With the storm brewing over Harris County, we are experiencing extreme flooding as the enormous amounts of rain drench the Texas soil. Over 17 inches have already fallen in the past 24 hours- weather reports suggest that more is headed our way. The National Weather Service has issued a Flood Warning until 11:55pm tomorrow.
Heavy rainfall has caused flooding of small creeks and streams, urban areas, highways, streets and underpasses. Bush Intercontinental Airport has seen over 550 flight cancellations (in fact, I sat at IAH for 10 hours trying to catch a flight to D.C.!), and METRO Houston has suspended all rail and bus services. For up-to-date information on the status of rain and floodwaters, please visit the Harris County Flood Warning System website.
Of course, please make every effort to keep you and your loved ones safe. Remember the proper emergency preparedness recommendations:
- Stay inside: Avoid walking or driving through flood waters. Unless you are escaping flood waters, the safest place is inside your home. Just 6 inches of moving water can knock you down and 2 feet of water can sweep your vehicle away.
- Turn around-Don’t Drown: Flash floods are the #1 cause of weather-related deaths in the US. Just 1 foot of water can stall your engine and make the car float away. Do not try and drive through high water as moving water can quickly submerge a car and push it off the road.
- Call 911 if in immediate danger: Emergency personnel are at the ready to help if you and your family believe your life is in danger from rising water or other threats.
Resources For Those Affected By Flooding
If you or your family have been displaced by the flooding there are two shelters currently available.
M.O. Campbell Educational Center, 1865 Aldine Bender Road, Houston, Texas 77032
Jersey Village Baptist Church, 16518 Jersey Drive, Jersey Village, Texas 77040
More shelters are currently awaiting opening until the facilities are ready to take disaster survivors. Operators for Houston's 311 system are standing by to assist you with non-emergency questions, so please reach out to them for additional information.
The City of Houston has requested that a state of disaster be declared for Harris County and surrounding areas. Additionally, state officials are working with the IRS to extend tax day deadlines impacted residents. Taxpayers who owe tax, however, should file when they are reasonably able, and expect a notice regarding late filing and late payment penalties.
A huge thanks is owed to our emergency first responders who have conducted over 1,200 high water rescues (and counting).