Houston, which has already been inundated with water over the past week, is in for another round of torrential rain. The rain started again this morning, and it has no signs of stopping anytime soon.
Bayous, freeways, and streets have been massively flooded with more than 11 inches reported from Monday and Tuesday. Another line of thunderstorms has stalled out over the metro area, especially along the areas near Interstate 10.
The National Weather Service has even issued flash flood warnings for parts of Harris, Chambers, Liberty, Montgomery, Waller, Washington, Grimes, Austin, Polk, and San Jacinto Counties on early Wednesday morning.
According to the Harris County Flood Warning system, rainfall rates were just over 2 inches per hour on the northern border of Harris County early on Tuesday morning. A pair of gauges northwest of Beltway 8 along Cypress Creek measured over an inch of rain in just 15 minutes. Also, high water was reported on the Tomball Parkway northbound at FM-1960, just a little to the west of Beltway early on Wednesday.
The Harris County Flood Control has reported that Little Cypress Creek (near Becker Road) has already risen above its banks and is flooding tremendously. As the storm system continued to move on a more southern track, even more heavy rain was headed towards the already flooded areas of Harris County during the morning commute.
As if that wasn’t bad enough, the leading edge of the line of thunderstorms produced a wind gust above 30 mph at Bush Intercontinental Airport. Because the soil has been saturated with large amounts of rain, this makes it easier for trees to be brought down by smaller wind gusts.
Officials in other parts of the state and throughout the southern Plains have warned that river flooding could last for weeks, as some of the areas that have been hardest hit have seen more than 20 inches of rain during the month of May. Several cities have already broken records for having the wettest month on record.
It is important to stay informed about the latest flood watches or warnings for your area. If you are in your vehicle and you encounter a flooded roadway, do not attempt to drive through the water. Just a foot of water can carry a small to mid-sized vehicle away, and rushing waters can do more damage. Did you know that from 1995-2010, 64% of all flood related deaths occurred in vehicles? The National Weather Service says it best: Turn around, don’t drown!
Also, it is always a good idea to have an emergency kit in your vehicle and home just in case something does happen. It should include non-perishable items, water bottles, a first aid kit, blankets, and a wireless radio.
For more information on the weather in your area, check with your local weather authority, The Weather Channel, or AccuWeather for continuous updates.