The City of Houston is preparing for significant impacts from Hurricane Harvey, currently a Category 4 and expected to make initial landfall between Matagorda Bay and Corpus Christi. The storm’s current track suggests it will drift back along the coast and make landfall again near Galveston around Tuesday.
Impacts to the City of Houston are expected to mostly be significant rainfall. The National Weather Service forecast currently indicates that Houston will see close to 20 inches of rainfall over the weekend and into early next week. This is likely to cause dangerous flooding throughout the entire Houston region.
Houston is under a:
- Tropical Storm Warning until further notice
- Storm Surge Watch until further notice
- Flash Flood Watch from 4am Friday to 7pm on Tuesday
- Tornado Watch until 2.00am Saturday
Steer Clear of Flood Prone Roadways
The City of Houston Office of Emergency Management (OEM) is urging residents and visitors to avoid Houston roadways as Hurricane Harvey impacts the area over the next several days. The Department of Public Works & Engineering and OEM have produced a map of roadway segments and underpasses that are especially prone to flooding. If residents are unable to suspend all travel during the duration of this storm, they should heed special caution around these locations.
All intersections and underpasses have the potential to be dangerous during periods of heavy and/or prolonged rainfall. If you see a barricade in your path, DO NOT drive around it or move it. Barricades are put in place explicitly to protect lives.
Make Preparations Now
- Ensuring you have enough supplies for 5-7 days, such as water, food, medications and emergency supplies. For a full list of what should be in your kit, visit houstonemergency.org/harvey.
- Identify your risk of flooding. For a map of floodplains in Harris County, visit harriscountyfemt.org. Remember, any portion of Houston is subject to flooding, so residents should be prepared whether or not they live in a flood plain.
- Residents should plan to park their vehicles out of streets, especially those prone to flooding.
- Please secure anything that can be picked up by the wind and thrown about. Remember, any debris the comes loose could potentially block storm drains.
- Residents who own generators should ensure they are in good working order and have enough fuel safely stored. CenterPoint Energy has safety tips available for the use of generators.
What is the City Doing?
The City is preparing emergency response resources to be able to meet the public safety needs of residents during the storm.
- The Houston Fire Department is preparing evacuation boats and swift water rescue assets ahead of the arrival of the storm.
- The Houston Police Department and Public Works and Engineering Department (PWE) is preparing high water rescue vehicles to be used in the event they become necessary.
- The General Services Department, Department of Neighborhoods, and PWE are preparing to conduct rapid damage assessment following impacts from this storm.
- The Office of Emergency Management is coordinating the City’s disaster response with neighboring jurisdictions, the State of Texas and federal agencies, as necessary. In addition, OEM activated the City’s Emergency Operations Center at 7:00am this morning in support of anticipated emergency actions.
In anticipation of the arrival of the Hurricane, some City events and facilities have preemptively closed or canceled:
The Bureau of Animal Regulations & Care (BARC) closed to the public on Friday at 3.00pm. BARC will remain closed on Saturday and Sunday.
The Houston Parks & Recreation Department (HPARD) has reported the following closures:
- Lake Houston Wilderness Park will be closed Friday, August 25, through Sunday, August 27. Park visitors with reservations will receive a full refund.
- All Community Centers, Golf Courses, and park facilities will be closed on Saturday and Sunday. A city-wide rain-out has been called for all adult sports league play.
- The McGovern Centennial Gardens, Hermann Park Railroad, pedal boats, gift shop, Pinewood Cafe, and Lake Plaza restrooms will be closed Friday through Sunday. The decision about reopening Monday will be made as the weather event continues.
- The Houston Museum of Natural Science closed earlier this afternoon and will remain closed until further notice.
- The Houston Zoo will be closed Friday through Sunday. The decision on reopening Monday will be made as the weather event continues.
- The Japanese Garden at Hermann Park will close Saturday and Sunday.
The Theatre District Open House scheduled for Sunday has also been canceled.
The Houston Airport System (HAS) reminds residents who are planning travel by air over the weekend to check with their carriers about possible cancellations. HAS is currently operational. HAS coordinates with both the Federal Aviation Administration and air carriers, who take the lead in determining, if and when, flights are cancelled. Decisions are made as conditions warranted. For a list of carriers and contact information, visit fly2houston.com.
At this time, the American Red Cross has not opened any emergency shelters. If and when they become necessary, they will be posted to redcross.org. Additionally, residents who may need Red Cross Assistance can call 1-800-733-2767 (1-800-RED-CROSS).
Health Tips After Exposure to Floodwater
The Houston Health Department reminds residents to:
- Practice good hygiene, such as handwashing after any contact with floodwaters. Wash children’s hands frequently, especially before meals.
- Do not allow children to play in floodwater areas.
- Do not eat any food that was in contact with floodwater.
The City of Houston will continue to provide updates on Hurricane Harvey as they become available through AlertHouston.