HOUSTON (FOX 26) - A flash flood watch remains in effect until 6 p.m. Wednesday for Austin, Brazoria, Chambers, Colorado, Fort Bend, Galveston, Grimes, Harris, Jackson, Liberty, Matagorda, Montgomery, Polk, San Jacinto, Walker, Waller, Washington and Wharton counties.
Widespread showers and thunderstorms will continue through Wednesday night. Rainfall totals by Thursday morning are expected to range from 3 to 7 inches with locally higher amounts possible.
A coastal flood warning is in effect until 12 p.m. Wednesday for southeast Texas.
.The City of Houston activated the Emergency Operations Center at 6 p.m. Tuesday and moved to Level 3 (Increased Readiness) status, which launches internal preparation for anticipated emergencies. The EOC will assist City departments and regional agencies as they coordinate the response to projected severe weather, which includes heavy rain, flash flooding and strong winds.
The EOC, which will be stationed inside the Houston Emergency Center in north Houston, serves as the central coordination center for emergency response by the City. Because there is the possibility of life-threatening flash flooding and tornadoes, City departments have begun advanced staging of assets throughout the city to assist in high water and swift water rescues, if needed.
"Our City Departments are already working to help make sure we are ready to meet people's needs ahead of this storm," said Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner, "This includes looking at staffing, as well as coordinating information and resources within the City as well as with our partner agencies across the region."
With rainfall rates projected to reach 4-to-5 inches over the next few days and isolated totals over 7-to-10 inches in some areas, the City expects street flooding and the potential for flash flood conditions continuing into Wednesday afternoon.
Residents who must travel along Houston-area roads are encouraged to plan extra time, and not to drive through areas of high water. If water is too deep to see the street, it is too deep for a vehicle. It takes only 12 inches of water to float a vehicle and cause a very dangerous situation.
Residents should be prepared to shelter-in-place if a tornado warning is issued in their county, specifically in an interior room on the lowest floor possible of their home.
The Houston Fire Department will upgrade its daily staffing in anticipation of predicted rainfall in addition to deploying Technical Rescue Truck 10 and Technical Rescue Truck 42 and increasing staffing for those units from four people to five people each. Evacuation boats at fire stations 32, 35 and 73 will be activated with 3-member staffing for each one. An additional three-person Technical Rescue Team will be activated at HFD Station 11 for rescue boat or evacuation boat deployment. Four Houston Police Department High Water Vehicles, which will be staffed with one HPD driver and 2 HFD members, will be activated. Four Public Works High Water Vehicles will be rescue-equipped and strategically-placed at fire stations throughout the City on standby.