Possible ban squeaks by one more week
County commissioners agreed Monday that dry conditions are not enough to call a burn ban.
“We got a little reprieve late yesterday and overnight,” said Emergency Management Coordinator Jeff Kelley, referring to the small amount of rain that fell.
However, he warned that dry conditions had been “ … encroaching further and further into our area.”
“Around Houston and north of Houston on … Saturday they lost several houses and had a really large fire,” he said. “We need to keep an eye on it because it could happen at any moment.”
The county judge has the authority to call a time-limited burn ban without a commissioners’ meeting. Precinct 4 Commissioner Beamon Minton said a recent weather report noted the area was down five inches of water for this time of year. Kelley added, “This is shaping up to be one of those years where we will have a significant deficit of water.”
In other business, commissioners moved to pursue nuisance abatement action regarding property at 1230 Scott St. in Vidor.
Owner Tim Williams said the original damage was caused by Hurricane Rita in 2005; and that he had been repairing the grounds when Ike set back progress. Minton said the matter had been, on and off, before commissioners for about a year.
Williams, who lives in Kountze, works full-time and is caring for a family member with health problems, said he had repaired roof damage and moved debris.
“I’ve still got repair work to do as far as rebuilding, but the damaged stuff is all gone,” he said.
County Judge Carl Thibodeaux, viewing a series of photographs taken in January, said trash in the back yard would be considered a health hazard.
“The back’s where I’m moving the debris until I can burn it or haul it off,” Williams said. “I’m only one guy doing this myself.”
“I’m sympathetic to your problem but we just can’t hold back anymore,” Thibodeaux said. “This action [today] takes it out of our hands. It doesn’t mean you’re going to lose the property or the house right now.”