Brownsville city officials are holding the second and final sandbag distribution event of the year today. The goal is to ensure resident have sandbags before inclement weather so both they and city crews can focus on readying for the storm, Brownsville police Lt. Raul Rodriguez said.

Brownsville city officials are holding the second and final sandbag distribution event of the year today. The goal is to ensure resident have sandbags before inclement weather so both they and city crews can focus on readying for the storm, Brownsville police Lt. Raul Rodriguez said.

Prefilled sandbags will be available from 10 am. to 3 p.m. today at GBIC Circle, which is off Paredes Line Road when heading north toward State Highway 550.

Brownsville residents must provide a Texas ID and water bill, and then city staff will load the sandbags into their vehicle. The sandbag limit is eight per household and 10 per business.

“It doesn’t take a hurricane or tropical storm to flood,” Rodriguez said. “It could be a quick, severe downpour like torrential rain in spring.”

Rodriguez said the sandbag preparedness distribution serves two purposes. One is that it will allow city workers to focus on flood mitigation efforts, like clearing drainage and waterways, draining resacas and securing city property that will be used for emergency response before a storm strikes. The other is to free up residents’ time so they can prepare.

“Instead of waiting hours in line for sandbags, it allows them to focus on their mitigation efforts,” Rodriguez said. “When a storm is eminent and they’re trying to secure their home, we see a lot of frustration.”

Rodriguez added that people need to take care of their sandbags because the city will not distribute more if a storm heads for the area. They shouldn’t be stored on the ground, where insects and humidity will cause them to deteriorate, he said, and preferably should be kept out of direct sunlight. With proper care, they could last until next year’s sandbag distribution, he said.

“We want to emphasize that being prepared is key,” Rodriguez said, adding that residents should have an emergency bag and travel plans in case of an evacuation. “If you can prevent damage, it’s better for everyone.”

Hurricane season runs through Nov. 30.

Brownsville residents can get more information about hurricane preparedness or report blocked drainage ways by calling the city help line at (956) 546-4367.