City manager Scott Sellers stood in a room the floor of which was still being dried by a pair of industrial fans because water had seeped through under the walls and damaged or destroyed much of the carpeting and told the city council this evening that Kyle "prepared very well" for the weekend onslaught of rain and no major flooding occurred in the city as a result of the storm.
Much of the carpeting on the north end of the council chambers had been ripped out and water stains were evident on what was still in place. Fortunately, the floor of the council chamber is covered with carpet tiles so, if the city can find matching tiles, the entire carpet might not have to be replaced. The two giant fans drying the room were turned off just before the council meeting began at 7 p.m. to allow those inside to hear what was being said and were turned back on once the meeting adjourned.
Sellers spent time this weekend manning a power vacuum personally trying to suck up some of the water that blanketed the floor of the council chambers, the result of 50-plus straight hours of incessant rainfall that dumped eight-plus inches of rain on the city.
"The City of Kyle prepared very well for the hurricane," Sellers told the council, although, to be accurate, Hurricane Harvey which devastated and continues to devastate a large swath of Coastal Texas, did not hit Kyle, per se; only rains and some wind gusts produced by the storm affected us.
Sellers said the city began meeting with county emergency officials early last week and by midweek the city was making its "pre-disaster preparations which involved going through and unclogging any clogged culverts. We went to all of our known flooding areas and ensured that any debris was removed from those areas and that culverts were cleared. We encouraged our citizenry to pick up litter and check their storm drain lids. We staged barricades around the city. We strategically placed sandbags around the city and we also handed those out to homeowners on properties we knew were prone to flooding."
What Sellers did not tell the council was that sandbags were also placed strategically outside the north wall of the City Hall chambers but they did not prevent the water from seeping through.
"All in all, we had everything ready for this disaster which we learned from the last two major storm events here in Kyle," Sellers said. "And that pre-planning paid off. We were fortunate not to have any major flooding here in the city. We did not activate any emergency shelters here. We did have to close all our major low-water crossings, but not for long."
As far as what actions the council actually took during its 15-minute meeting (that was extended by an executive session that last three times as long as the regular meeting), it amended the city’s sign ordinance to permit businesses to erect more distinctive signage than the current ordinance permits and passed on first reading the ordinance adopting the budget for the upcoming fiscal year and a 3.32-cent reduction in the property tax rate. It is expected the budget and the tax rate will be formally adopted at next week’s council session.