A storm system swirling in the Gulf of Mexico off the Texas Coast shows a growing chance of becoming a dangerous tropical storm.
While the rest of the nation is focused on the impending landfall of Hurricane Florence, Texans have their own developing storm system to watch. Texas has been pounded by heavy rains all month, and another strong storm could be disastrous.
According to the U.S. National Hurricane Center, the unnamed tropical storm just off Mexico’s Yucatan peninsula is slated to head northwest, with a 40–60 percent chance of turning into a tropical storm or depression.
The storm system is currently forecast to hit squarely in the center of Texas’s Gulf Coast.
KHOU Chief Meteorologist David Paul said the system could become a tropical depression or even a tropical storm by Sept. 14, bringing the threat of flooding to already saturated grounds.
“This is the type of system that could produce heavy rains,” Paul said. “It’s too soon to tell who will get the worst of it, but everyone should be checking for updates frequently as this disturbance moves toward Texas.”
The storm system is not likely to develop into a threat for the next two days, but once the storm drifts away from land and into the Gulf it could rapidly gain power.
Texas is taking steps to prepare for a potential tropical system expected to impact the state. Urging all Texans to take precautions and review their emergency plans to prepare now. https://t.co/ctmJfLEzsW pic.twitter.com/002wLR6mDq
— Gov. Greg Abbott (@GovAbbott) September 10, 2018
Governor Abbott Orders Increased Readiness
Governor Greg Abbott ordered the Texas State Operations Center (SOC) to increase its preparedness from level IV (normal conditions) to level III (increased readiness) as of noon on Sept. 11.
“We are closely monitoring a tropical system expected to approach the Gulf of Mexico and potentially impact the Texas coast in the coming days,” Governor Abbott said in a statement.
“In light of recent heavy rainfall across the state, we are on high-alert as any additional rain could quickly create dangerous flash flooding conditions. I urge all Texans to take precautions and review their emergency plans now to prepare for any potential impact to their community.”
HAPPENING NOW: We’re in #Dickinson where we’re seeing some major street flooding in neighborhoods, this is near Hughes Rd. – folks here saying “not again” most of their homes were flooded during Harvey. #khou11 #HTownRush pic.twitter.com/b6P6B5LgbI
— Michelle Choi (@MichelleKHOU) September 11, 2018
Some parts of Galveston County have seen 21 inches of rain already this month. Any more could prove disastrous.
The governor suggested that all Texans prepare for inclement weather. The governor’s website made suggestions for potentially affected residents:
- Assemble an emergency kit that includes essential documents, supplies and provisions.
- Review hurricane evacuation maps, and select a route for you and your family.
- Plan how all family members and pets will evacuate safely.
- Consider any special needs for individuals with disabilities or the elderly.
- Stay informed about changing weather conditions in and around your area.
- Follow the instructions of local officials if a storm develops.
Steady rain has already caused flooding in Galveston and Brasilia Counties.
Roads throughout the Greater Houston area were blocked by rising water.
Texas City had to cancel classes at local public schools and the main campus of College of the Mainland also closed as water levels kept rising.
Here’s what it looks like at Merry Ln and Melody Ln in La Marque, TX. Massive street flooding, and already that water has crept into some homes. In the video you can see high water working it’s way up a truck parked on the street. #khou11 #HtownRush pic.twitter.com/j62gOkM5WE
— Janel Forte (@JanelKHOU) September 11, 2018
“I was told when I bought the house, this wasn’t a flood zone, yeah so I didn’t have insurance the first time,” one Texas City resident told KHOU.
“The second time I had insurance, thank God. I’ve kept up with it this year.”
Much of this area was hit hard by Hurricane Harvey in 2017. Some whose houses were flooded during Harvey have found water creeping in into their homes once again.