Cool temperatures this spring have brought much needed relief from the Texas heat for TWU students and Denton residents alike. The recent heavy rains along with the wet winter and spring has ended the state’s extreme drought conditions for the first time in five years, as stated by national news reports. According to the U.S. Drought Monitor report for July 7th, 2015 only a handful of counties, excluding Denton County, are still experiencing moderate to severe drought.
Despite heavy flooding affecting road conditions in various counties weeks after the fact, commuter students can be assured that the areas around campus are safe to drive on.
TWU Director of Emergency Management Blake Abbe stated: “The rain has not damaged the roads or sidewalks around campus. Any damage or impacts on roads and sidewalks around campus is likely due to the rough winters we have had lately, because ice expands and can create cracks and potholes in its wake.”
However, students should be aware of the precautions put in place by TWU’s Office of Emergency Management. The department diligently monitors any possibilities of inclement weather including the potential for flooding on campus.
Abbe said: “When there is heavy rain in the forecast that could cause flash flooding our office begins to communicate by email and social media to inform employees and students of the potential for flash flooding.”
He added: “In this communication, we inform the campus community to not park along Oakland and Texas Streets as well as tell the community that if you see water-covered roads to turn around and don’t drown.”
Abbe also encourages students and residents alike to invest in flood insurance along with having a “personal preparedness plan” before a flood or any other disaster occurs. According to Abbe, a personal preparedness plan includes a list of emergency contacts, necessary supplies and a designated place to evacuate if an individual or family is displaced from their home. He finally reminds everyone that during a flooding situation it only takes six inches of fast-moving water to knock an adult off his or her feet and only 12 inches to carry off a car.
If students are unable to make it to campus due to flooding in their neighborhoods, then they should contact their professors or supervisor to discuss the situation. Students can contact the Department of Emergency Management as well for assistance in getting linked to the right resources. If students witness any flooding on campus, then they are encouraged to call the Department of Public Safety to report the location of the flood.
By: Katie Olson | Editor-in-Chief
Photo by Tabitha Gray