Houston Government Finalizes Harvey Preparations


Houston is preparing for significant impact from Hurricane Harvey -- a growing system that is expected to make landfall as a Category 3 hurricane between Matagorda Bay and Corpus Christi.

The chief message: Prepare immediately, and rush those plans to completion.

Impacts to the City of Houston are expected to mostly be significant rainfall.

The National Weather Service forecast currently indicates that Houston will see close to 20 inches of rainfall over the weekend and into early next week.

"This is likely to cause dangerous flash flooding, and will cause area flooding throughout the entire Houston region," the city said in a Thursday afternoon update.

Houston is under a:

--Tropical Storm Warning until further notice.

--Storm Surge Watch until further notice.

--Flash Flood Watch from 4 a.m. Friday to 7 a.m. Monday.

PREPARE NOW

People are urged to prepare for the potential impact of both flooding and tropical storm force winds.

This includes:

--Ensuring you have enough supplies for five to seven days, such as water, food, medications and emergency supplies. For a full list of what should be in your kit, visit houstonemergency.org/harvey.

--Identify your risk of flooding. For a map of floodplains in Harris County, visit harriscountyfemt.org. "Remember, any portion of Houston is subject to flooding, so residents should be prepared whether or not they live in a flood plain," the city warns.

--Beginning Friday, residents should plan to park their vehicles out of streets, especially those prone to flooding.

--Secure anything that can be picked up by the wind and thrown about. Any debris the comes loose could potentially block storm drains.

--Residents who own generators should ensure they are in good working order and have enough fuel safely stored. CenterPoint Energy has safety tips available for the use of generators. 

CITY PREPARING

The Houston Fire Department is preparing evacuation boats and swift water rescue assets ahead of the arrival of the storm. The Houston Police Department and Public Works and Engineering Department is preparing high water rescue vehicles to be used in the event they become necessary.

In addition, PWE has identified 41 intersections that are prone to flooding, and will make barricades available as it becomes safe to do so.

The General Services Department, Department and Neighborhoods and PWE are preparing to conduct rapid damage assessment following the impacts from this storm.

The Office of Emergency Management is coordinating the city's disaster response with neighboring jurisdictions, the State of Texas and federal agencies as necessary.

The OEM will activate the city's Emergency Operations Center at 7 a.m. Friday.

PLANNED CLOSURES

In anticipation of the arrival of the Hurricane, some City events and facilities have preemptively closed or canceled.

The Houston Parks & Recreation Department (HPARD) says Lake Houston Wilderness Park will be closed Friday, August 25, through Sunday, August 27, due to forecasted weather conditions from Tropical Storm Harvey. Park visitors with reservations will receive a full refund.

The Theatre District Open House scheduled for Sunday has also been canceled.

The Houston Airport System reminds residents who are planning travel by air over the weekend to check with their carriers about possible cancellations. For a list of carriers and contact information, visit fly2houston.com.

Houston will continue to provide updates on Hurricane Harvey as they become available through AlertHouston.

For regular updates, visit Operation Stormwatch at ktrh.com.


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