HOUSTON – Houston-area officials are issuing voluntary evacuations and disaster declarations as Tropical Storm Beta continues to brew in the Gulf of Mexico.
Brazoria County Judge Matt Sebesta issued a voluntary evacuation for low-lying coastal areas outside the protection levee, beginning on Saturday at 4 p.m. Officials also closed county beaches to vehicular traffic due to current high tides and impending storm surge, starting Saturday at 6 p.m.
All coastal residents and visitors need to continue to stay up-to-date on Tropical Storm Beta, as the storm is expected to become a Hurricane and conditions along the coast could change quickly.
Officials said those along the coast need to be prepared and have a plan if conditions worsen.
Officials said residents on the Bolivar Peninsula are strongly encouraged to seek safety further inland for the duration of this storm, especially vulnerable populations and those with medical needs.
The Peninsula could become cut off from the rest of the County and emergency services could be impacted, officials said.
Chambers County Judge Jimmy Sylvia issued a disaster declaration on Saturday in advance of Tropical Storm Beta. He also issued a voluntary evacuation order for low-lying and flood-prone areas in the county.
“As always, we are acting out of an abundance of caution,” said Sylvia. “We have learned from past experience that we should always hope for the best, but plan for the worst case scenario.”
“We are encouraging citizens to do what they can to prepare their homes and families,” Sylvia said.
Those residents whose homes have been affected in past high rain or high storm surge events should consider moving to higher ground.
“This is a minimum recommendation,” Sylvia said. “If you feel unsafe, if you feel like your home might be impacted by rains or storm surge inundation, please be proactive.”
Galveston Mayor Pro Tem Craig Brown has issued a voluntary evacuation of the West End, west of the Seawall, and low-lying areas of the island in response to the high tides and rainfall expected from Tropical Storm Beta.
News – Here are the Houston-area evacuations issued for Tropical Storm Beta