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Houston Area On Edge As Flash Flood Threat, Heavy Rains Continue

Matagorda and Brazoria Counties saw the heaviest rains from Tropical Storm Imelda overnight. Forecasters expect heavy rains to move northward Wednesday afternoon.

Tropical Depression Imelda moves through southeast Texas at 8:20 Wednesday morning.
National Weather Service NEXRAD Base Reflexivity
Tropical Depression Imelda moves through southeast Texas at 8:20 Wednesday morning.

The National Weather Service expects heavy rain to continue for most of southeast Texas through Thursday, as remnants of tropical storm Imelda, now downgraded to a tropical depression, make their way northward off the Gulf Coast.

Tuesday night brought downpours to much of the greater Houston area, with Matagorda County and the Freeport and Lake Jackson areas seeing some of the highest rainfall totals — as much as 19 inches of rain in some isolated areas.

"Even though we've done well overnight, we haven't had any significant amounts of flooding or impacts, we can't let our guard down just yet, we need to continue to pay attention," said Jeff Lindner, meteorologist at the Harris County Flood Control District, in an update posted to Twitter.

Forecasters expect a band to develop generally over the I-69 corridor Wednesday afternoon. Rainfall rates of 2-4 inches an hour will be forecasters’ main concerns, according to the National Weather Service. Rain is expected to continue through Thursday, eventually moving northeast and out of the region on Friday.

Lindner expects the rain event to last another 24 hours.

Heavy rains over coastal areas are expected to weaken Wednesday morning and redevelop further inland. Forecast models are still uncertain of where exactly rains will be concentrated.

"Models are still not having the best kind of idea of how this event's unfolding," National Weather Service meteorologist Jimmy Fowler told News 88.7 Wednesday morning. "Sometimes these bands set up and they can make a difference in terms of tens of miles between a lot of rain and not that much."

Multiple school districts and college campuses in the greater Houston area were closed or delayed Wednesday morning out of caution.

Harris County District Courts canceled 8:00am jury service, but the 10:30am and 1:00pm time slots will continue as normal. Courts are expected to operate as usual on Wednesday.