Missouri City Opens New Fire Station Tomorrow

30 06 2015

On tomorrow, Wednesday, July 1, 2015, Missouri City Fire Station 5, located at 190 Waters Lake Blvd., will officially open its doors and begin serving the southern portion of Sienna Plantation. Officers and drivers for the new station were sworn in on Thursday, June 25, at a special ceremony at the City Centre at Quail Valley, 2880 La Quinta Dr. A grand opening ceremony for the public is being planned for Saturday, Aug. 15; please watch the City’s website: www.missouricitytx.gov for details.

“The opening of Fire Station 5 has been greatly anticipated by City Council, staff and Sienna residents who will be served by the new station. The hiring of new Fire and Rescue Services staff to man the station and drive fire and rescue vehicles will also alleviate the City’s other fire stations, benefiting residents across all districts,” Missouri City Mayor Allen Owen said. “The new fire station will now open thanks to the agreement the City made with Sienna Plantation Municipal Utility District No. 1 for its funding and future operations.”

Missouri City Fire Station 5The new station is 7,848-square-feet and was designed to add a third bay in the future. The third bay can be used to house an ambulance or other resources depending on the resource needs of the area as the community reaches full build out.

“While the interior of the station provides the same functions as Fire Station 4, the layout is different to facilitate additional firefighters in the future, improve functionality of the facility and to provide a more open living area,” Fire and Rescue Services Chief Russell Sander said. “The exterior design is similar to the Sienna theme of the commercial development along Highway 6. The addition of the station will decrease response times in Sienna South by half, bringing it within national standards of five minutes and 20 seconds for the majority of the area.”

For more information about Missouri City, please visit the City website: http://www.missouricitytx.gov, like us on Facebook—fb/MissouriCityTX, watch Missouri City Television (Ch. 16 on Comcast and Ch. 99 on AT&T U-verse) and follow us on Twitter and Instagram—@MissouriCityTX.





Fort Bend County Still Among the Fastest-Growing Counties in the United States

29 04 2015

FBC mapThe primary purpose of this blog is to focus on emergency management.  Of course, we want to pay special attention to Fort Bend County and its efforts to provide a safe and secure environment for its citizens and businesses.  The Fort Bend County Office of Emergency Management coordinates disaster mitigation, preparedness, response, and recovery activities to provide the safe environment noted above.  So, you might ask, why does this blog sometimes feature articles on economic development and population growth?  Because the construction of more housing, the locating of more businesses, and the arrival of new families has a direct effect on emergency management activities in the County.

Our County is now the 10th largest county in Texas having experienced a 57% rate in growth over the last decade. The efforts of our elected officials and the business community in Fort Bend County have caused this expansion which has created more jobs, more tax dollars, and dynamic business centers to create opportunity and diversity like no other place in Texas. Day in and day out, our population of almost 700,00 enjoys a fantastic environment for working and going to school and playing in a County which is the envy of most others, not only in the State of Texas, but in the nation.

On March 26, 2015, The Texas Tribune published an article about the growth of Texas’ population and the clear trend that the suburbs in metropolitan areas are demonstrating the quickest growth.  The article was written by Alexa Ura.  The reporter indicates that three of the State’s counties ranked among the fastest-growing areas in the United States based on recently released demographic information released by the United States Census Bureau.  Ura writes that “Fort Bend County, home to about 652,000 people in 2013, grew by 4.7 percent and ranked as the sixth-fastest-growing county. Southwest of Houston, Fort Bend has been called the most ethnically diverse county in the U.S. because its population comes the closest to having an equal division of the nation’s four major ethnic communities — Asian, black, Hispanic and white. The county comprises several Houston suburbs, including Sugar Land and Richmond.”  Additionally, Lloyd Potter, the State of Texas demographer estimates that “Fort Bend County would eventually outgrow the suburb label given the rate of its population increase.”

However, this creates a challenge—— to paraphrase from familiar scripture—– “though we are blessed in Fort Bend County, much is required to make sure that our beautiful landscapes, historic landmarks, and stable community is not devastated by natural or man-made threats.”  Fort Bend County, through the leadership of County Judge Bob Hebert and the Commissioners Court, recognizes the need to improve the quality of life in our County through economic development, but also the charge to, not only protect the safety of our citizens, but also to instill confidence that Fort Bend citizens can go about raising families, conducting business and living their lives without abnormal fears from those who wish us harm, or the unpredictability of natural disasters.

 





Internship Opportunity at Fort Bend County OEM

24 04 2015

Fort Bend County OEM is looking for some summer help.   Today, the Department posted the position of Planning Intern.  The position is designed to be filled for about 12 weeks during Summer 2015.  This position will provide professional support to the operation of the Emergency Management Department in a temporary capacity. The position supports full-time staff by assisting with homeland security and all-hazards planning projects, and assists with development of plans and procedures necessary to achieve compliance with federal, state, and local regulations.

