Fort Bend County emergency operations center activated ahead of potential tropical storm

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Fort Bend Co. officials said they’ve upgraded their drainage system since Harvey and have partnered with local organizations for shelters.

FORT BEND COUNTY, Texas — As we watch and wait to see what happens in the Gulf, Fort Bend County says they’ve now activated their emergency operations center.

“It’s more like a double-edge sword. We are in the middle of a pandemic, but a hurricane can come and so we have been preparing since May, so I believe we are prepared to deal with any situation,” said Fort Bend County Judge KP George.

Mark Flathouse is the Fort Bend County emergency management coordinator.

“We’ve been modifying our (hurricane) plans that meet the needs of COVID, working with Health and Human Services and their requirements, including everything from how we’re going to be doing sheltering, working with the state, the state department of emergency management, and having guidelines put in place,” Flathouse said.

Flathouse said the county has multiple evacuation routes. They’ve also upgraded their drainage system since Harvey, and in case they’ll need emergency shelters, they’ve partnered with local organizations like the Red Cross.

So far, he said they have 18 shelters across the county that can be ready to go if needed, and where social distancing will be practiced.

“Everybody that comes to a shelter has to be checked for temperature, making sure they have a questionnaire in place that they haven’t been sick,” Flathouse said.

Emergency officials are also asking Fort Bend County residents to stay informed weather aware by following Fort Bend County OES social media pages or checking their website.

And while there’s still a lot of uncertainty ahead, Flathouse said they’re prepared and ready.

“We will be ready. We will adapt and overcome no matter what storm comes here for the citizens of Fort Bend County,” Flathouse said.