High water to threaten Sabine Pass area

Published 12:29 pm Monday, August 4, 2008

A conference call with local, state and federal officials as well as the National Weather Service is scheduled for 4:30 p.m. Monday, Aug. 4. Depending on the outcome of the meeting, Port Arthur Mayor Deloris “Bobbie” Prince may call for the voluntary evacuation of the Sabine Pass area due to high water conditions.

Port Arthur Police Maj. John Owens said the storm will likely strike land near high tide.

Owens, who also serves as emergency management coordinator, said officials are monitoring the progress of the storm based on the latest forecast models from the National Weather Service. Currently, essential personnel such as police, fire and other emergency responders are on call.

Owens added that Texas 87 in Sabine Pass is also being monitored for possible water crossing the roadway based on the possibility of additional 2 to 4 foot tide issues.

“We are expecting, based on the forecast, a lot of rain and winds 50 to 60 mph as the storm approaches landfall near Galveston,” he said, adding that a Galveston strike would put southeast Texas on the wet side of the storm.

Owens said city officials are looking at the possibility of opening shelters in the city should it become necessary. Dr. Albert Thigpen is serving as mass care coordinator for the city.

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