Isaac provides dress rehearsal for Sabine, Newton, Jasper Co. emergency responders

HEMPHILL, TX (KTRE) - Behind the Sabine County Sheriff's Office, down a secured sidewalk sits the County's Emergency Operations Center. When bad weather is approaching you'll find Larry Martin inside watching radar screens closely. Martin is the County's Deputy Emergency Management Coordinator.

Sabine County Judge Charles Watson catches the developments too. More decision makers from other counties can join in to if ncessary.

"This is our ham radio room. We have a TV screen back here also and ham radios," Watson said.

When Martin saw early predictions of flash flooding just weren't going to happen, he turned his attention to other possibilities.

"Our worst fear was that we wouldn't get any rain and we've been in pretty much a drought condition and that we were going to get a lot of wind and maybe end up with maybe a tree down on a power line in a remote location and end up with a fire that was driven by 30 mile an hour winds," Martin said.

Isaac didn't present havoc for downtown Hemphill or Sabine County, but it did provide a reality drill for emergency preparedness."

"We hope we don't have to use it, but we're ready if we do," Watson said.

Hurricane Isaac weather systems did create an excuse for residents to bring out the umbrellas. A gentle rain is really what they wanted from the very beginning.

Judge Watson was also in Nacogdoches Thursday for the opening of the new Civic/Emergency Center.

It's important to "pass through" counties who send evacuees to facilities in Lufkin and Nacogdoches.

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