected rainfall levels have dropped, Linder said.
“I feel very fortunate,” he said. “I feel happy. We are all very fortunate because it could have been so much worse.”
While rainfall levels are trending downward, that doesn’t mean people haven’t been affected and he is keeping them in his thoughts, Linder said.
“There are people affected,” he said. “That’s what hurts my heart. I hate it.”
As rain continues to soak the community, residents need to make sure they stay vigilant and keep themselves informed, Linder said.
West Columbia Mayor Laurie Kincannon was pleased to see the city’s outfall ditches do their job against the rainfall over the weekend, she said.
“Barring a major change in the weather, we are feeling better,” she said.
If county officials see something is going to be much worse than currently expected, including widespread flooding, they will alert the public, Sebesta said.
It’s important to continue to stay tuned and wait for the latest updates from himself and other county officials, Sebesta said.
Follow Brazoria County on social media and download the Ready Brazoria County app for updates. Social media and the app are also ways to monitor closed roads, which now include several near the Harris Reservoir and the Fort Bend County line.