The city of Deer Park is urging citizens and businesses to stay vigilant as what is left of Hurricane Harvey continues dropping rain over the Texas coast. Several residents and businesses have reported flood damage. City services, including curbside trash pickup have been cancelled for Monday and Tuesday.
Due to the continuing severe flooding and conditions caused by Harvey, City facilities are closed today (Monday, August 28) and will also be closed tomorrow, Tuesday, August 29. City services, including routine curbside trash service, WILL NOT take place today or tomorrow. Residents are advised that household trash and storm debris should NOT be placed curbside.
City Manager Jay Stokes said the city is still evaluating some of its damage and sanitation crews are cleaning up debris before they get washed away in storm drains.
Stokes said the city of Deer Park received more than 20 inches of rain Sunday, but was unsure of the official total.
“We’re still looking at 30 or so inches total so far. It’s been difficult determining because the rain keeps coming in waves,” he said. “Thankfully as streets have flooded they’ve also drained down.”
With even more rain forecasted for the rest of the week, the city is advising citizens stay at home if at all possible. Forecasters are predicting 3-6 inches of rain a day for the next few days.
“Please don’t go out more than you have to. We’re not through this storm yet. We’re slowly starting to see more businesses reopen, and when they do reopen, we ask that our citizens be patient,” Stokes said. “It will still be a few more days before we can get back to normal.”
Stokes said the city is aware of homes with water on a few streets across the city, including on Kentucky, Crockett and Hillshire.
“From what we have been made aware, most homes got inches instead of feet,” he said. Some businesses along Georgia, Railroad and Robin on the far northwest side of the city took water.
Stokes said the sewer plant and Fire Station 2 also reported water inside their buildings from the floods.
Deer Park ISD, which will remain closed throughout the week, also reported water in two of its buildings.
DPISD has reported water in the South Campus mall area and that the atrium at Deepwater Junior High has flooded into the library. Matt Lucas, DPISD communications director said crews are already tearing out the carpet at DWJH. He also said there was an issue with an air handler at that campus that is also being fixed.
Stokes said the city has fared well compared to most other areas in Houston, in part to the performance of the city’s detention ponds.
“I think this storm has showed past years’ investment in drainage projects is paying off,” he said. “Flooded areas are draining off quickly, even as they take in more rain.”
Still, in some places, standing water in streets has been an issue. Compounding matters are drivers speeding through streets, pushing that water further into yards and in some cases homes.
Residents of Deer Park are advised that the vast majority of the City is experiencing significant flooding at this time. Unless absolutely necessary, residents are encouraged to remain in their homes and not risk walking or driving through the high waters accumulating on both residential and main roadways.
As well, drivers are also reminded that the city has a "no wake" ordinance, and those in violation shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor and fined up to $2,000 per offense.
"Given the significant flooding we are experiencing throughout the City, we are encouraging our residents to stay indoors and avoid the risk of driving or walking through high water," Emergency Services Director Robert Hemminger said. "If you are on the roads, please be mindful of the City's 'no wake' ordinance, and do not drive in a manner that causes damage to other vehicles or property."
Please report any safety concerns to the Deer Park Police Department at 281-479-1511.
Stokes, who was speaking from the city’s emergency operations center inside Deer Park Police headquarters, said the police department has been made aware of potential violators. If citizens provided pictures and license plate numbers, DPPD Chief Greg Grigg said those potential violators would be investigated.
The city has reported no rescues have been reported in the city of Deer Park, however, the Deer Park Fire Department did assist with rescues in neighboring La Porte.
At this time, there is not a shelter in Deer Park and the city is not accepting donations, Stokes said.
“But if citizens want to donate, we encourage them to consider the American Red Cross, who is assisting in relief efforts,” he said.
Stokes said he was thankful and proud of the city’s employees for their efforts thus far.
“We’re so proud of our city staff and they have done a tremendous job serving the citizens of our city. The police, fire, medical services, all the departments who are helping everyone, we cannot thank them enough for stepping up for our entire city,” Stokes said.
Emergency and City crews will continue collecting loose debris to ensure that drainage systems are kept clear and running as smoothly as possible.
Additional updates will be provided as information becomes available. Please continue to check City of Deer Park social media and the City website for updates.