As Storms and Flooding Continue, Houston OEM Offers Safety Tips and Resources

Sep. 18, 2014City of Houston

The City of Houston Office of Emergency Management (OEM) is encouraging Houston residents to take precautions as heavy rain causes street flooding throughout the city. The Houston Fire Department (HFD) reports that they have responded to over 150 motor vehicle accidents across the City since 5:30am, many of these related to the heavy rain.

The Houston area is under an Areal Flood Watch until 7:00am Friday as the potential exists for another round of heavy downpours over the next few hours. Portions of the City have experienced flash flooding as well.

Storms that form as part of this system may cause additional areas of street flooding and flash flooding throughout Houston which are not only a nuisance to drivers, but can also be very dangerous.  Houston residents are urged to plan extra time in their commute, and to avoid driving through areas of high water.

Driving through high water is not only dangerous to drivers, but can also be dangerous to responders if vehicles become stuck.

Residents are asked to report street and building flooding, or places where trees or debris are in city streets to the Houston 311 Help & Information line by calling 311 (or 713.837.0311).  This allows the City to investigate areas of high water and alleviate them if possible  by clearing drains, removing debris, as well as assists in identifying areas that need to be temporarily closed for safety reasons.

Houstonians should monitor local television and radio stations, as well as the National Weather Service Houston/Galveston forecast office website at weather.gov/houston for up-to-the-minute weather information.

Rain gauge information and bayou levels can be found online at the Harris County Flood Control District’s Flood Warning System at harriscountyfws.org.

Traffic information, including a list of high water areas on highways can be found at houstontranstar.org.

The City of Houston is not reporting any significant impacts to City services as a result of these storms. All City offices are on normal schedules, and city business continues to be conducted as normal. The Houston Airport System (HAS) is asking travelers to check for flight delays by contacting their air carrier before departing for the airport, and to plan extra time getting to and from the airports. Information on delays and parking can be found at fly2houston.com.

For updates on the City’s response to severe weather, visit the City of Houston Emergency Information Center at houstontx.gov/emergency, or follow OEM on social media (Twitter – Facebook – Nextdoor).

The City has not activated the Emergency Operations Center (EOC), and the  Office of Emergency Management remains at Level IV (Routine Readiness) and is monitoring weather conditions with the National Weather Service and the Harris County Flood