flooding | KERA News

flooding

Updated at 5:52 p.m. ET

Flood waters are slowly beginning to recede, but large areas of southeast Texas remain flooded Friday. Emergency crews continue to perform rescues from water-soaked neighborhoods. And officials work to get a broader sense of the damage left by Tropical Depression Imelda, a catastrophic weather event that swamped hundreds of cars and homes, and has claimed the lives of at least four people.

Brian Hawthorne/Chambers County Sheriff's Office via AP

Emergency crews continued to pull motorists and others from high water Friday after the remnants of Tropical Storm Imelda soaked the Houston area, leaving at least two people dead and prompting hundreds of rescues for people trapped during a relentless downpour that drew comparisons to Hurricane Harvey two years ago.

Associated Press

Gov. Greg Abbott has declared 13 counties disaster areas after heavy rain and flooding from the remnants of Tropical Storm Imelda swamped parts of Southeast Texas.

Abbott on Thursday announced the disaster declaration for Brazoria, Chambers, Galveston, Hardin, Harris, Jasper, Jefferson, Liberty, Matagorda, Montgomery, Newton, Orange and San Jacinto counties.

Associated Press

Imelda has deluged parts of Southeast Texas with more than 12 inches of rain, but officials in Houston and surrounding communities said Wednesday that so far there have been no severe impacts from the tropical depression.

These Dams Needed Replacing 15 Years Ago. Now Texas will Drain Four Lakes Instead.

Sep 10, 2019
Miguel Gutierrez Jr. / The Texas Tribune

Texas officials will start draining four lakes next week in Guadalupe County in Central Texas without a plan in place for when the lakes, and the 90-year-old dams that support them, will be rebuilt. Area homeowners, who got barely a month's notice, said they felt blindsided by the plan, and they say it will slash their property values, kill their beloved century-old cypress trees and render the lakes — which have hosted water skiing tournaments for decades — unusable.

If you’re looking to buy a house in Texas, the homeowner is now required to tell you if it has ever flooded. Likewise, if you own a home that’s flooded, be prepared to disclose that under expanded state regulations that took effect this month.

Two Texas floodgates have collapsed in the last two years, and the Guadalupe-Blanco River Authority warns four more lakes are in danger of the same fate.


Associated Press

Tropical Depression Barry failed to unleash catastrophic flooding in New Orleans, but it still swamped parts of Louisiana with up to 17 inches of rain and transformed part of the Mississippi Delta into "an ocean."

Updated at 11 p.m. ET

Tropical Storm Barry is beginning to take a toll on the central Gulf Coast, bringing high winds and heavy rains to parts of southeastern Louisiana, where residents have been preparing to cope with flooding and power outages.

As Barry slowly approached land, an oil rig southwest of the mouth of the Mississippi River reported "sustained winds of 76 mph and a wind gust of 87 mph," the National Hurricane Center said Friday.

In New Orleans, officials told residents to get off the streets and shelter in place.

Updated at 11:07 p.m. ET

Tropical Storm Barry formed in the Gulf of Mexico on Thursday, and it could become a hurricane by late Friday, the National Hurricane Center says. Forecasters say the storm could bring a storm surge and heavy rains to Louisiana.

Barry is now predicted to become a Category 1 hurricane shortly before making landfall Saturday morning. Its maximum winds are expected to reach only around 75 mph — but officials are warning of perilous flash floods and other hazards.

Gov. Greg Abbott on Wednesday urged city leaders and residents to prepare for potential severe weather this weekend.

Associated Press

New Orleans and a surrounding stretch of the Louisiana-Mississippi-Texas coastline braced for a possible hurricane this weekend that could swamp the streets of the dangerously low-lying city and leave water lapping at the tops of levees.

Associated Press

The federal government is warning Americans to brace for a "floodier" future.

Government scientists predict 40 places in the U.S. will experience higher than normal rates of so-called sunny day flooding this year because of rising sea levels and an abnormal El Nino weather system.

