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Tropical Storm Bill Update: Tornado And Flash Flood Watch In Effect

This is a developing story and will be updated as weather information becomes available.

 

Tornado Watch is in effect until midnight for all of Southeast Texas as Tropical Storm Bill moves inland from the Texas Coast.

The storm made landfall on Matagorda Bay at about 11:45 a.m. Tuesday. 

“(There’s) very heavy rainfall approaching the Houston area right now, especially down on the coast toward Matagorda Island. That’s where some of the heaviest rain is falling,” said AccuWeather Meteorologist Kerry Schwindenhammer. “We’re going to be looking out for the possibility for spotty tornados —that’s something you can’t rule out of the northwest quadrant of the storm; certainly thunderstorms are going to be a possibility.”

Schwindenhammer said the possibility for some more rain and wind continues Wednesday and so does the threat for some flooding and isolated tornadoes.

As of 11:55 a.m., the center of Tropical Storm Bill was located near latitude 28.2 North, and longitude 96.7 West. Bill was moving west northwest at 9 MPH and that general motion was expected to continue Tuesday. Maximum sustained winds remained near 60 MPH, according to the National Weather Service. 

As Bill’s center continues to move inland, the tropical storm is expected to weaken to a tropical depression overnight.

 

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A flash flood watch is in effect through 6 p.m. Wednesday for portions of Southeast Texas including Harris, Galveston, Fort Bend, Montgomery, Brazoria and Chambers counties.

The severe weather threat from Tropical Storm Bill has led to several closures and delays across the region. Several schools were closed today, including those in the Houston, Katy and Spring Independent School Districts. The University of Houston, Lone Star College and Houston Community College also closed their campuses for the day. You may want to check their websites for updates on Wednesday.

Metro is operating on its normal transit schedule with some routes experiencing delays. It may adjust service depending on weather conditions. 

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On Monday afternoon, Galveston County Judge Mark Henry issued a voluntary evacuation order for residents of Bolivar Peninsula, which includes the unincorporated areas of Port Bolivar, Crystal Beach, High Island and Gilchrist.

The Harris County Emergency Operations Center was also activated early Monday to monitor the storm. Governor Greg Abbott activated the Texas State Operations Center and also approved the use of state resources to assist local officials.

Residents are urged to keep an eye on the weather and road conditions. The rain is expected to move out on Thursday. 

 


A Coast Guard Air Station Houston MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew flies over Galveston and Bolivar after Tropical Storm Bill makes landfall Tuesday, June 16, 2015. U.S. Coast Guard video by Petty Officer 1st Class Brian Bastob.

 

Resources:

FlightView Flight Tracker
Highway Conditions
Houston TranStar Road Closures
Updates From Harris County Emergency Management 
City of Houston Office of Emergency Management 
Galveston County Office of Emergency Management 
CenterPoint Energy Outage Tracking Map and Storm Tips and Resources

 

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