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Community leaders ask for patience as storm moves away

Written by Bobby Vasquez. Posted in News

Although the worst of Hurricane Harvey seems to have spared Deer Park, the city and its residents are not yet out of the woods.

“Deer Park is in fantastic shape, all things considering, but it’s not over,” said Mayor Jerry Mouton in a conference call. “We still have rain and the storm is still over us. Reopening the school district, the city and getting things up and running will be an unprecedented effort.”

Victor White, DPISD superintendent, echoed previous reports of water in campuses, adding that most water came from roof leaks and drainpipe backup.

“They are more annoyances rather than damage,” he said.

He said the library carpet inside Deepwater Junior High has already been removed and efforts are being made to dry the area.

Although Deer Park ISD hopes to resume classes next week, the school is assessing what faculty and staff will be available as many employees also suffered home damage from the floods.

The American Red Cross has opened a shelter at the Jimmy Burke Activity Center. This shelter is meant to accommodate overflow evacuees from other shelters. At this time, no volunteers or donations are needed at this location. Displaced citizens should note this is not a walk-up shelter.

Also, city leaders are asking well-meaning citizens to NOT start up shelters at their local churches and facilities. The Red Cross is coordinating streamlined efforts to take in evacuees and provide them with the items they need. The city and Red Cross will announce what, if any, donations, items and volunteer power is needed.

Should citizens choose to leave the safety of their own community to assist at other hard-hit locations, they must be aware that hospitals are not accepting patients. If citizens are injured while trying to get to other locations, they could be stranded with no medical help available.

Also, city leaders are asking the public’s help in squashing social media misinformation. They called it one of the biggest issues they faced over the last few days. They asked citizens to please be careful with what they shared on social media and what innuendoes they made.

Citizens should also conserve their energy and resources. The status of needs throughout the community might change on a day-to-day basis and they ask that the public remain patient and get their information from official sources such as city-operated websites and social media.