Jasper County declares state of emergency

Jasper County declares state of emergency

JASPER COUNTY, TX (KTRE) - Jasper County has joined other counties around East Texas in declaring a state of emergency.

They have experienced a tremendous amount of rain that's causing a lot of problems to their roads.

"We've got an interesting dynamic,” said Jasper County Judge Mark Allen. “There's a lot of hilly areas in the northern part of the county where the water runs and erodes. Now in the southern part of the county, it will bowl up and flood and that causes damage of two different types, but it's substantial nonetheless.”

Along with the roads, Lake Sam Rayburn and the Angelina and Neches rivers are overflowing, and the Army Corps of Engineers will have to release their flood gates. That will cause even more flooding to the roads and homes in the area.

"The declaration will help us with any expenses we might occur with response to the flooding or tornadoes,” said Jasper County Emergency Manager Billy Ted Smith.

"We're trying to brace ourselves for what's supposed to be worse weather this coming weekend,” Allen said.

Many residents live off of the rivers and lakes and have to take boats to get to their homes because the roads are so flooded they are not passable by car.

However, the county doesn't think the flooding is heavy enough to evacuate the homes, but they will constantly monitor the situation.

"If we do continue to get the rainfall that we are, then it is highly possible that we are going to have to set up some temporary shelters," Allen said. “It's just the nature of the beast. I mean their homes used to be by the river, and now they are at the river."

Jasper County has Red Cross and their Emergency Operations Center ready to go if they do need to order an evacuation.

"I do urge everyone to check on their neighbors and watch out for your families and friends,” Allen said. “Even if you may not live on the river, check on those that do and make sure they are okay. Everyone needs to watch out for each other, and we're going to get through this.”

Much like the rest of East Texas, Jasper County is ready for some drier weather. “

It's crazy. I mean, we're blessed with the rain, we're blessed with the water, but we'd like to share our blessings with the rest of the country," Allen joked.

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