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~ News ~
Huge Vessel Heads Upriver
Posted on Jul 9th, 2019
Photo Tom Folger folgerstudios.com
Towboats M/V Sea Bull and  M/V Sea Cat were seen churning up the river on Sunday, July 7 pushing a barge holding a huge pressure vessel. This vessel is part of the new fractionator unit being built at the Phillips66 refinery in Old Ocean. Many were surprised to see it moving upriver on a summer Sunday, including Phillips management. They have informed the contractor and all personnel associated with the project that Phillips' policy to voluntarily restrict product shipments on summer weekends applies to all barge traffic of any kind. Plant management has reaffirmed its commitment to safety on the river and requests that any further concerns be brought to their immediate attention.
Four days later on Fri Jul 11th, another payload of a huge Phillips66 refinery fractionator unit was seen heading upriver being pushed and pulled by the same towboats.
The towboats are owned by Garber Bros, Inc. based in Morgan City, LA. Both towboats are powered by two engines each. The Sea Cat has a couple of 900-hp Detroit V1271 NA engines and the Sea Bull has two 1,200-hp Cummins KTA19M3 engines.
<< Fishermen sitting on the docks at the FM 521 boat ramp watch as the towboats skillfully navigate under the bridge.
Word of caution for river boaters:  Working vessels look slow but they move faster than most people realize. At a speed of a seven-minute mile, it can take almost two miles for a towboat to come to a complete stop. If wake boarding or jet skiing near a barge and you fall into the water, there might not be enough time to swim out of the towboat’s path. The results could very well be fatal. 
July 4th on the Sixth Boat Parade
Posted on Jul 8th, 2019
Photos Tom Folger - Folger Studios
The Pudlo Patriots have again joined together atop Mike and Barbara Pudlo’s boat dock to review the annual July 4th boat parade. This is the sixth year the group has traveled forward in time to watch the parade. These Patriots, people who wanted the American colonies to gain their independence from Britain, are l. to r. Benjamin Talmage (Grant Miller), Benjamin Franklin (Jeremy Pudlo), Deborah Franklin (Shea Angelle),  Gen. George Washington (Mike Pudlo),  Martha Washington (Barb Pudlo), Concord Minuteman (Caleb Pudlo), Children of the Revolution and Betsy Ross (Katy Pudlo)
July 4th - respect this freedom and independence, for it has been a result of someone’s hard work and sacrifices.
FOR President Kirk Wardlaw and crew salute the Pudlo Patriots during the annual July 4th, this year on the 6th, boat parade.
Twenty some boats displayed their red, white and blue decorations and participated in the boat parade on Saturday. Click here to view all the boat photos (F.O.R. July 4 2019 Boat Parade).
2019 Fundraiser Planned
Posted on Jul 6th, 2019
Make this your destination on Sat Oct 5th. It's the annual FOR "Escape to the Tropics" fundraiser. Plans are underway so save the date. Watch for details.
You can buy tickets now. Includes Beachbum Barbeque meal.
  • Early bird ticket $20      
  • Night of the event ticket - $25
Mouth Photos: July 4, 2019
Posted on Jul 5th, 2019
Photos A.G. "Bert" Smith, 7-4-19
On July 4th Independence Day, due to recent rains the mouth of the San Bernard, looking inland to the northeast, was close in color to chocolate only without the cocoa powder. 
Looking southwest out to the Gulf of Mexico, with the light coming from behind and reflecting off the water, the sand bar across the opening is visible. The old river channel branches off to the right. Dredging the mouth is hopefully planned for "Spring" of next year.
Note: In 2020, spring equinox falls on Thursday, March 19, marking the astronomical first day of spring in the Northern Hemisphere. 
July Water Quality Test on San Bernard
Posted on Jul 4th, 2019
Note: Due to flooding conditions on the river last month, testing results are included here.
H-GAC Texas Stream Team volunteers Valroy Maudlin and Tim Logan, using a test kit, measure the physical and chemical parameters of San Bernard River at two locations. Valroy tests off his pier at CR 496, 1.6 miles upstream from the Churchill BridgeTim tests off his dock at Rio Vista, 4.5 miles downstream from the Churchill Bridge. Both tests are done on the same day at the same time each month.
The test reports the pH level, salinity, temperature, dissolved oxygen and turbidity of the water. Two forms are shown for comparison as the data collected from the two locations can vary.
“What Happens When it Rains” Flood Program
Posted on Jun 28th, 2019
Sat Jul 20th instead of Sat Jul 13th
“What Happens When it Rains” Flood Program
  • Sat Jul 20th
  • 10:00 am - Noon
  • FOR Community Center, 20450 CR 510 B
  • Public Invited - FREE
The FOR Environmental Committee presents its third public education program of 2019, “What Happens When It Rains” on Sat Jul 20th. Learn the tools available to you to help you know what to expect when the river floods. No one can predict exactly the height or timing of a flood crest at your house, but you and your neighbors can collectively learn enough to decide when to clear off the dock, pull the boat out, or in extreme cases protect things in the house and move people, pets and vehicles to high ground. 
In order to get the most out of the program, here’s four things you need to know:
First - a reference mark from the last flood on your property, maybe on your boat lift, a tree, the lawn. etc. This is used as a reference in future floods.
Second - the elevation of your lowest occupied floor.. 
Third - the elevation of the lowest point leading from your home to the highway. This may be on your driveway or on the county road two miles away. 
Fourth - if you already haven't, scroll to the bottom of the this page and click on NOAA Hydrological Prediction Service. Just be familiar with how to access it and ready to discuss at the meeting.
Program instructor is Tom Ronayne, a forty-year resident living within the Brazoria County 100 year flood plain, thirty of those years next to the San Bernard. Along the way, he became a Red Raider and acquired a B.S. in Civil Engineering from Texas Tech University.
Past Web Articles
Posted on Apr 3rd, 2013
To view past web articles, click on "View Archives" on the right  >>>>>>


San Bernard River Flood Information (two versions):
Note:"San Bernard River Near Old Ocean"  and the "USCS Hwy 35 Flood Gauge" are the same, just different presentation of dat
Hurricane Tracking: NOAA National Hurricane Center
Tide Table for Freeport (subtract 30 minutes from Freeport Harbor readings for actual time at the San Bernard mouth)
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