Houston area preparing for heavy rain, flooding from Imelda - Brownsville Herald: Local News

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Houston area preparing for heavy rain, flooding from Imelda

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Posted: Tuesday, September 17, 2019 3:15 pm

HOUSTON (AP) — Officials in the Houston area were preparing high-water vehicles and staging rescue boats Tuesday as Tropical Storm Imelda moved in from the Gulf of Mexico, threatening to dump up to 18 inches of rain in parts of Southeast Texas and southwestern Louisiana over the next few days.

The storm, which formed Tuesday, made landfall near Freeport, Texas, with maximum sustained winds of 40 mph.

Jeff Lindner, a meteorologist for the Harris County Flood Control District in Houston, said the main threat from Imelda remained the potential for heavy rainfall and flooding.

Lindner says while there is the potential for some isolated structure flooding in the Houston area, widespread house flooding "doesn't look likely at this point."

"We have a few things in our favor. The ground is dry. It's been dry for a while here as we've come through summer," Lindner said. "The initial parts of this rainfall will go toward saturating the ground."

Some parts of Harris County and neighboring Galveston County had already received 2 to 3 inches of rain through Tuesday morning.

In a tweet Tuesday, Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner asked residents to be "alert and weather aware."

Gov. Greg Abbott on Monday placed numerous resources on standby across Texas. The Texas Division of Emergency Management will be rostering four boat squads in coastal areas. The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department will be moving boats to support the Beaumont area and adjacent regions.

Meanwhile Tuesday, the National Hurricane Center said Hurricane Humberto in the Atlantic Ocean is posing a stronger threat to Bermuda, though it was more than 500 miles away. Meteorologists also said newly formed Tropical Storm Lorena in the Pacific Ocean could produce heavy rains and flooding in Mexico by Thursday.

_____

1:20 p.m.

By Diana Eva Maldonado, Staff writer

Tropical Storm Imelda has formed in the Gulf of Mexico just south of the coast of Texas.

The National Hurricane Center has issued a Tropical Storm Warning from Sargent to Port Bolivar.

A Tropical Storm Warning means that tropical storm conditions are expected somewhere within the warning area, in this case within the next few hours.

The center of the storm is moving towards the north at near 7 mph and is expected to continue this movement through Wednesday.

The storm is expected to move inland over the upper Texas coast later today and continue to move inland tonight and into Wednesday.

The National Weather Service in Houston says the Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for Brazoria Islands, Coastal Brazoria, Coastal Galveston, Coastal Harris, and Galveston Island and Bolivar Peninsula.

Heavy rainfall is expected over the next three days from Galveston to north of Houston.

Maximum sustained winds of Tropical Storm Imelda are near 35 mph with higher gusts.

The National Weather Service in Brownsville says it will be a hot afternoon because of the dry air on the backside of the tropical storm.

Isolated sea breeze showers are expected across the ranchlands mainly east of US 281. Any chances of rain will be mainly north of Port Mansfield.

© 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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