When do officials decide it’s time to distribute sandbags?

Local News

CAMERON COUNTY, Texas (ValleyCentral) — All Monday morning the city of San Benito distributed sandbags to residents and business owners, in anticipation of Tropical Storm Nicholas. The city gave out more than 1,000 bags from the city’s service center.

While the worst of the storm is now away from the Rio Grande Valley, Public Information Officer David Favila said the decision to hand out sandbags was not made until Sunday afternoon. Other agencies such as Hidalgo County Precinct 1 began handing out sandbags to residents Friday.

But San Benito wanted to make sure they gave sandbags at the right time since they prepare thousands before hurricane season.

“City administration is always watching the weather… we are in constant contact with agencies like the National Weather Service,” Favila said. “Since we didn’t know, we wanted to make sure we were giving them out at the right time and yesterday is when they decided.. you know what we better do it to help out residents.”

The city of Brownsville also held a self-service distribution Monday morning. Brownsville Deputy Fire Chief Cesar Pedraza says the city has also been monitoring the storm before making a decision to give out sandbags.

“They are in direct communication with them multiple times a day sometimes multiple times an hour and that is how the final decisions are made, it’s a coordinated effort between the National Weather Service and the leadership teams,” Pedraza said.

But while the worst of Tropical Storm Nicholas has passed the Rio Grande Valley, both cities are still prepared for more storms this hurricane season and are urging residents to do the same.

“We dodged a bullet here, but it is always good practice to make sure your households are readily supplied with emergency equipment, vehicles are fueled up. Just be ready for the next one we never know when we are going to get the full brunt of the storm,” Pedraza said.

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