City of Houston Services Open, Residents Urged to Exercise Caution

May. 27, 2015City of Houston

The City of Houston Emergency Operations Center (EOC) remains activated at Level III following historic flooding across the City.

At this point, the City is mostly responding to the recovery needs of residents and is working closely with various area agencies through the Houston Transtar partnership on traffic issues, to help Houstonians get back to work.

Houston residents can visit houstontranstar.org for information on traffic conditions citywide.

Be carefulSituation

Heavy rain is again beginning to impact the Houston area as another round of storms begins impacting the City.   This rain has the potential to cause additional street flooding, so residents are advised to be careful as they commute to work.

Most school districts are fully operational today, and parents are asked to check with their local districts for information on specific school delays or closures.  Some school districts in NE Harris County have decided to cancel classes today.

City of Houston services are fully operational an all employees are expected to report as normal for today’s work day.

Fatalities

The City of Houston is confirming five (5) fatalities associated with this storm event:

  • A white Female 64 years of age at 5775 Ranchester.  This victim was found in an SUV
  • A white Female of Unknown age was found at 4300 S MacGregor in the Brays Bayou.
  • A white male of unknown age was found at 1700 Studewood.  This victim was discovered after his vehicle was inadvertently towed to a local vehicle storage facility, where his body was subsequently discovered.
  • Asian male, 50 years of age, was found at 1700 Holcombe.
  • A white male, 66 years of age was found at 1400 W. Loop South.  This individual died of what is believed to be a heart attack after assisting a stranded motorist.  The death is associated with, but not directly caused, by the flood event. Official cause of death is still pending autopsy by the Harris County Institute of Forensic Sciences.

Missing

There a still 2 victims unaccounted for in the City of Houston at this time.

Damage

Damage assessment is ongoing, at this point, there is an estimated 1400 structures within the City with damage.  The City of Houston Department of Neighborhoods in partnership with the Office of Emergency Management is conducting an initial assessment to determine the total number of affected structures.

This process is necessary in order to help the City and State make a case for a federal disaster declaration.  Residents are urged to call Houston 311 to report flooding in order for damage assessment teams to accurately understand the extent of damage. 311 is experiencing long wait times, so residents are asked to download the Houston 311 app on their mobile phones or visit houston311.org to submit a flooding report.

Residents are asked to document their damage by taking photos before cleaning up.  This will help with insurance claims and any assistance moving forward.

Flood Safety

Residents are strongly encourage to avoid traveling through affected areas if possible.  The flood water is unsafe not only for travel, but due to contamination from debris.

Wastewater Plant Spill

The Southwest Wastewater Treatment Plant, located at 4211 Beechnut Avenue, was significantly impacted when Brays Bayou overflowed its banks, thus flooding the plant, and damaging electrical and mechanical systems. This caused more than 100,000 gallons of untreated waste water to spill into the flood waters in and around Brays Bayou.

The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) was notified of the spill. In compliance with the TCEQ, the Department of Public Works and Engineering has provided the a public notice, which is available at houstontx.gov/emergency.