Kshithij Shrinath via Associated Press

Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards has declared a state of emergency in anticipation of tropical weather that could dump as much as 15 inches of rain in the state over the coming days.

In Texas, the city of Austin's water utility has issued a citywide boil water notice as it struggles with the impact of debris from flooding on its water treatment capabilities.

"The high level of debris, silt and mud requires extended filtration that slows the process of getting treated water into the system," Austin Water said in a press release. "To provide necessary water pressure for fire protection, plants must distribute water at treatment levels not typical of the utility's high standards for consumption."

As floodwaters from former-Hurricane Florence's massive rains continue to flow through the Carolinas, the end of the storm's damage is nowhere in sight.

Some of the worst flooding during this past weekend's East Coast storm happened during high tides.

Shoreline tides are getting progressively higher. A soon-to-be-published report obtained by NPR predicts a future where flooding will be a weekly event in some coastal parts of the country.

Hurricane Harvey brought more rain than any other hurricane in recorded U.S. history, the National Hurricane Center says.

The center released its final report on the record-breaking storm this morning, putting the death toll at at least 68, all in Texas, with 36 of those in the Houston and Harris County area. Harvey is second only to Hurricane Katrina in terms of storm damage, as well, the center found, with an estimated cost of $125 billion in damages, compared to Katrina’s $160 billion.

NOAA / Twitter

Hurricane Harvey, which caused massive flooding in Texas, cost $125 billion, making it the most expensive U.S. disaster last year.

With hurricanes, wildfires, hail, flooding, tornadoes and drought, the United States tallied a record-high bill in 2017 for weather disasters: $306 billion.

After Hurricane Harvey, some Texas residents, politicians and scientists are wondering whether the whole U.S. system for predicting floods is any good.

The storm's deluge flooded parts of southeast Texas that had rarely, or never, been underwater before. Some areas got more than 50 inches of rain in a few days. "When the numbers started coming in it was a little scary," says Matt Zeve, the director of operations for the Harris County Flood Control District, which includes Houston.

The floodwaters from Hurricane Harvey had to go somewhere.

In late August, Hurricane Harvey brought record rainfall to Houston. In mid-October, the city's two large federal reservoirs have finally been emptied of the massive amount of water that had filled each of them to the brim.

From Texas Standard:

Up to 500,000 cars took on water during Hurricane Harvey. Not having a vehicle in car-dependent Texas could be a significant hardship. And those looking for a used car to replace a flooded one should be wary of buying storm-damaged rides.

On Saturday in Denham Springs, Louisiana, about 15 miles east of Baton Rouge, the parking lot of a Sam’s Club was turned into a one-stop shop for flood victims.

Just days earlier the entire area was under water, but now this is where people can grab a shopping cart, get free cleaning supplies, cases of water, and ice.

Louisiana is entering recovery mode after devastating flooding killed 13 people and damaged at least 60,000 homes across 20 parishes.

But as Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards told CNN, that process is "going to take many months." He added that even though this flooding was "unprecedented and historic," many are "just now realizing how significant it was."

Marcin Wichary / Flickr

For many Texas families, tax-free shopping is a back-to-school tradition. This weekend, swap those folders for flashlights and binders for batteries. Emergency supplies are tax exempt starting Saturday morning.

It’s a first for Texas-- to help folks stock up for severe weather season. Families intent on cleaning out the hardware store should check the state’s “tax free” list before they buy.

TxDOT Austin / Twitter/@TxDOTAustin

The death toll now stands at six in Texas as more bodies were recovered on Saturday after another band of strong storms and heavy rain spawned three tornadoes and dangerous flooding in the waterlogged state.

Texas Department of Transportation / Twitter/@TxDOTAustin

The rain kept falling and falling across Texas -- some parts of the state saw more than 20 inches in recent days. Here are five things you should know about the deluge:

Christopher Connelly / KERA News

Update, Sunday night: The rain kept falling and falling -- and when it finally stopped, 21 inches fell in Corsicana in Navarro County, which is about an hour south of Dallas. 

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