This Week's Headlines

South Belt community honors Sgt. Sean Rios

Residents upset about water bills

Daytime armed robbery at Shell

Male charged with Riverstone murder

Safety COVID tips for holidays

Abandoned house still a problem

Residents upset about water bills

City OKs computers for those in need

COVID suspends jury trials until 1-31-21

County seeks door-to-door blood tests

Ellis pushes forward on economic equity, opportunity in county

SJC receives $50K donation for student scholarships

San Jacinto College recipient of Texas Success Center Grant

Unbeaten Longhorns on brink of title, top Division 1 seeding

No storybook ending comes; JFD cross-country misses state

Dobie, Brook boys win openers on hardwood, JFD girls start strong

Lady Longhorns draw Atascocita

Longhorns stay unbeaten, routing Memorial

BAFL postseason to begin in December; Rice the goal

Hurricane Information for South Belt Area

The 2020 hurricane season will began Monday, June 1, and will continue through Nov. 30.

In their annual forecast, meteorologists with National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) predicted nine to 16 named storms (winds of 39 mph or higher), including four to eight hurricanes (winds of 74 mph or higher). Of the hurricanes, four are predicted to be major hurricanes (Category 3, 4 or 5; winds of 111 mph or higher) this season. Experts say this a more active season than average, with one named storm, Tropical Storm Arthur, already formed prior to the official beginning of hurricane season.

South Belt residents should plan accordingly, in the event that a major storm should strike the area. The Harris County Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Management (OHSEM), working in conjunction with the City of Houston and the State of Texas, has issued evacuation routes for community members, should the need arise to leave town.

The South Belt area, including ZIP codes 77089 and 77075, is located in what the OHSEM refers to as ZIP-Zone C.

In the case of a Category 4 or 5 storm, those residing in ZIP-Zone C are urged to evacuate by traveling west on Interstate 10 or by heading north on Interstate 45 and highways 290 and 59.

OHSEM warns against traveling east, as it will take evacuees closer to the coast and into the more vulnerable ZIP-Zone B.

Should the Texas Department of Public Safety issue a mandatory evacuation, contraflow operations will likely be put into effect to expedite the
flow of traffic.

On Interstate 10, eastbound lanes would be reversed at FM 359 in Brookshire, just east of Sealy. The contraflow lanes will end at Loop 1604 in San Antonio.
Southbound lanes on Interstate 45 would be reversed north of Highway 242, just south of Conroe. The contraflow lanes will end at US 287 near Ennis, 40 miles south of Dallas.

On Highway 290, contraflow operations will begin just west of FM 1960. Northbound traffic from State Highway 6 will be able to turn west onto 290 contraflow lanes.

Contraflow traffic operations will continue to FM 1948 near Burton.

Contraflow operations on Highway 59 will begin just south of Kingwood Drive and continue to Nacogdoches.

County officials recommend each household assemble a disaster-relief kit that includes key items such as flashlights, cell phones, extra batteries, battery chargers, a portable radio, a first-aid kit, emergency water and food, medical supplies, a nonelectric can opener, a highway map and important documents, such as driver’s licenses, passports, insurance policies and health cards.

Residents are urged to cover their windows with shielding materials and to secure or put up any loose items around their homes.

Evacuees should fill their vehicles with gasoline as early as possible and take only one automobile per household, as extra cars create traffic congestion.

Those leaving town are encouraged to bring extra cash in case banks are closed and ATMs are not working. Fleeing citizens are also urged to notify family and friends (especially those out of the area) of their plans and destinations.

Disabled individuals and seniors who require assistance leaving the area should call the state’s help line at 211 or visit

For more information, visit

The Harris County Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Management offers the following tips:

When a hurricane warning is issued by the National Weather Service and the coastal area is threatened, residents should:
– Monitor local TV and radio stations.
– Fuel vehicles and generators.
– Check disaster supply kits.
– Cover windows with plywood.
– Bring in all furniture, toys and any other objects that could become missiles.
– Moor boats to a safe and secure place.
– Take pictures of property and contents for insurance purposes.
– Evacuate immediately, if advised.

If residents stay home during the hurricane and are not in a flood prone area:
– Fill bathtubs and all available containers with water.
– Turn off utilities, if requested.
– Remain indoors in a closet, bathroom or hallway on the lower level of the house, away from windows.
– Cover one’s self and family members with a mattress or a dining room table to protect one’s self from falling debris.

Disaster supply kit checklist
– Water: At least a seven-day supply (one gallon per person per day).
– Food: At least a seven-day supply of nonperishable/canned food. (Change out stored water and food supplies every six months).
– First-aid kit.
– Flashlight with a few extra batteries.
– Battery-powered radio.
– Medications and special items (pain relievers, diapers, etc.).
– Tools and supplies.
– Sanitation (toilet paper, personal hygiene items, etc.).
– Change of clothes and bedding.
– Cash.
– Important family documents (birth certificates, insurance/ bank account information, etc.).
– Food, water and medicine for pets.
– Kennels or crates for pets.

Stay informed
If residents live in a low-lying, flood-prone area, they may be mandated to leave, because heightened seas and tides can affect such homes.

If residents live in a mobile home in any evacuation zone, plan to evacuate anytime a hurricane threatens. Powerful winds are capable of destroying mobile homes.

If residents are traveling with young children, elderly family members or people with functional access needs, they should leave early. Waiting for a general evacuation can put their health at risk and lengthen travel time.

Flood insurance
Residents wishing to purchase flood insurance must do so at least 30 days before a storm in order to guarantee coverage.