What is the danger?
Harvey has formed into a Category 2 hurricane and continues heading southeast toward the Gulf of Mexico and up the Texas coast. According to the National Weather Service (NWS), it is still forecast to be a strong category 3 hurricane at landfall. Landfall is expected on the mid Texas coast Friday night and then stall and drift Saturday and Sunday. This will be a dangerous flooding event for most of the county, if the forecast holds.
Widespread flooding is expected with numerous road closures as rainfall amounts grow through the weekend. Major bayou and river flooding is expected. Communities in southeast Harris County continue to monitor surge.
In Harris County, the following cities have released voluntary evacuations preparing for the arrival of Harvey:
City of El Lago: Voluntary evacuations
City of Shoreacres: Voluntary evacuations beginning 7 a.m. Friday
City of Nassau Bay: Voluntary evacuation by noon on Friday
City of Seabrook: Voluntary evacuation by noon on Friday
Taylor Lake Village: Voluntary evacuation by noon on Friday
The Harris County Office of Homeland Security & Emergency Management (HCOHSEM) Emergency Operations Center (EOC) remains at Level 1 (Maximum Readiness). HCOHSEM will continue to monitor forecasts and weather developments along with the National Weather Service and the Harris County Flood Control District.
What you need to do:
The Harris County Flood Control District offers the following safety tips:
- 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.
- 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-in
surance-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.