WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The focus of operations in Texas is shifting from response to recovery as the Colorado and Guadalupe rivers return to normal levels. National Weather Service (NWS) reports moderate to major lowland flooding is still possible along the San Bernard River near its mouth, though it is expected to fall below flood stage today.
The Texas State Coordinating Officer designated the following areas as high priority for relief operations: Cuero (DeWitt County), New Braunfels (Comal County), Seguin (Guadalupe County), San Antonio (Bexar County), Luling (Caldwell County), Wharton (Wharton County), Victoria (Victoria County), Schertz (Bexar County), Gonzales (Gonzales County) and Goliad (Goliad County).
Many more homes have become accessible in Victoria. As many as 586 homes were inspected and deemed ready for homeowner's return as of Sunday, October 25. Assessments continue as the water recedes and areas become accessible. The American Red Cross reported this morning that there were six shelters open last night housing 338 people.
Texas state officials report significant road closures in three counties. The most significant is U.S. Highway 183, which is closed in part of Goliad County due to flooding. Three State Highways in Calhoun, Golidad and DeWitt are closed as well. Numerous smaller roads, that is farm-to-market roads and county roads, have also been closed across the affected area due to washouts of culverts, low water crossings and bridges.
The State/Federal Disaster Field Office for this disaster opened yesterday in San Antonio. Five Disaster Recovery Centers (DRCs) are slated to open Wednesday morning. They will be located in the following cities: Cuero (DeWitt County), New Braunfels (Comal County), San Antonio (Bexar County), Victoria (Victoria County), and Wharton (Wharton County).
FEMA delivered 17,480 one-liter bottles of water to the city of Martindale (Caldwell County) on Monday and a National Guard tanker was also has been brought there. Five hundred Martindale families had been without potable water since Sunday afternoon.
An incinerator is now operational in Victoria to dispose of storm debris. The city of Cuero plans to use a burn trench for this purpose, but is having difficulty finding a dry place to locate the trench.
The State opened a Donations Coordination Center at the State Emergency Operations Center in Austin. They set up a toll-free number -- 1-800-839-4636 -- to assist individuals in how best to donate to the flood victims and to coordinate and schedule unsolicited donations en route to the Resources Staging Area in Victoria.