Tropical Storm Nicholas Updates

Updates Tuesday midday, September 14:

Due to the impact of Tropical Storm Nicholas and power outages in several neighborhoods, the Houston Health Department will open four multi-service centers from noon to 5 p.m. today, September 14, for people without power who need to charge their phones or other electronic devices.

The centers have restrooms and air conditioning but are NOT overnight or long-term shelters.

The following locations will open today:

  • Sunnyside Multi-Service Center, 9314 Cullen Blvd.
  • Acres Homes Multi-Service Center, 6719 W. Montgomery Rd.
  • Southwest Multi-Service Center, 6400 High Star Dr.
  • West End Multi-Service Center, 170 Heights Blvd.

HHD anticipates resuming normal operations, including COVID-19 testing and vaccinations, on Wednesday, September 15.

The City of Houston Parks and Recreation Department has opened four additional locations where people without power can charge phones and other electronic devices.  These locations will be open to 5 p.m. today, September 14.

The following locations will open today:

  • Freed Community Center, 6818 Shadyvilla Ln.
  • Edgewood Community Center, 5803 Bellfort Ave.
  • Marian Park Community Center, 11101 S. Gessner Rd.
  • Tuffly Community Center, 3200 Russell St.

The City of Houston anticipates resuming normal operations on Wednesday, September 15.

Updates Tuesday morning, September 14:

The Office of Emergency Management continues to coordinate with citywide partners in the Emergency Operations Center. We continue to partner with CenterPoint Energy to respond to this morning's power outages. Follow these safety recommendations from CenterPoint:


  • Stay away from downed power lines. Be especially mindful of downed lines that could be hidden in flood waters and treat all downed lines as if they are energized.
  • If you experience flooding and water has risen above the electrical outlets in your home, contact a licensed electrician before turning on the main circuit breaker or trying to restore power.
  • All electrical appliances and electronic equipment that have been submerged in water need to dry thoroughly for at least one week. Then, have them checked by a qualified repair person before turning them on. Attempting to repair a flood-damaged appliance could result in electrical shock or death. Attempting to restart it could result in further damage and costly repairs.
  • If the outside unit of an air conditioning system has been under water, mud and water may have accumulated in the controls. Have the unit checked by a qualified air conditioning technician.

Natural Gas

  • Do not turn off your natural gas service at the meter; doing so could allow water to enter the natural gas lines.
  • Be alert for the smell of natural gas. If you smell gas, leave the area immediately and tell others to leave, too.
  • If you smell gas, do not turn the lights on or off, smoke, strike a match, use a cell phone or operate anything that might cause a spark, including a flashlight or a generator.
  • Do not attempt to turn natural gas valves on or off. Once safely away from the area, call 911 and CenterPoint Energy at 888-876-5786 and the company will send a trained service technician.
  • If your home was flooded, call a licensed plumber or gas appliance technician to inspect your appliances and gas piping to make sure they are in good operating condition before calling CenterPoint Energy to reconnect service. This includes outdoor gas appliances including pool heaters, gas grills and gas lights.
  • Before cleaning debris, digging on your property or to locate underground natural gas lines and other underground utility lines, call 811, the nationwide Call Before You Dig number.
  • Be aware of where your natural gas meter is located. As debris is put out for heavy trash pickup, make sure it is placed away from the meter. In many areas the meter may be located near the curb. If debris is near a gas meter, the mechanized equipment used by trash collectors could pull up the meter, damaging it and causing a potentially hazardous situation. If this happens, leave the area immediately and call CenterPoint Energy at 888-876-5786.

Additional Protective Measures

  • Please only call 9-1-1 if the loss of power creates a medical emergency.
  • Be careful when traveling due to downed trees, power lines, and stray debris.
  • Street lights and intersections may be impacted by last night's storms. Be aware of changes on your normal route.
  • Turn Around Don’t Drown, when faced with flooded roadways.
  • Develop a family communication plan. Visit for more information on developing a plan.
  • Know how to turn off your utilities.  This includes electricity, water, and gas.  Only turn off gas if instructed by local officials or by CenterPoint Energy.
  • Houstonians should also register for AlertHouston at for additional updates.

Recommendations for those with Access & Functional Needs:

  • Make sure all durable medical equipment and spare batteries are charged and operational.
  • All medication should be properly labeled and included in your emergency kit.
  • Indicate the best way to communicate with you (ASL, Spanish, etc.) on any emergency information you have.
  • Prepare at least 3 days of food and water for your service animal and have all appropriate veterinarian information available.

Houston residents who might need additional assistance in evacuating during a disaster can register for the State of Texas Emergency Assistance Registry (STEAR). STEAR allows residents to provide information on their specific situation to emergency management officials who will work to help them evacuate safely or provide them with the appropriate life-sustaining help they need in a disaster. Call 2-1-1 or visit for more information.

Houston Publics Works

If you see flashing red lights, call 311.

If a traffic light is out, call CenterPoint at 713.207.2222.

Report debris in roadways to 311.

Update on City Services

Houston Health Department

Due to Tropical Storm Nicholas, Curative’s COVID-19 testing sites in Houston are closed Monday, Sept. 13 for inclement weather. Houston Health Department-affiliated COVID-19 testing and vaccination sites will be  closed Tuesday, Sept. 14.

Solid Waste Management Department

Due to the current Flash Flood Emergency in effect for the City of Houston, and to ensure the department’s employee safety, all Solid Waste Management services will be suspended, and all Solid Waste facilities and administration offices will be closed on Tuesday, September 14, 2021.

BARC Animal Shelter and Adoption Center

BARC will be closed Tuesday, Sept. 14, for all services to the public. Staff will remain on site to monitor shelter animals, and BARC will continue to take in sick, injured or fading animals. Coordination has been ongoing with our rescue groups and foster partners to pick up available pets ahead of the storm’s arrival.

Houston Municipal Courts

The Houston Municipal Courts will be closing today, Sept. 13, after 5pm. The Houston Municipal Courts will also be closed on Tuesday, September 14, 2021.

Planning Department

City of Houston Planning and Development offices are closed for in-person visits Tuesday, Sept. 14.

Monitor Official Sources for Current Information

Rumors and misinformation can be common before and during major storms.  It is important to seek out official information from trusted sources.

Official sources include: the City of Houston Emergency Information Center (, National Weather Service Houston/Galveston Forecast Office (, National Hurricane Center (, Harris County Flood Warning System (, Houston TranStar (, and local meteorologists.