The Harris County Flood Control District along with the Harris County Office of Homeland Security & Emergency Management and the National Weather Service are monitoring Hurricane Harvey as it continues to move over the southern Gulf of Mexico. Conditions are favorable for rapid intensification of Harvey over the next 24 hours. Predicted landfall is still somewhere along the mid-Texas coast Friday evening, with heavy rain impacts to Harris County that could last through early next week.
A Tropical Storm Warning from Matagorda, Texas, to High Island, Texas, including Harris County and Galveston Bay, is in effect. A Storm Surge Warning has been issued from San Luis Pass to Port Mansfield, Texas, including all inland bays and inlets. Predictions for widespread rainfall amounts across multiple counties remain at 10-15 inches, with isolated higher totals. Rainfall of this magnitude can result in widespread and potentially dangerous river, creek and bayou flooding along with flash flooding.
The Flood Control District's Flood Operations team has moved to the Harris County Emergency Operations Center to monitor the weather system as it approaches. The Flood Control District works throughout the year to provide flood damage reduction benefits to the communities we serve. So far in 2017, the Flood Control District has:
- Funded approximately $163 million for projects; $17 million allocated for maintenance projects and $146 million allocated for capital projects.
- Completed 70 percent of the second of three mowing cycles for the year across 18,000 acres of flood control property.
Whenever the forecast calls for possible heavy rainfall, Harris County residents are urged to monitor weather conditions, and to pay close attention to road conditions on their travel routes. Residents are strongly encouraged to continue with their preparation and emergency plans. Stay tuned and pay close attention to messages from emergency officials as this storm is quickly changing. Heed all advice given by local emergency officials. Evacuate only if you have been told to do so.
- When flooding is imminent the following are steps YOU CAN TAKE TO PREPARE:
- Make sure you have an adequate water supply in case service is cut off.
- Confirm your family emergency kit is complete and ready.
- Contact your family members and confirm plan of action and alternatives.
- Move emergency supplies and valuables to a high, dry place in your residence.
- Locate and put pets in a safe place.
- Your safest option is to stay put. However, if you must evacuate to a safe location or a shelter, take your emergency supply kit and tell your family check-in contact you’re leaving. Don’t drive through flooded streets.
- Make sure storm drains and culverts are clear from debris. Clogged drains and culverts can prevent water from traveling to the bayous and tributaries, causing street flooding, and possible house flooding, depending on the amount of rain we receive.
- Debris should NOT be discarded in areas bayous, streams and ditches. Debris should be put in trash bins and then brought inside into garages or backyards, away from drainage ditches and storm sewers.
- Winds can cause trees and branches to fall; trim or remove damaged trees and limbs to keep you and your property safe.
- In areas that normally experience flooding, move vehicles to driveways or in parking garages as the storm approaches.
- Secure patio furniture and any loose items that may be picked up by heavy winds.
- Take video of all your belongings and important documents in case they become damaged and needed for insurance claims.
- Never drive into high water. Turn Around, Don’t Drown! Less than two feet of water can float and wash away a vehicle. Be especially cautious at underpasses and at night when water across roadways can be difficult to see.
- The Harris County Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Management has disaster preparedness resources and the latest information about conditions in Harris County at www.readyharris.org. The Flood Control District has a “Family Flood Preparedness” center at www.hcfcd.org/famfloodprepare.html with helpful, printable resources and flood preparedness tips.
- This flooding event is a reminder that all residents in this area should carry flood insurance. Contact your insurance agent for more information about purchasing flood insurance, or visit the National Flood Insurance Program at www.fema.gov/national-flood-insurance-program or call 1-888- 379-9531. Please keep in mind that new insurance policies take 30 days to go into effect.
The Flood Control District urges all residents to monitor rainfall and bayou water levels on its Harris County Flood Warning System website at www.harriscountyfws.org. It is important for Harris County residents to be aware of conditions near their workplaces, schools and homes. Stay tuned to messages from emergency officials-- distributed through the various media outlets. Be sure to also follow us on Twitter @HCFCD for live updates.