Tropical Storm Nicholas Expected to Bring Heavy Rains and Flash Flooding to Houston

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HOUSTONTexas (KIAH) As Tropical Storm Nicholas gains strength and moves inland, Houstonians can expect to see waves of showers and thunderstorms with the possibility of flash flooding in low-lying areas.

A Flash Flood Watch is in effect through Tuesday evening. In the watch area, 8 to 16 inches of rain or more will be possible starting Monday evening.

The City of Houston’s Office of Emergency Management has activated its Emergency Operations Center at Level III or enhanced readiness status. OEM and its partners will monitor the weather and provide updates on any flash flooding.

Steps to Take Now

Prepare an Emergency Kit: Take this time to finalize preparations and make an emergency supply kit that includes food, batteries, medication and personal items. For help and information on preparing for disasters, visit HoustonOEM.org. To receive emergency alerts by phone or email from the Montgomery County Office of Emergency Management, register at AlerHouston.org.

Remember: Turn Around, Don’t Drown®: If you must travel, do not drive through flooded areas. If you see water covering the road, do not attempt to drive through it. Only a few inches of water can cause a vehicle to float.

Avoid Traveling during Periods of Heavy Rain: Rain can reduce visibility and prevent drivers from seeing the road ahead, which could lead to accidents. If you find yourself in a dangerous situation and your vehicle is taking on water, get out of the vehicle, get to a higher position, and call 911.

Monitor Official Sources for Current Information: Harris County Flood Warning System (harriscountyfws.org), Houston TranStar (houstontranstar.org), and the National Weather Service Houston/Galveston Forecast Office (weather.gov/hgx).

Monitor Stream, Bayou, and Creek Conditions: Rain may move repeatedly across the same area, causing creeks and bayous to rise and possibly exceed their banks. Stay informed of current conditions and avoid traveling near creeks and bayous.

Residents can report road debris such and downed trees to 311, which will remain fully function to ensure continuity of service throughout the storm. 

What is the City Doing? 

The Houston Police and Fire Departments are prepared with high water vehicles, dump trucks and other equipment to assist Houstonians in the event of flooding.

BARRICADE, UNDERPASS + FLOOD SIGNAL LOCATIONS 

Houston Public Works is staging barricades at several flood-prone locations in anticipation of the storm. You can find a map where the barricades are deployed here: https://houstonemergency.org/steer-clear-of-flood-prone-roadways-during-periods-of-heavy-rainfall/

All intersections and underpasses have the potential to be dangerous during storms. Locations of serious flooding can vary. 

DO NOT DRIVE INTO FLOODED AREAS.

STORM DRAINS + DITCHES  

Property owners should ensure that street drains and ditches are clear of trash so storm water can flow without obstructions. Blockages of drains, ditches and culverts are the most frequent cause of flooding in neighborhoods. Secure items that might float away in heavy rain and become lodged in drains or culverts.  Houston Public Works (HPW) has temporarily lowered Lake Houston to 41.5 ft. in anticipation of Tropical Storm Nicholas. Lake Houston is lowered when the National Weather Service predicts greater than 3 inches of rain within a 48-hour period.

Passengers who are flying out of Bush Intercontinental Airport and Houston Hobby should check with airlines for delays or cancellations. Fly2Houston.com will also include important information.


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