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Bryan and College Station declare severe drought disaster

Posted at 9:49 PM, Aug 12, 2022
and last updated 2022-08-12 22:49:46-04

The cities of Bryan and College Station are declaring a local state of disaster due to extreme drought in the area.

Jeanelle Gottlob with the City of Bryan said this disaster declaration is to prepare for what’s to come.

“We were recently included, meaning Brazos County and City of Bryan in the state’s drought declaration,” said Jeanelle Gottlob, emergency management coordinator with the City of Bryan. “How that happened was through the drought preparedness council made a recommendation to the governor include us.”

Gottlob said the area is at the high end of the drought scale.

“We are close to the 800,” said Gottlob. “Zero represents that there’s no moisture depletion so we’re good when we are closer to the zero range. When we get up to that 800 range, is when we are seeing absolutely dry conditions.”

City of College Station Mayor, Karl Mooney said students returning to school this month will increase the demand our water systems.

“The college students are about to return and all you have to do is look out on the streets and you can see more U-Hauls showing up and here we are in August and only a couple of weeks away from A&M starting classes,” said Mooney. “A&M is saying that could be about 68,000 students. That’s a lot of folks to suddenly add.”

Mayor Mooney asks that residents not overuse our water supply as we need to preserve it.

“We got to keep those water towers at least partially full, enough so that we get the good water pressure,” said Mooney. “We just had a fire at an apartment complex here. If the water pressure wasn’t adequate, who knows what additional damage could have been done.”

He said we can still participate in daily activities, but to be mindful as we need as much rain as a tropical storm would bring to help with our drought conditions.

“Whatever we can do to make sure that people know ‘hey, don’t leave that faucet running,” said Mayor Mooney. “Turn it on, turn it off when you need to. Do the things you need to do but just don’t use it in excess so that we can keep our water systems going.”

Both cities will consider an extension depending on drought conditions early to mid-next week.

“We need that kind of heavy rain to come in and give us a real good strong soaking,” said Mayor Mooney. “It’s for the ranchers, it’s for our folks that live here in the city. It’s for everybody. We’re all feeling the pinch.”