HOUSTON, TEXAS - The Harris County Flood Control District is actively monitoring Tropical Storm Laura for expected impacts to our area. The current forecast now brings Laura over the SE Gulf of Mexico and moving toward the west-northwest. While there continues to be uncertainty in the expected path of Laura, preparations for the landfall of a major hurricane along the upper TX coast should be well underway. Tropical storm force winds will begin to arrive along the coast Wednesday evening and spread inland Wednesday night into Thursday morning. Laura is expected to make landfall as a major hurricane along the southeast Texas and southwest Louisiana coast late Wednesday.
Rainfall amounts are currently expected to be between 2-4 inches across Harris County with potentially higher totals should the track shift further westward. Storm surge flooding of 2-4 feet above normal dry ground is expected in coastal sections of southeast Harris County. These values would be increased significantly if the track shifts further westward.
The Flood Control District encourages residents to create an account and sign up for rainfall and water level alerts at fwsalerts.org.
FWS Alerts allow residents to customize which sensors they receive alerts from and can choose to receive alerts via text, email, or both.
The Flood Control District encourages residents to take the following precautions when heavy rainfall and potential flooding is expected:
- 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.
- In areas that normally experience flooding, move vehicles to driveways or in parking garages as the storm approaches.
- Move emergency supplies and valuables to a high, dry place in your residence.
- 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.
- Refrain from discarding debris 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.
- Monitor rainfall and creek and bayou levels at harriscountyfws.org.
- View the Harris County Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Management disaster preparedness resources at readyharris.org.
- Carry flood insurance. Residents should contact their insurance agent for more information about purchasing flood insurance or visit the National Flood Insurance Program here or call 1-888-379-9531. Please keep in mind that new insurance policies take 30 days to go into effect.