Tropical Depression Could Drop 18 Inches of Rain on Texas

The National Weather Service says, “Imelda is expected to produce total rainfall accumulations of 6 to 12 inches with isolated maximum amounts of 18 inches across portions of eastern Texas,” including Houston and Galveston.

by Chris Moore, Kaitlin Bain, Jay R. Jordan, Andrea Whitney, and Jacob Dick, Beaumont Enterprise, Texas / September 18, 2019

(TNS) — The threat of flash flooding continues throughout Southeast Texas, even as Tropical Storm Imelda was downgraded to a tropical depression.

According to the National Weather Service, “Imelda is expected to produce total rainfall accumulations of 6 to 12 inches with isolated maximum amounts of 18 inches across portions of eastern Texas, including the Houston and Galveston areas.”

Most of Southeast Texas, including parts of Hardin and Jasper counties, is under a flash flood watch through Thursday evening.

NWS: "Tyler, Jasper, Hardin, Jefferson, and Orange counties have the highest risk for flash flooding today through Thursday, although western Louisiana has a risk for flash flooding as well.

However, Jefferson County government entities don't seem too concerned, instead choosing to monitor the situation to see if flooding preparation needs to be done later in the day.

"The ultimate concern is flash flooding from the amount of water that will accumulate in such short periods of time," said Port Arthur Mayor Thurman Bill Bartie. "Citizens are asked to be vigilant and mindful of flood-prone areas and to check on neighbors and those who may need any assistance."

As is the case any time the city believes flooding may occur, Beaumont city crews have cleaned any debris out of baskets near lift stations and will check them periodically throughout the rain event. All overpasses in the city also have alarms on them that will alert police, fire and public works if they're beginning to flood so the overpass can be barricaded.

To prepare for that possibility, crews have put barricades near the overpasses for easy access.

Jefferson County Judge Jeff Branick said he and his emergency management coordinator have been making calls to the National Weather Service and receiving periodic virtual updates.

The storm hasn't yet risen to the level that elected officials have been invited to set scheduled calls with the NWS in the morning and afternoon as is common during major storms.

Be alert for flooded roads during periods of heavy rain, especially at night.

In addition, tides are continuing to run 1 to 2 feet above normal, so coastal flooding is still expected during high tide today through Thursday.

Heavy rainfall in a short period of time may overwhelm drainage systems causing flooding of streets and low lying areas."

Southeast Texas has seen between 2-5 inches of rain since the system hit the area Tuesday.

"There is light rain right now," NWS Meteorologist Roger Erickson said. "The light rain has made it easier on the drainage systems. There will be more rain tonight and higher chance for flash flood warnings."

Erickson said people need to be cautious when driving, especially given that most of the rainfall will come while it is dark outside.

The meteorologist said the outlook for the weekend could be a little brighter.

"Someone is going to get hit with another band on Friday," he said. "In some places, it will be sunny, just not everywhere. We don't know where that last band will hit."

City/county alerts:

Jasper County has sandbags available at the Jasper County Commissioner Precinct 4 barn, located at 15205 FM 1004 in Buna

Hardin County Office of Emergency Management has moved to "increased readiness" as of 8 a.m. today. Sandbags are being distributed at: 1290 Hwy 327 West, Silsbee; 1315 North Pine Street, Kountze; 13745 FM 787, Saratoga; 100 Southland Drive, Lumberton; 8890 Keith Rd, Lumberton; 333 Commercial Dr, Sour Lake

Entergy Texas

Customers can use the Entergy app found on the Apple or Android stores and at entergyapp.com. to report outages and check on the status of power at their homes or businesses.

Customers can send and receive text messages about storm and restoration efforts by sending a text with REG to 368374.

The Entergy Storm Center has storm safety, preparation, restoration and other information that is regularly updated. Updates can also be founds on Twitter @EntergyTX and at facebook.com/EntergyTX.

 

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