Today is June first, and that means it’s the official start to the Atlantic Hurricane Season.
It’s expected to be active, and we already had Tropical Storm Arlene back in April. Jeff Lindner with the Harris County Flood Control District says we could see a lot more.
“They’re expecting an average to above average season with anywhere from 11 to upwards of 17 named tropical storms,” Lindner said, adding five to nine of those could be hurricanes.
It's been a warm winter, but Matt Lanza with Space City Weather says that may not have much of a connection to what we see over the next six months.
“Amazingly, because of the really nice spring that we’ve had, and now temperatures in the Gulf of Mexico are down to just slightly above normal,” Lanza explained.
But Lindner says that Texans know the month of June can be harsh for this area and tropical systems.
“We’ve had several tropical systems in June. There was Tropical Storm Allison in 2001 and another Allison in 1989,” Linder stated.
So it’s all about being prepared in the event a storm comes our way, and there are several ways you can do that in the city of Houston and surrounding counties.
Michael Walter with the City of Houston OEM says they have the 'Alert Houston' system.
“What that does it allow resident to sign up for emergency alerts within their area,” Walter stated.
In Harris County, Francisco Sanchez with the Office of Emergency Management says the Ready Harris app is up and running.
“You can get the latest information about storms and sign up for alerts,” Sanchez told KTRH News.
It’s one thing to have the information, but it’s another thing to do something with that information. One concern Galveston County Judge Mark Henry has is people not treating these alerts seriously.
“Every year we have more and more residents that have never lived through a hurricane, and still believe it’s an opportunity to throw a party and not something to be taken seriously,” Henry explained.
This leads to the question of how we protect the coast. That has been an issue debated since Hurricane Ike in 2008. But after years of talk, the Ike Dike, proposed by Texas A&M Galveston's Bill Merrell, is making progress.
“George P. Bush, the Land Commissioner, has really adopted it as his solution for Texas and has pushed it very hard,” Merrell said.
In fact, Bush has written President Trump asking that the Ike Dike be put on the ‘infrastructure list.’