Bridge said cleaning drainage ditches in the city pretty much is an annual chore in Beeville.
Being 60 miles from the Gulf of Mexico means this city could be hit hard by any hurricane that reaches land in the Coastal Bend.
Hurricane Claudette was the last tropical cyclone to hit Beeville in 2003. The storm came ashore at Port O’Connor and made a turn toward Beeville. The eye came right over Bee County with part of the northern wall of the eye passing over the city.
Bridge said one of the keys to avoiding flooding in the city is keeping the drainage ditches cleaned out and maintained.
Over the years, the ditches begin to fill up with silt, weeds and brush that could impede the flow of water to the Poesta Creek.
“We plan to do all the drainage ditches,” Bridge said. Not every ditch in the city will need to be cleaned, but city crews will get to every ditch that needs work.
“They need it every few years,” Bridge said.
Recently, his crew had the city’s Gradall excavator working on the ditch just south of the First Baptist Church.
Bridge said working on the ditch was difficult, at best, before the city purchased the new excavator from the Nueces County Drainage District about a year ago. The new excavator makes it possible to reach the bottom of some of the city’s deepest drainage structures.
This week, that job was being done easily with longtime city equipment operator Mitchell Smith at the controls.
Bridge stopped by to check on the progress that Monday just as Smith was finishing up a load of dirt in a truck driven by Joseph Chavarria.