City prepares to distribute sandbags this week

Hurricane season is now underway and the City of Brownsville is holding a sandbag distribution event this week for residents concerned about the possibility of flooding at home.

City employees have been hard at work filling sand bags to prepare for the event, which will be held June 10-13 at various parks across the city. Residents will be allotted eight bags each, while businesses will be allowed up to 10.

Anyone interested needs to bring their utility bill and Texas driver’s license at pickup. The city is also offering pre-registrations through its Access Brownsville app or by calling (956) 546-HELP  or ( 956) 546-4357.

Distributions are scattered across the week. Pickups scheduled Wednesday through Friday will be held from 4:00 to 8:00 p.m. Residents picking up on Saturday will be able to do so from 8:00 a.m. to noon.

>>Wednesday District 1 – Morningside Park, 1207 S. Central Ave.

>>Thursday District 2 – Les Mauldin Park,204 Les Mauldin Dr.

>>Friday District 3 – Industrial Park, GBIC Circle

>>Saturday District 4 – Monte Bella Park, 2525 W. Alton Gloor Blvd.

Engineering and Public Works Director Armando Gutierrez, Jr. said on Monday the city has been doing extra prep work to prepare the sandbags for storm season. “Brownsville is on the coast just like New Orleans and Galveston. We’re prone to flooding with any storm, much less a tropical storm,” he said.

Public works employees have been filling sandbags daily after the lunch hour. Some come in on Saturdays to prep bags, as well. Last weekend, directors of each city department gathered to make sand bags in an event organized by the City Manager’s office. “It gave the directors from all the department a chance to do an activity together, to work on a common goal,” said Gutierrez.

Sandbags will be used primarily to keep water from seeping under doors and building entrances and are an extra precaution in the event of a hurricane, which would overwhelm the city’s drainage system.

In addition to sand bag prep, the city works year-round to keep Brownsville’s drainage pipes clear of trash and debris so that when severe weather hits, flooding is mitigated to the greatest extent possible.

This includes trash collection, cleaning drain dishes, manholes, and maintenance at the city’s pump stations. “That really is the main effort,” said Gutierrez. “We’ve been doing that for two months already.”

esheridan@brownsvilleherald.com