Weather

Thursday Weather Updates And Closures: Parts Of Wharton Evacuated; Dams On Flood Watch

The National Weather Service says a chance for showers continues Thursday but dwindles Friday.

This story will continue to be updated throughout the day as information becomes available.

Overview

Days of heavy rain have ended in Houston as a welcome relief during cleanup from deadly flooding. The Houston area was hit with more than a foot of rain earlier this week and showers that lingered until Thursday. Eight deaths have been blamed on subsequent flooding in Harris, Waller and Austin counties.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers late yesterday began releasing water from two west Houston flood control reservoirs. Parts of Wharton, about 50 miles southeast of Houston, remained under mandatory evacuation due to flooding linked to the rain-swollen Colorado River. Flood stage was 39 feet. Figures show the river crested at more than 48 feet.

 

Flood Warnings For Addicks in West Harris County

The National Weather Service has issued an Flood Warning for the area surrounding Addicks Reservoir, in west Houston.

Listen to Houston reports

At 4:58 a.m. Friday, the reservoir was at 148 ft. Flood stage is 147.6 ft. and flooding is occurring. Officials released the dam at 6 p.m. Thursday evening.

The Harris County Flood Control District said on Thursday the Addicks Reservoir is rising and water is moving into adjacent subdivision streets. Residents are advised to prepare for potential flooding conditions.

The areas most likely to see street flooding, and potential house flooding, are located on the perimeter of Addicks Reservoir in the Bear Creek Village subdivision just northeast of the State Highway 6/Clay Road intersection; and south of Addicks-Satsuma Road.

The potential exists that the following streets in Bear Creek Village will fill with stormwater and may be impassable in the next few days. Water levels may remain high for days or weeks, depending on additional rainfall and reservoir release rates.

  • Sandy Hill
  • Pine Mountain
  • Lost Spring
  • Mill Hollow
  • Sylvan Glen
  • Hickory Grove
  • Birch Vale
  • Aspen Glen
  • Bear Hill
  • Regency Villa
  • Pine Forest
  • Fox Springs
  • Pagehurst
  • Fern Ridge
  • Pinecliff
  • Thornbrook
  • Midridge
  • Prairie Creek
  • Four Season

 

Additional rainfall could cause streets outside of these areas to be affected. Residents are strongly advised to watch for communications released from emergency management officials, and through media reports, for updates as weather conditions are changing. Monitor the water level in Addicks Reservoir on the USGS website.

Residents in those subdivisions, and in other neighborhoods near the perimeter of the Addicks Reservoir, are also urged to prepare in advance by:

  • Securing valuables and important documents and moving them to higher ground.
  • Avoid driving, if possible. If you must venture out, avoid driving into water of unknown depth. Moving water can quickly sweep you and your vehicle away.
  • Restricting children from playing in flooded areas.
  • Remaining in your home during flooding conditions unless instructed to evacuate by local officials.
  • Monitoring rainfall and bayou water levels on its Harris County Regional Flood Warning System website (desktop and mobile versions) at www.harriscountyfws.org.

The Flood Control District has a "Family Flood Preparedness" center at http://www.hcfcd.org/famfloodprepare.html. The Harris County Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Management has disaster preparedness resources and the latest information about conditions in Harris County at www.readyharris.org.

(Morning update)

Flood control officials say creeks remain high in northwest Harris County, but are expected to start going down in the next few hours, including Cypress Creek.

Officials say this break period on Wednesday is allowing creeks to drain, which eventually lead to water receding from homes and streets.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers says residents in the ‘Bear Creek Village' neighborhood and in all sub-divisions along Barker reservoir are urged to be on alert and take precautionary measures.

Extreme rainfall this week has led to significant rises in the Addicks and Barker reservoirs in West Harris County. Those reservoirs were constructed in the 1940s to store water that would otherwise flood downtown Houston.

Areas surrounding two flood-control dams west of Houston have been placed under flood warnings.

The floodwaters are expected to close roads in surrounding neighborhoods.

City officials add that because water needs to drain through the bayou system, residents may see an increase in flooding — with or without additional rainfall.

Authorities urge motorists to be cautious, especially driving during overnight hours.

 

Part of Wharton Evacuated Amid Flooding Concerns After Rain

The Associated Press is reporting part of a South Texas town has been evacuated amid flooding concerns along the rain-swollen Colorado River.

The National Weather Service issued a flood warning Thursday for Wharton due to rising water following this week’s heavy rain.

Officials in Wharton, about 50 miles southeast of Houston, have expanded a mandatory evacuation area to about a square mile as the rain-swollen Colorado River has overwhelmed its banks.

Mayor Domingo Montalvo Jr. says the water is rising faster than expected. Flood stage is 39 feet. As of Thursday afternoon, it was nearly 48 feet, fed by recent heavy rains and runoff upstream where more than a foot of rain has fallen since Sunday night.

Police Chief Terry Lynch says about 350 homes are in the evacuation zone in low-lying neighborhoods where the river runs through the town of about 8,700. Authorities made nearly three dozen rescues starting Thursday morning.

Lynch says officers have visited each home, most people have complied with the order but less than a dozen have refused to leave their property. The chief says authorities will not forcibly remove them.

Figures show flood stage was 39 feet, but the level topped 47 feet Thursday at Wharton, a town of about 8,700 located 50 miles southwest of Houston.

A shelter is available at the Wharton Junior High School Gymnasium.

 

Drone Footage of Flooding

 

Areal Flood Warning until Thursday
Areal Flood Warning extended until 11:45 p.m. on Thursday

Overall Outlook

The flood-devastated Houston area could soon get a break from the rain after a deluge blamed for eight deaths.

The National Weather Service says a chance for showers continues Thursday but dwindles Friday. Saturday’s forecast includes mostly sunny with highs in the 80s.

The Houston area received more than a foot of rain since last weekend, leading to flooding that inundated structures and forced thousands of people to evacuate.

Forecasters issued a flood warning for Harris, Waller and Austin counties through Thursday due to the impact of this week’s heavy rain.

The Areal Flood Warning has been extended to the western and northern parts of Houston until 11:45 p.m. Thursday. This mostly affects homes and businesses near bayous, creeks and streams. Those areas are still handling massive amounts of water that continue to drain from Monday's storm.

Some school districts in the area canceled classes again Thursday amid lingering floodwaters or damage. The Texas Education Agency says Houston-area districts that missed two days earlier this week get waivers and students won’t have to make up the time.

 

flood extent and stages
Here is an overview of the flood extent and stages across Southeast Texas.

 

More information and helpful links

Area shelter, giving and volunteer information can be found here.

Emergency Tax-Free Weekend information.

Houston area flood recovery information.

TranStar is reporting 19 high water.

The Associated Press contributed to the report.

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