SAN BENITO — The pelting of the Rio Grande Valley began as early as Tuesday, with rain that created moments of flooding throughout the region.
As of Friday afternoon, National Weather Service RGV meteorologist David Reese said the radar estimated rainfall totals for the San Benito area at 6 to 9 inches. And it continued to rain.
But after all is said and done, San Benito Mayor Ricardo Guerra says the city’s drainage system did what it was supposed to do.
“I personally went out driving during some of the heavier storms and observed that while there were some streets where the water rose, the drainage system did its job and the water receded,” Guerra said.
“Moreover, the city took a proactive approach and had city crews go out ahead of this rain event to clear out storm drain inlets so that the water would drain properly.”
Guerra said that although the city experienced a large amount of rain, it did not receive any reports of sustained flooding or flooded homes.
Guerra added that while there were a few reports of localized street flooding in certain areas, the city’s drainage system worked well and kept up with the rain.
Cameron County Judge Eddie Trevino Jr. on Friday issued a disaster declaration, noting that as of Friday evening, the county was at high risk for excessive rainfall, “which can lead low-lying and flood-prone areas in Cameron County to receive additional flooding and saturation.”
The declaration advised residents to “take necessary precautions to remain safe and avoid all unnecessary travel.”
Guerra said residents are encouraged to do their part by helping keep storm drainage inlets clear of debris, such as trash and grass clippings, to enable inlets to continue working as designed.
With heavy rainfall, comes ideal breeding grounds for mosquitoes.
According to Guerra, San Benito continues to always work proactively ahead of all weather events, including those that cause mosquitoes.
“The city actively sprays for mosquitoes on public streets as needed until the mosquito population decreases,” Guerra said. “The city conducts the majority of fumigation early in the morning or late at night when mosquito activity is most active and the wind is calm.”
Guerra added that high wind speeds and rain are factors that prohibit mosquito spraying.
San Benito’s mosquito control map is available for viewing on its website at www.cityofsanbenito.com.
According to Reese, the radar estimated rainfall totals toward the South Padre Island area at about 5 to 7 inches of rain.
Saturday, there is a high risk of rip currents at the beaches of South Padre Island and Boca Chica Beach due to rough seas.
“We have some strong, gusty winds out in the Gulf waters,” Reese said. “We’ve had some very high seas so all of that is kind of coming onshore and that’s going to create the threat of higher risk for rip currents.”
According to Reese, high risk rip currents might lower a bit on Sunday, but it’s still going to be on the elevated side to at least a medium to high level.
Beachgoers are advised to swim near a lifeguard and stay in water that’s knee deep or less.
If caught in a rip current, swimmers are advised to yell for help and try to avoid exhausting themselves by staying afloat while waiting for help.
If possible, those caught in a rip current should try to swim parallel to the shore to escape the current and then move back toward the beach.
According to Reese, rain chances are 20 to 30 percent on Saturday and there’s virtually zero chance for rain on Sunday.
“As we move into the weekend, the upper low that’s been responsible for all of the rain most of this week is going to roll to the west of us and slowly dissipate,” Reese said. “As it dissipates, rain chances will lower.”
According to Reese, the sea breeze attempts to come back on Monday, but for the most part rain chances look dry.
However, as we move into Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday of next week, Reese said there are some chances of rain.
“It does appear that we kind of get back into a more typical summertime pattern where it’s dry and hot in the mornings and a chance for some sea breeze showers and storms starting around lunchtime and continuing into the afternoon,” he added.