In the aftermath of Hurricane Nicholas, Brazoria County residents and officials spent Tuesday assessing damages and enduring power outages, which may continue for several days in some areas.

“I had heard from Lake Jackson that CenterPoint had told us to expect three days with no power,” Clute City Manager CJ Snipes said in the afternoon. “They have been bringing legs up and putting legs down and we’re not exactly sure why and they won’t tell us why.

“We don’t know the reason and how they connect those legs and whether it was just random transformers that went out,” he said. “It looks like they’re trying to piece the system back together. They don’t have the juice, I think, to get everything reconnected.”

A lot of trees and power lines were down in Clute and in Lake Jackson, which is known as a tree city. Each time a storm like Nicholas blows through, similar damage is expected, Mayor Gerald Roznovsky said.

POWER PROJECTION

The most up-to-date estimates for Lake Jackson and for Surfside Beach on Tuesday were three days to restore power, officials said.

CenterPoint Energy was reporting 23,600 customers of 118,900 in Brazoria County without power as of 7 p.m. Tuesday evening, a percentage of about 19.85 percent.

After 7 p.m. Texas-New Mexico Power Company was reporting six without power in Holiday Lakes; 810 in West Columbia; 988 in Sweeny; 2,886 in Brazora and 4,642 customers without power in Angleton.

Crews from both energy providers were out assessing and working to restore power throughout the county Tuesday morning, Brazoria County Judge Matt Sebesta said.

Facilities vital to safety, health and welfare such as hospitals, water treatment plants and public service facilities would be addressed first, according to a news release from CenterPoint Energy.

Sebesta felt the region “fared pretty well” due to the county not reporting any deaths or river flooding.

“The rivers, creeks, bayous and streams did pretty well and the ground handled a lot of water,” Sebesta said. “We had some storm surge over at Treasure Inland. A lot of Surfside got some water but as soon the storm came onshore, the tide came down and the waters receded. I think we fared fairly well with the biggest thing being the power outages.”

Texas-New Mexico Power estimates the majority of its customers will have restored power by no later than 6 p.m. Friday. Sebesta believes the timeline could be shortened due to the work crews’ effort throughout Tuesday.

“We started the day with about 76 percent of electric customers without having power which was about 114,000 customers,” Sebesta said. “I think they are down to about 42,000 which is about 27 percent. A lot of folks don’t know that some of these linemen have been in Louisiana the last couple of weeks helping reestablish power from Hurricane Ida over there. These guys have busted their rear ends over the last few weeks. I think most will be within these 24 hours. I just can’t tell you how many.”

Texas-New Mexico spokesman Eric Paul did not return calls and emails for additional comments, and CenterPoint Energy spokeswoman Alejandra Diaz referred all questions to the company’s news release.

FIND COMFORT

Angleton will open a comfort station at the city’s Recreation Center at 9 a.m. today for residents who lack power and need a place to cool off, shower or charge phones and computers.

The station will be open 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday, City Parks Director Megan Mainer said at an emergency council meeting broadcast online Tuesday.

The facility will not be open for overnight stays, but it will serve as a place where people can rest in a safe environment. The gym will not be open for recreational purposes, and the recreation will not be open for general use until Monday.

A Texas-New Mexico outage map showed 4,000 Angleton-area customers without power by Tuesday evening. That was a big improvement over earlier in the day, when that number was at 11,000, Mayor Jason Perez said.

The ambulance barn remained on backup power Tuesday evening.

Power should be restored to all by Friday evening, power company officials told the city.

The Recreation Center suffered leaks and water pooling on the roof, Mainer said. Staff cleaned up Tuesday, while documenting damage for insurance purposes. Once leaves caked on the cages meant to keep debris from the drains were removed, the water quickly drained, Mainer said.

Other recreation center damage included varying amounts of damage to some exterior window panes, exterior lighting, general landscaping, drywall damage from blowing rain and bubbling on part of the gym floor.

The majority of damage in the city was from downed trees on fences and in roads and fences blown down by Nicholas’s strong winds, city officials said. Manufactured home parks suffered quite a bit of damage, as well, to skirting, fencing and porches. Cambridge Apartments lost quite a bit of of brick on one side.

It was heartening to see neighbors helping neighbors, and helping to clear streets, a public works official said. It will take weeks to clean up tree limbs and replace downed street signs, but work will continue Wednesday.

“I appreciate all the help from the residents. It helped a lot,” Public Works Director Jeff Sifford said.

Internet and cell service held out in Angleton through the storm, said Jason Crews, director of information technology for the city.

Only a few roads had standing water on them after Nicholas. City officials attributed that to work done cleaning gutters before the storm, even in preparation for Hurricane Ida, so that water could get down the drains unimpeded.

“A little preparation goes a long way,” Perez said.

Trash not picked up on Tuesday will be collected on Friday.

CLOSER TO COAST

At the most recent check, the majority of Freeport’s south side remained without electricity, Police Chief Ray Garivey said.

“They are out there putting back up power lines,” he said. “We have minimal damage but even City Hall was affected and took on a little water.”

Some residents suffered roof damage, and a lot of fence damage occurred throughout the city during the storm, he said.

“A lot of fences are down is the majority of what we have,” Garivey said Tuesday evening. “We did have a few homes that were affected by flooding as well. … We’ve had no reports of anyone being injured from the storm.”

Richwood saw a lot of trees down on roadways and a little bit of high water, City Manager Eric Foerster said.

“I believe we had one home with water inside of it and I believe that water blew in sideways during the rain,” he said. “We had a little bit of — a lot of our sewer lines were filled with inundation from the rain. A little bit of damage to some city property: fences, some pieces of equipment. Nothing too severe.”

Part of the city remains without power as of Tuesday evening where trees fell on power lines; a lot of the city did see power restored Tuesday, Foerster said.

“I’m guessing maybe a quarter of the city is without power,” he said. “That’s a rough estimate. The good news is we did not lose pressure in our water system so our fresh water, drinking water’s still good.”

As each day goes on, they’ll find a little bit more going on, he said.

“A lot of people left and as they come home they’ll report their damage to us,” he said. oad and bridge crews for the county and cities worked throughout Tuesday, and by the evening the only road closure Brazoria County Sheriff’s Sgt. Anthony Hurse knew of was Highway 332 at CR 690 (Levee Road) heading toward Surfside, which was closed Monday.

All Brazoria County school districts extended closure through today, as did Brazosport College. Alvin Community College is reopening for normal operations today, according to a statement posted on the college’s Facebook page.

“Students and staff still affected by Hurricane Nicholas who may not be able to return to class or work should contact their faculty or supervisor as soon as possible,” the post stated.

Our Lady Queen of Peace School in Richwood reopens today, while Angleton and Brazosport Christian schools, Foundation Preparatory Academy and Brazos Learning Montessori School will remain closed.

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