Hidalgo County Judge and Emergency Management Officials are asking residents, especially those living near the Rio Grande or in low-lying flood-prone areas, to be “weather aware.”

The National Weather Service issued a flash flood watch today, meaning flooding is possible within the next 24 to 36 hours for areas of Deep South Texas, including Hidalgo County. The flash flood watch will last through Friday. A disorganized tropical wave is creating a line of moisture traveling northwest in the Gulf of Mexico, which could spell two to four inches of rain for parts of the Rio Grande Valley, and up to six inches in some isolated pockets.

“We are asking our residents and neighboring communities to be vigilant,” said Hidalgo County Judge Rene A. Ramirez. “We have had many meetings and discussions with weather and water experts and are expecting and prepared for heavy rains and gusty winds over the next few days.”

“The possibility of more rain is one event we are keeping our eyes on. The other is the potential for river flooding on the Rio Grande,” said Tony Pena Jr., Hidalgo County’s Emergency Management Coordinator. “We are monitoring flows from tributaries in the Rio Grande Basin and have been in contact throughout the weekend and this week with various entities such as cities, counties, precincts, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality and the U.S. International Boundary and Water Commission. Contingency plans have been developed in case any areas along the river need to be evacuated. Farmers and those with any interests along the river have also been notified of the increased flows and possible diversions.”

In anticipation of a soaking rain, pumps that were in use during Hurricane Alex have been pre-staged at critical locations along the Main Floodway. The pre-staging of de-watering equipment will save time if these types of operations are needed. Pumping operations from Hurricane Alex are about 90 percent complete, according to Pena.

For more weather information please visit www.noaa.gov and monitor local television and radio stations. Updates will continue to be posted online at www.co.hidalgo.tx.us and on the Facebook page RGVAlex.