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UPDATE: Harvey Will Reach Texas Coast by Early Friday, Houston Prepares For Flooding

In a live interview with Houston Public Media, the mayor said the city is getting ready for what they see as sure street flooding and potential structural flooding.

 

Houston is bracing for potential strong winds and heavy rainfall by the end of this week.

The National Hurricane Center has issued tropical storm watches for Galveston and the Galveston Bay areas and hurricane watches for areas Southeast of Houston. The main concern at this point remains heavy rains and flooding, according to Space City Weather.

The National Weather Service updated its forecast on Wednesday afternoon and estimated that the  winds from what is still tropical storm Harvey will  likely  reach the coast of Texas by early Friday. 

Updated model for tropical storm Harvey trajectory on Wednesday afternoon, Aug. 23rd, 2017.

“Right now it’s a tropical depression but it is still forming, still organizing and it could en up being a tropical storm or could be like a level 1 hurricane, and we would be on the rain side”, Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner said during a Facebook live interview with Houston Public Media on Wednesday. “We are going to get a lot of rain, there’s no question about that, the question is just how much.”

Turner explained that the other concern with Harvey is that it may linger over the weekend, starting Friday until possibly Monday, so “we are expecting a lot of rain… and a lot of rain all over.” The mayor stressed that “certainly there will be street flooding… and some structural flooding as well, depending on the amount of rain.” 

He also recommended that Houstonians start preparing now and get the basics. He also asked drivers to minimize risks and to avoid high water areas. Turner explained the city’s preparedness plan in the interview. 

 

Stellite image of tropical storm Harvey on Aug. 23rd, 2017.

 

 

 

Image of potential impact of tropical storm Harvey on Texas coast.

Meteorologist Nikki Hathaway, with the National Weather Service, says a lot is still uncertain– but rainfall could get pretty high: “These models can flip flop very quickly. So there’s a lot of uncertainty. All of the other ingredients are there. With the percentages being so high, I think the preparedness level will be pretty darn up there.”

Rainfall amounts are looking to be 4 to 8 inches- but Hathaway says that could even double, up to 16 inches or more in isolated areas.

At a City Council meeting early on Wednesday, Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner reminded the public that Harvey is expected to hit Texas coast on Friday and urged to use “common sense”.  

 

While a lot is still up in the air,  forecaster Eric Gerber with Space City Weather says Harvey could come ashore as a tropical storm or Category 1 hurricane.

 Right now, Gerber expects landfall between Corpus Christi and Matagorda Bay.

 Here’s a summary of what Space City Weather considers that Houstonians need to know as of Wednesday morning:

  • There is the potential for a major rainfall event from late Friday through Tuesday in Texas. For Houston, the heaviest rains would not probably begin before Saturday.
  • We do not know how much Harvey will intensify, but there are no indications it will become a strong hurricane right now.
  • The forecast remains uncertain because Harvey has yet to form a well defined center of circulation, and its motion is likely to stall this weekend.
  • While we know nothing definitive, residents should be prepared for flooding conditions this weekend and into next week.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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