Commissioner Fuentes and others at news conference
Pct. 1 Commissioner David L. Fuentes is joined by some of the first responders at a recent news conference.

Recovery efforts continue as county waits on Federal Disaster Declaration

Emergency Management Coordinator Ricardo Saldaña went before the court to provide the most current update to the flood event that occurred June 20 and 21.

“On a local and state level, we have met the threshold for damages, however, the state is still confirming the numbers reported,” said Saldaña. “FEMA teams were here last week and we were able to accumulate damages from the storm, and submitted the report last Friday for review to receive approval for financial assistance to individual families.”

Saldaña also advised the court of ongoing recovery efforts throughout the county. This week, Precinct 1 began curbside pick-up of debris from homes. Saldaña reminded the public of the importance of cleaning out water damaged debris and removing mold prevent further health concerns.

“If you need assistance in removing items or mold from your home, please do not hesitate to call the hotline so that you may receive the help that you need,” said Saldaña.

For assistance with mold and debris removal, residents are asked to call 1-800-451-1954. 

In addition, the precinct has partnered with school districts to distribute cleaning kits for residents within the affected area. Nearly 5,000 individuals have received support from groups such as the Food Bank of the RGV, Rubicon, HEB and the Health & Human Services Department. There are various volunteer groups helping with the recovery and are already at homes assisting residents with removal of damaged belongings.

Health and Human Services Chief Administrative Officer Eduardo “Eddie” Olivarez also provided the Court with an update on current Vector Control efforts his office is conducting.

“We have sprayed over 870 miles across the county,” said Olivarez. “We have also asked the state for assistance with aerial spray.”

In a report given to the state, there were over 883 square miles, which equals 565,120 acres, across Hidalgo County that were affected by standing water.

“These areas are mostly in dense population areas, further adding to the severity and need for vector control,” added Olivarez.

Olivarez also re-iterated the importance of only spraying when the weather conditions were favorable.

“We have to make sure the winds are less than 10 miles per hour, and humidity is less than 80%, otherwise your efforts will be ineffective.”

His department has made contact with over 500 households, going door-to-door, to provide education on Zika and mosquito borne illness prevention, as well as the importance of maintaining yards and removing all standing water.

Saldaña ended his presentation with a message of unity and teamwork on behalf of all the precincts, county departments and employees. 

“It has taken a team effort, and I thank everyone who has assisted. Let’s keep Hidalgo County strong,” said Saldaña.

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Photos from areas in Precinct 1 after June 20 rain event.

Long lines
Residents waiting in line for assistance from the Community Service Agency in Mercedes.

Community Service Agency providing assistance to qualifying families affected by floods

Community Service Agency Executive Director Jaime Longoria presented the court with an update on the on-going efforts to provide assistance to qualifying families recovering from the flooding events from June 20.

“The help we are offering these families is a little something to help them get going,” said Longoria. “This is not FEMA assistance, this is something we have set aside for these kind of situations so that we may assist families while they wait for further assistance from the federal government.”

Longoria advised there have been long lines, and to date they have been able to assist many families, however, they have had to turn away over 150 families.

“It is evident this was an event that affected everybody across all income levels, however, we are unable to assist those who do not fall within our guidelines,” said Longoria.

Families who have been turned away were guided to different volunteer groups currently offering assistance, such as the American Red Cross.

The Community Service Agency has allocated about $300,000 to assist families, averaging about $275 in assistance per family. 

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Precinct 1 offices temporarily relocated due to flood damages

The floods in eastern Hidalgo County affected the Precinct 1 administrative offices, Justices of the Peace, Planning Department substation, Health office and the Weslaco Tax Office substation. 
The offices, located at1902 Joe Stephens Ave, sustained damage due to flooding and had to close for repairs. Repairs are expected to take about three months. The Constable Precinct 1 remains open at 1902 Joe Stephens Ave, Ste. 303 in Weslaco. The office may be reached at (956) 447-3775.

Below is information on the offices closed for repair:

Precinct 1 Administrative Office:
Residents may call the office at (956) 968-8733
Commissioner Fuentes and staff are working out of the Weslaco City Hall, 255 S. Kansas Ave and the Pct. 1 Operations Facility, Mile 11 North and 1.5 West

Justice of the Peace 1.1 Gilberto Saenz
(956) 447-3395

Justice of the Peace 1.2 Jesus E. Morales
(956) 968-0707

Both Justices of the Peace are working out of the Pct. 1 Constable's Office, which was not closed, and the Weslaco Municipal Court, 901 N. Airport Dr. in Weslaco.

Planning Substation
(956) 318-2840
Residents may go to the main office at 1304 S. 25th St. (next to the Health Dept.)

Health Services Office
(956) 318-2426
Residents may call the main office for information.

Weslaco Tax Substation
Residents may go to any of the following tax offices:

2804 S. US Hwy 281/PO Box 178
Edinburg, Texas 78540
(956)  318-2157

509 E. Earling Rd.
San Juan, Texas 78589
(956) 283-1645
300 W. Hall Acres Rd. Ste. C
Pharr, Texas 78577
(956) 784-3560
1429 S. Tower Rd.
Alamo, Texas 78516
(956) 784-8688
708 Edinburg Ave. Ste. B
Elsa, Texas 78543
(956) 292-7622
300 East Hackberry Ave., Suite 3
McAllen, TX 78501
(956) 686-7424

722 N. Breyfogle Rd.
Palmview, Texas 78574
(956) 205-7050

Judge Tijerina
Judge Jaime E. Tijerina

Newly appointed District Court Judge introduced to Commissioners Court

Recently sworn in 93rd District Court Judge Jaime E. Tijerina said he hopes to help clear the docket during his tenure.

He was appointed by Governor Greg Abbott to take over the daily operations of the court from visiting Judge Robert Garza and serve until a new judge is elected in November.

"I feel blessed that the governor entrusted me to hold this position once again," said Tijerina. "I feel honored and privileged to once again serve the citizens of Hidalgo County."

This is the second time Tijerina has been appointed by a Texas Governor to preside over a District Court. In November 2013, Tijerina was appointed by former Governor Rick Perry to serve in the 92nd District Court after then Judge Ricardo Rodriguez left the bench to run for Hidalgo County Criminal District Attorney. Previously, Tijerina served as the city attorney for the City of Mission and was the county attorney of Kenedy County for 12 years. He remains a Lieutenant Colonel in the U.S. Army Reserves.

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Did you miss today's meeting? Watch it at 9 p.m. Thursday on KMBH Ch. 10 or on the county's YouTube Channel!

If you missetoday's meeting, you can view it on our county website or YouTube Channel by clicking hereYou can also watch today's Commissioners Court and Drainage District meetings on KMBH TV, cable channel 10, on Thursday at 9 p.m. Or watch it on Friday morning at 9 a.m. on your local school district channel 17.

The next regular meeting of Commissioners Court  will be on Tuesday, July 17, 2018. 
The Drainage District Board of Directors meets at 9 a.m. followed by Commissioners Court at 9:30 a.m.

Meetings are held in the Commissioners Courtroom, located on the first floor of the Courthouse Annex III at 100 E. Cano St. in Edinburg.  

View meetings and find other news and events videos on our
Hidalgo County YouTube Channel.
To view a copy of the agenda and related backup documentation for this meeting, visit the county website at
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