WASHINGTON, D.C. -- James Lee Witt, FEMA's Director Witt joined Governor Bush today in Victoria County to fly over the affected area and meet with victims.
The Colorado River is expected to crest in Wharton this morning at 48.5 feet, 12 feet above flood stage and a new record. As much as 50 percent of the city of Wharton (pop. 9000) has been affected by flooding.
The Guadalupe River has crested in Victoria and continues a slow fall. The river is expected to remain above flood stage at Victoria for the next several days.
All major rivers in south-central and south Texas have crested or are expected to crest by today. The National Weather Service (NWS) forecast does not expect significant rainfall in the area over the next few days as dry weather continues over south Texas. However, a disturbance off the coast of northeastern Mexico could affect the weather in south Texas if it moves north. A dome of high pressure is keeping the disturbance in the Gulf of Mexico away from the Texas coast at this time.
As of yesterday afternoon, the American Red Cross (ARC) had 15 shelters open in eight affected counties housing approximately 1,530 people. Two shelters in DeWitt County housed a total of 1,110 people. Victoria County had two shelters open with 50 people. The ARC reports that 2,000 people have evacuated from the town of Wharton. Limited evacuations continue in Calhoun, Colorado, Fayette, Goliad, Jackson, Refugio and Victoria counties. Dusk to dawn curfews are in effect in Goliad, Wharton and Victoria counties.
Texas state officials and FEMA staff have located a building to house the San Antonio Disaster Field Office (DFO). The target date for opening the DFO is Sunday, Oct. 25.
A Defense Coordinating Officer (DCO) and a two-person Defense Coordinating Element have been activated to facilitate use of DOD resources in disaster recovery operations. The DCO is already working on helicopter support, shower facilities for the town of Cuero and the set up of a mobilization center.
State officials and FEMA staff have deployed Community Relations teams to Austin, San Antonio and the Victoria/Cuero area.