City of Pecos Brings in State, Federal Agencies to Prepare for U - KWES NewsWest 9 / Midland, Odessa, Big Spring, TX: newswest9.com |

City of Pecos Brings in State, Federal Agencies to Prepare for Unpredictable

By Alicia Neaves
NewsWest 9

PECOS - The City of Pecos is preparing for yet another round of storm waters to rush their way. It's not just Pecos officials fighting Mother Nature. It's a joined effort from numerous agencies.

In a briefing with the Mayor of Pecos shortly before 6 p.m., we learned that an instant command center has been set up, Homeland Security will have a tent in Pecos and even the Forest Service is on the way along with several state and federal agencies set to arrive Tuesday. All of this as Pecos continues to prepare for the unpredictable.

Mayor Venetta Seals tells us that on Sunday, the police and fire chief went up in a helicopter to assess the river and where the water is flowing. Border Patrol and DPS are also in the mix, looking for a solid plan to combat Mother Nature.

Friday's storm waters are struggling to flow down the Pecos River as 30 more inches of water flooded the river since Sunday night.

“The water is being diverted and it will be catching up closer to the I-20 bridge, but that is actually helping us a lot in this area right now because some of that water is being diverted off to the East,” Pecos Mayor, Venetta Seals, said.

Debris continues to pile up. Behind the railroad bridge, debris the length of three football fields is blocking water flow.

NewsWest 9 asked Seals about a game plan to clear the debris.

“The sides of the river are way too saturated to get big equipment in there. We even talked to the railroad. they could be getting a little bit off, but there is so much backup right now that there is no possibility of that,” Seals said.

Train operations are still running normally.

The Mayor says water has escaped just south of the I-20 bridge, all flowing to Ward County.

“We've got another three to four days here. It may cause a problem on I-20. We don't know yet. It just depends on how much water comes down. Water always takes a path of least resistance so we're just gonna have to wait and see where the water goes,” Seals said.

The Midland and Odessa Fire Departments, Border Patrol and DPS joined forces to help find an effective solution to have water flowing again.

No new evacuations have been ordered.

The silver lining in all of this? If there were more evacuations, most residents can turn to family members to provide shelter.

“We could have to evacuate anywhere from 1,000 to 2,500-3,000 people, but probably maybe 1,000 would have to come to the shelter,” Seals said.

Seals said a disaster declaration signed by the city and county is already on its way to the Governor's office. Meaning, should this evolve into a worse situation, funding will be sent to the city and county to help.

The city also encourages all residents to sign up for the Code Red program, which is free. Just head to www.townofpecoscitytx.com for more information on how to sign up.

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