Hurricane Harvey Weather Update

So far to date the rain gauge at Lake Jackson City Hall has recorded about 5.8 inches of rain over the past 48 hours. Those to our north, east, and west have not fared as well. Feeder bands continue to drop significant levels of rain, especially in the Houston area-totals there are exceeding 20 inches.

We need to be prepared to see the same type of rains, and hope that we do not.

The latest track for Harvey has changed substantially. It is now forecast to drift back to Matagorda Bay by Tuesday and then drift along the coast until it makes a northeastern turn Thursday afternoon. Harvey will then move across west and northwest Brazoria County and finally move north through Fort Bend and Harris Counties and points north.

So, these heavy rains will likely be with us for several more days.

Then we have the Brazos River. The models and historical data we have for Brazos River floods will be of limited help this time. That is because all of the runoff is being captured by rains falling on us and up in Fort Bend County, rather than runoff from the College Station area.

The River Forecast Center shows the Brazos River reaching major flood stage at Rosharon and West Columbia today. West Columbia is forecast to peak Tuesday. Eventually that will all work its way past us and to the Gulf.

How this will impact Lake Jackson depends on how much water leaves the Brazos River north of the Harris Reservoir and for what duration. This overflow will work its way into Oyster Creek and the Bastrop Bayou.

In previous Brazos River floods, Oyster Creek in Lake Jackson has become full but has not left its banks in any major way. That is our hope now- but we are all in new territory here. People along the creek should remove any items they have below the high bank to prevent loose items from floating down the creek and creating issues for people downstream.

We will be monitoring the creek closely this week.

Bastrop Bayou may also rise. The area in Lake Jackson affected most by the bayou is Northwood. We could see serious street flooding.

The kicker to all of this is if we get additional local rain while the river, creek, and bayou are at elevated levels.

We are preparing for the worst and praying for the best.

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