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City emergency personnel preparing for potential severe weather

Emergency operations personnel say they learned valuable lessons from Hurricane Harvey and heavy rain events within the last year.

“It should seem like yesterday, we were watching all of this massive flooding in Houston and people driving into high water,” said Corpus Christi Police Lt. Chris Hooper.

High water is the primary threat the Emergency Operations Center is expecting with this week’s weather event.

“We’re planning for this rain event, and whether it’s a named storm or not, we still have to prepare for the rain,” said Kim Womack, communications director for the city of Corpus Christi.

Womack said plans are already in place for potential water rescues.

“We use high profile vehicles from our water and streets departments, and we actually pre-position those in different places around the city, so if there is a need for high water rescue, we’re ready,” Womack said.

Police are also concerned about the dangers of residents driving into high water, as flooding could limit access to emergency resources during severe weather conditions.

“You’re placing yourself in danger and good Samaritans and first responders who come to assist are now in danger,” Hooper said.

Charles Bujan, Port Aransas mayor, said their emergency plans have not changed. However, with this storm, they will have a longer window of time to execute those plans if needed.

“Because Harvey was so quick, we only had seven hours to make a decision to evacuate and get our people out. This storm is giving us a little more time,” Bujan said.

The EOC has yet not been activated. Residents are encouraged to sign up for “Reverse Alert” at reversealert.org.

Emily Hamilton

Emily Hamilton

Emily Hamilton is a reporter/anchor at KRIS 6 News in Corpus Christi.
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