Hurricane Hanna weakened to a tropical depression over the weekend, but it still caused a lot of damage in the Rio Grande Valley. More rain is expected in the border region Monday, including in Brownsville.
Noel Bernal is Brownsville’s city manager. He told Texas Standard host Joy Díaz on Monday that his city is cleaning up after 6 to 7 inches of rain fell and a tornado touched down near the airport. But residents are also dealing with COVID-19, which has posed significant challenges for the city.
“For the most part, we did not lose life, we haven’t had major impacts to property and I would say that we have some debris management to focus on now,” Bernal said.
And the fight against COVID-19 continues.
Bernal said Brownsville has tried to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 with a combination of community messaging about how to slow the virus, and more.
“We had the first city-operated drive-though [testing facility] down here,” Bernal said. “And we’ve done that because we need data.”
He said measures the city took in May to slow the spread of the virus were ineffective once the governor allowed businesses to reopen. But, Bernal said, virus testing has allowed the city to track and deal with new spikes in COVID-19 cases.
“We’re managing the situation because we have information and data that’s available to us through our local public health department that have allowed us to build some partnerships so that we can ensure that our community is safe, that our businesses are continuing to function,” Bernal said.
Web story by Shelly Brisbin.