There is a threat of severe thunderstorms that could produce hail, high winds and heavy rainfall in the Houston area this afternoon and tonight, according to a Thursday morning news release by the Harris County Flood Control District (HCFCD).
HCFCD said the risk for street flooding is “moderate to high,” although there is a low threat of flooding in bayous, creeks and rivers. Hourly rainfall rates of 1-3 inches are possible, according to HCFCD, with much of the region expected to see at least 1-2 inches of rain. The flood control district said isolated areas could receive 3-5 inches of rain.
“Residents should closely monitor weather forecasts, creek and bayou levels, and roadway conditions over the next 12-24 hours,” HCFCD said Thursday morning. “Harris County could begin seeing impacts as early as 3 p.m. lasting until 10 p.m. The heaviest storm activity could fall between 6 p.m. and 9 p.m.”
Residents can create an account and sign up for rainfall and water level alerts via text or email at fwsalerts.org.
HCFCD said residents also are encouraged to take the following precautions when heavy rain is in the forecast and there is a potential for flooding:
- 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 area 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 at fema.gov/national-flood-insurance-program or call 1-888-379-9531. Keep in mind that new insurance policies take 30 days to go into effect.