Your street is flooded; whom do you call?

Published 10:22 am Monday, June 18, 2018

By Bobby Tingle


What school district do you live in?

Do you live in the city limits or out in the county?

You can probably answer those questions pretty easily.

Now try the harder ones.

Who is your county commissioner?

You only have four to choose from.

Who represents you on the city council?

The hardest question to answer, the one, which may stump you, the one which may be the most important to you is this: Who is responsible for making sure rainwater drains from the street in front of your house, away from your property, rather than flooding your property or home?

According to County Judge Dean Crooks knowing who to call is an important element in hurricane preparedness.

You may be surprised to find out the answer to the question is not so obvious.

If you live in the city it is likely the city you live in.

But it could be the county.

Or it could be the Orange County Drainage District.

The Texas Department of Transportation and Corps of Engineers are possibilities as well.

But then again, why should you care?

Crooks believes the best way to prepare for rising water is to correct drainage problems now.

And it can all start with you.

Begin by properly identifying who is responsible for the drainage on your street. Then when you experience poor drainage, call to report the problem.

And if at first you do not succeed, then try again and again until you do.

Rising water, historically, has proven to be a formidable threat to life and property in Orange County on a large scale, seemingly more so than other potential threats such as high wind.

Crooks vision for accomplishing the most effective plans for emergency preparedness includes county employees and individuals taking responsibility for themselves.

He stresses the need for each resident to take responsibility for the following:

Have a go bag packed, within arms reach and in a high and dry location.

Have your important papers in a waterproof container.

Get flood insurance.

The most import emergency preparedness item individuals need is a go bag.

Your go bag contains all the items you absolutely cannot live without for several days. It contains items not likely to be readily available in the event of large event.

Think prescriptions you rely on for medical therapy related to your personal health and medical needs.

Plan for the possibility of being awakened in the middle of the night due to an event requiring you to leave your home immediately.

Your important documents might include items like your birth certificate, social security card or passport. These documents should be in a waterproof container. If you need assistance after a rising water event you will need these documents to prove your identity to apply. Folks who take this step go to the front of the line to apply while those who don’t have to wait for duplicate documents.

Flood insurance is not required in all areas. But having flood insurance is another step in the right direction to potentially expediting help when you experience a loss.

It isn’t a perfect solution, but the potential benefit versus cost ratio makes it highly attractive.

Crooks has confidence in Emergency Management Coordinator Joel Ardoin. Ardoin has the experience and training to prepare for effective emergency response.

But according to Crooks, every individual who has a plan and a backup plan to manage and execute their own evacuation, security, medical needs, food, clothing and shelter is one less person first responders will need to help.

It will make for a more manageable disaster if we all take care of ourselves.

I agree.

By the way, you can call the Orange County Drainage District or the Orange County Road and Bridge office to find out who is responsible for drainage in your neighborhood.

Be nice when you call and follow the motto of every good Boy Scout; be prepared.


Bobby Tingle is publisher of The Orange Leader. You can reach him at