Those worried about potential for another Harvey grab sandbags

Published 12:47 pm Monday, September 13, 2021

For some, the threat of Tropical Storm Nicholas brings back memories of widespread flooding caused by Hurricane Harvey.

E.J. and Judy Badeaux were in line in the parking lot of Robert A. “Bob” Bowers Civic Center Monday morning to get sandbags in preparation for the storm.

“We are preparing in case it floods like Harvey,” Judy Badeaux said. “We lost everything in our house in Harvey.”

Gregory Provost talks about previous flooding at his Lake Arthur home and of the need for sandbags. (Mary Meaux/The News)

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The Badeauxs were able to walk out in the Harvey floodwaters before being picked up by a boat and brought to higher ground. From there their daughter picked them up.

“We had to buy a trailer and live in it for three months in our backyard,” she said, adding they are keeping an eye on weather announcements.

As of the 10 a.m. Monday update from the National Weather Service, Nicholas is set to make landfall on the middle Texas coast Monday night.

Southeast Texas is expected to get 5-10 inches of rain with possible street flooding during periods of heavy rain.

More than a dozen people waited at the Civic Center near the art museum, trucks backed up to the large pile of wet sand. A problem ensued when the actual bags supplied by the city ran out.

Gregory Provost arrived early and was told he needed a shovel so he went home to get one.

When he returned at approximately 9:30 a.m., the bags had run out and city employees who were there earlier were gone, he said.

Michael Nicholas shovels sand for sandbags Monday in the Robert A. “Bob” Bowers Civic Center parking lot. (Mary Meaux/The News)

Provost, 60, lives on Lake Arthur Drive, an area that frequently floods during heavy rain, so getting sandbags is important to him.

He also has a canal behind his home, adding to the flooding factor.

He also has wildlife near his home that alerts him to the approach of bad weather, he said with a chuckle.

The animal — a opossum he named Papa Joe — comes around every time it floods and he saw the marsupial looking in his door recently.

“My house flooded in Harvey,” he said, noting the appearance of the opossum prior to the flooding event. “Went we went into the house (after) there was a 5-foot gator in there hiding in a pile of clothes. We kept the 4-foot catfish but not the gator.”

Trudy Nichols was in Lumberton during Harvey, which reached 7 feet in her immediate area with only one way in and out.

Nichols, 70, ended up moving to Groves near his brother and both were on hand Monday to get sandbags. While she’s not expecting major flooding in her home, she is worried about her garage since water from her gutters often flows there during rain.

Peter Kaatrude was waiting on bags Monday morning as well.

People load sand into bags in preparation of Tropical Storm Nicholas in the parking lot of the Robert A. “Bob” Bowers Civic Center. (Mary Meaux/The News)

While his home didn’t flood before, he was there Monday to get sandbags to secure his shed.

Several employees with the city of Port Arthur arrived around 10 a.m. with a supply of bags for the waiting residents.

Getting sandbags on Monday

  • Port Arthur city is offering sandbags with a limit of six per address while supplies last. They can be picked up at the civic center, 3401 Cultural Center Drive, and the pavilion downtown, 600 Procter Street. Residents are asked to bring an ID and their own shovels.
  • The City of Groves began providing sandbags Monday, at the Public Works Office located at 4925 McKinley Ave. Six sandbags will be available for Groves residents. Water bill and driver license will be required to confirm residency. The public will have to bring their own shovel and bag their own sand. Sand will be available until it runs out.
  • The City of Nederland has sandbags avail ale Monday at Doornbos Park, 2301 Avenue H, Nederland. Nederland residents will be provided p to 10 sandbags per vehicle or address. Residency will be confirmed by either a driver’s license or a utility bill.
  • The city of Port Neches has sandbags available Monday at the public works service center, 2005 Merriman St., Port Neches. Please bring an ID.