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Texas coast braces for Harvey

Written by Bobby Vasquez. Posted in News

harveyrainIN NEWS
The National Weather Service issued advisories for the Texas coast as Tropical Depression Harvey begins to strengthen. The slow-moving storm is expected to land as far north of Galveston by Friday, bringing up to 15 inches of rain over the weekend. 



Harvey 330 8 23National Weather Service Screengrab.Residents along the Texas Gulf Coast are urged to take precautions as Tropical Depression Harvey has regenerated and is strengthening as it moves toward land. As of 1 p.m. Wednesday, Harvey was stationary at 21.5 N, 92.5W, 535 miles south-southeast of Port O’Connor. Winds reached 35 mph.

When the maximum sustained winds reach 39 mph, Harvey will be classified as a tropical storm. Should the winds reach 74 mph, it will reach hurricane status.

As of Wednesday afternoon, Deer Park ISD said it has not made a decision regarding early dismissals or cancelations.


“The City of Deer Park plans for severe weather, monitoring the storm along with our state and national partners,” Mayor Jerry Mouton said. “We want to encourage our citizens to be diligent in their preparations, take precautions prior to the storm’s landfall and make sure you and your family are prepared.”

Residents living in mobile homes or those that cannot withstand extended periods of tropical storm force winds should have plans for their family’s safety, including alternative shelter or other accommodations.

Citizens are also advised that the City’s updated Emergency Preparedness Guides are available free of charge at the following facilities:

City Hall – 710 E. San Augustine
Community Center – 610 E. San Augustine
Deer Park Public Library – 3009 Center Street
Deer Park Police Department – 2911 Center Street
Fire Station #3 – 2211 E. X Street

The guides include emergency preparedness information including storm information, disaster kit checklists and more.


The National Weather Service has issued storm surge and storm advisories for the Texas coast, including a tropical storm watch for Liberty, Colorado, Waller, Chambers, Harris, Fort Bend and Galveston counties until further notice. A hurricane watch was issued for both Brazoria and Matagorda counties, also until further notice.

Heavy rains are expected to begin Friday around midday as the storm makes landfall, possibly as a strong tropical storm or weak hurricane.

The current track is that the storm will move northwest across the Gulf of Mexico and make landfall somewhere near Matagorda Bay about mid-day Friday. Most models indicate that once landfall occurs, forward progress will slow and the storm will drift toward the northeast, along the Texas coast. This places Harris County and Deer Park on the “wet” or “dirty” side of the storm potentially for 48-60 hours.

While isolated areas will vary greatly, current National Weather Service forecasts show the Deer Park area to expect 10-15 inches of rainfall (cumulative Friday through Monday), said Robert Hemminger, the city’s emergency services director in a memo.

“There are still a lot of questions regarding exact track the storm will take, and how much strengthening will occur. Some models show the storm tracking closer to our area before landfall, and some indicate strengthening to a category 1 hurricane could occur. At the same time, there are some models that take the storm further south with minimal impact on our area,” he said.


From the NWS:

..STORM SURGE WATCH REMAINS IN EFFECT...

...TROPICAL STORM WATCH REMAINS IN EFFECT...

* WIND
- LATEST LOCAL FORECAST: Below tropical storm force wind
- Peak Wind Forecast: 25-35 mph with gusts to 45 mph

- CURRENT THREAT TO LIFE AND PROPERTY: Moderate
- The wind threat has remained nearly steady from the previous assessment.
- Emergency planning should include a reasonable threat for strong tropical storm force wind of 58 to 73 mph.
- To be safe, earnestly prepare for the potential of significant wind impacts. Efforts should now be underway to secure all properties.
- Dangerous wind is possible. Failure to adequately shelter may result in injury.

- POTENTIAL IMPACTS: Significant
- Some damage to roofing and siding materials, along with damage to porches, awnings, carports, and sheds. A few buildings experiencing window, door, and garage door failures. Mobile homes damaged, especially if unanchored.
Unsecured lightweight objects become dangerous projectiles.
- Several large trees snapped or uprooted, but with greater numbers in places where trees are shallow rooted. Several fences and roadway signs blown over.
- Some roads impassable from large debris, and more within urban or heavily wooded places. A few bridges, causeways, and access routes impassable.
- Scattered power and communications outages, but more prevalent in areas with above ground lines.

* STORM SURGE
- LATEST LOCAL FORECAST: Life-threatening storm surge possible
- Peak Storm Surge Inundation: The potential for 4-6 feet above ground somewhere within surge prone areas
- Window of concern: Begins Friday morning

- CURRENT THREAT TO LIFE AND PROPERTY: Moderate
- The storm surge threat has remained nearly steady from the previous assessment.
- Emergency planning should include a reasonable threat for dangerous storm surge flooding of greater than 3 feet above ground.
- To be safe, earnestly prepare for the potential of significant storm surge flooding impacts. Evacuation 
efforts should now be underway.
- Life-threatening inundation is possible. Failure to heed evacuation orders may result in serious injury or loss of life. Leave if evacuation orders are given for your area.
Consider voluntary evacuation if recommended. Poor decisions may needlessly risk lives.

- POTENTIAL IMPACTS: Significant
- Areas of inundation with storm surge flooding accentuated by waves. Damage to several buildings, mainly near the coast.
- Sections of near-shore escape routes and secondary roads become weakened or washed out, especially in usually vulnerable low spots.
- Major beach erosion with heavy surf breaching dunes. Strong and numerous rip currents.
- Moderate damage to marinas, docks, boardwalks, and piers.

Several small craft broken away from moorings, especially in unprotected anchorages.

* FLOODING RAIN

- LATEST LOCAL FORECAST:
- Peak Rainfall Amounts: Additional 8-12 inches, with locally higher amounts
- CURRENT THREAT TO LIFE AND PROPERTY: Elevated
- The flooding rain threat has remained nearly steady from the previous assessment.
- Emergency planning should include a reasonable threat for minor flooding where peak rainfall totals are near amounts conducive for localized flash flooding and rapid inundation.
- To be safe, prepare for the potential of limited flooding rain impacts.
- Localized flooding is possible. If flood related watches and warnings are issued, heed recommended actions.

- POTENTIAL IMPACTS: Elevated
- Localized rainfall flooding may prompt a few evacuations.
- Rivers and tributaries may quickly rise with swifter currents. Small streams, creeks, canals, and ditches may become swollen and overflow in spots.
- Flood waters can enter a few structures, especially in usually vulnerable spots. A few places where rapid ponding of water occurs at underpasses, low-lying spots, and poor drainage areas. Several storm drains and retention ponds become near-full and begin to overflow. Some brief road and bridge closures.

* TORNADO
- LATEST LOCAL FORECAST:
- Situation is somewhat favorable for tornadoes
- CURRENT THREAT TO LIFE AND PROPERTY: Elevated
- The tornado threat has remained nearly steady from the previous assessment.
- Emergency planning should include a reasonable threat for isolated tornadoes, mostly with shorter and narrower damage paths.
- To be safe, prepare for the potential of limited tornado impacts.
- Listen for tornado watches and warnings. Be ready to shelter quickly if a tornado approaches.

- POTENTIAL IMPACTS: Little to None
- The occurrence of isolated tornadoes can hinder the execution of emergency plans during tropical events.
- A few places may experience tornado damage, along with power and communications disruptions.
- Locations could realize roofs peeled off buildings, chimneys toppled, mobile homes pushed off foundations or overturned, large tree tops and branches snapped off, shallow-rooted trees knocked over, moving vehicles blown off roads, and small boats pulled from moorings.