More information:  Job Posting





More About April Showers in Southeast Texas

22 04 2015

The National Weather Service issued a Public Information Statement this afternoon indicating that Southeast Texas has experienced above normal rainfall through April 19th of this year.  The month of April has been wetter than a normal month across this region.  Though we have experienced rain from time to time all month long, a bulk of the rainfall, according to the National Weather Service, has fallen since April 10th.  One of the rain gauges used by the National Weather Service is located at Sugar Land Regional Airport.  So far in April, that gauge has measured 8.67 inches of rain. The year-to-date total for the gauge at the airport is 17.85 inches; or an amount that is over 5 inches above normal.  It is too early to know if this trend will continue through the year and provide more consistent rain to Fort Bend County.





April Showers…………….help the State of Texas Recover from Drought

20 04 2015

hereThe last edition of the Texas Emergency Management Online provides a good summary overview of drought conditions in the State.  We know that the last week or so has caused a tremendous amount of rain in our area, along with some severe weather.  Much of the State has also received a good dose of rain this week.  This is a good thing (of course, not the severe weather part); it helps to fill our lakes and aquifers which are in need of more water.  Information from the Texas Emergency Management Online:

For the past few months, drought conditions around Texas have been a mixed bag. East Texas has seen tremendous recovery, while North Central and Central Texas keep slipping back into severe and exceptional drought conditions. Most reservoirs west of I-35 are still at historic lows. Overall, the state’s current reservoirs are at 68.4 percent full, up four percent from last year.

C’mon, El Niño! Currently, the Climate Prediction Center has issued an El Niño advisory due to conditions in the tropical Pacific. Traditionally, El Nino brings increased moisture to Texas—a welcome relief to much of the state. The National Weather Service is predicting that there is a 50-60 percent chance for El Niño conditions to continue in the Northern Hemisphere until summer 2015. The expected presence of El Niño is causing predictions for above normal rainfall over the next three months for most of Western Texas and some of the central region, where drought is predicted to intensify or persist.





TSTC announces proposed Fort Bend County campus

17 04 2015

Texas State Technical College (TSTC) this week announced a proposed new campus in Fort Bend County. Officials are awaiting approval by the Texas Legislature of a bill that has already passed the Texas House and would authorize construction of the first 110,000-square-foot building that would become part of what is expected to be a six- to eight-building campus. If the bill passes, classes could begin at TSTC in Fort Bend County as early as fall 2016 and eventually serve the needs of more than 5,000 students.

“Fort Bend County is the sixth fastest growing county in the nation – making this a prime location for expansion,” said TSTC Vice Chancellor and Chief Execution Officer Randall E. Wooten. Fort Bend County citizens, local government officials and industry representatives in the county have voiced their support for the new campus.

The college currently offers career training in Heating, Ventilation & Air Conditioning Technology, Diesel Equipment Technology and Precision Manufacturing at the Wharton County Junior College Fort Bend Technical Center. Plans are to support additional high-tech, high-paying career fields at the new location including Industrial Systems Technology, Computer Networking & Systems Administration, Cyber Security, Telecommunications and Welding Technology as well as Commercial Truck Driving as a continuing education offering.





This Day in Texas Disaster History – April 16th

16 04 2015

April 16, 1947 – Ammonium Nitrate Explosion, Texas City, TX

The Texas City disaster was an industrial accident that occurred April 16, 1947, in the Port of Texas City. It generally considered the worst industrial accident in U.S. history, and one of the largest non-nuclear explosions. Originating with a mid-morning fire on board the French-registered vessel SS Grandcamp (docked in the port), its cargo of approximately 2,300 tons (approximately 2,100 metric tons) of ammonium nitrate detonated, with the initial blast and subsequent chain-reaction of further fires and explosions in other ships and nearby oil-storage facilities killing at least 581 people, including all but one member of the Texas City fire department; 27 of the 28 members of Texas City’s volunteer fire department and 3 members of the Texas City Heights Volunteer Fire Department who were on the docks near the burning ship were killed.

One firefighter, Fred Dowdy, who had not responded to the initial call, coordinated other firefighters arriving from communities up to 60 miles (100 km) away. Eventually 200 firefighters arrived, from as far away as Los Angeles. Fires resulting from the cataclysmic events were still burning a week after the disaster, and the process of body recovery took nearly a month. All four fire engines of Texas City were twisted and burned hulks.  It is said that one positive result of the Texas City disaster was widespread disaster response planning to help organize plant, local, and regional responses to emergencies.

Hundreds of lawsuits were filed as a result of the disaster.  The disaster triggered the first ever class action lawsuit against the United States government, under the then-recently enacted Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA), on behalf of 8,485 victims.

 








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