Tropical Storm Imelda has weakened to become a tropical depression, but it could rain in the Houston area with the maximum of precipitation since a storm since Hurricane Harvey on Wednesday, increasing the risk of severe flooding in a city that sees it. In abundance.
Imelda formed in the Gulf of Mexico on Tuesday afternoon and landed near Freeport, the National Hurricane Center announced. The storm was raining in southeastern Texas and is expected to continue for a few days as it heads inland.
“Many forecast models suggest 6 to 10 inches of rain with larger amounts isolated throughout the region,” said CNN meteorologist Judson Jones. “If the forecast is met, the amount of rain that will fall would be the highest total storm since Hurricane Harvey in 2017.”
There is a threat of flash flooding across parts of Southeast Texas through Thursday as a slow moving storm system (remnants of Tropical Storm Imelda) drifts across the area. Make sure you keep updated with the latest weather information. #txwx #houwx #glswx #bcswx pic.twitter.com/wXMOyxJrYW
— NWS Houston (@NWSHouston) September 17, 2019
Imelda had sustained maximum winds of 40 mph Tuesday night, the NHC said in a warning. A tropical storm warning was in effect along the Texas coast from Sargent to Port Bolivar, the center said.
Besides, a flash flood alert covering more than 7 million people, including Houston and Galveston, was in effect and will likely continue until Thursday.
“It will rain in the area over the next few days, and this could cause flooding, drive carefully and watch for weather reports,” Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner said on Twitter. “Be alert!”
Several schools and universities in the areas of Houston and Galveston have announced that they will cancel their activities on Wednesday. Among them were the Galveston Independent School District, the Houston Independent School District, and Texas A & M University in Galveston.
Due to heavy rains and the possibility of flooding, all HCC classes and activities are canceled starting at 5 p.m. today through tomorrow, Wednesday, Sept. 18. Please check your emails, texts, the HCC website https://t.co/D6zvNrYwn3, and our social media sites for further info. pic.twitter.com/AhSEF1prYx
— HCC District (@HCCDistrict) September 17, 2019
Even before Imelda became a tropical storm, it was raining on the Texas coast. Tuesday night, according to the Harris County Flood Alert System, up to 5 inches of rain had fallen in some areas southeast of Houston. Most parts of Houston have seen rainfall of 1/2 inch to 1 inch.
The storm system is expected to flood the shores of Texas and southwestern Louisiana until Wednesday, as well as eastern Texas and western Louisiana on Thursday, the hurricane center said.
Houston flooding issues
Harvey flooded the Houston area for several days at the end of August 2017, causing catastrophic floods, killing dozens and billions of dollars in damage.
During this storm, more than 34 inches of rain was recorded at Houston George Bush Intercontinental Airport and more than 40 inches of rain in areas east of the city.
Houston is no stranger to flooding. In May, for example, heavy rains caused widespread flooding of streets, homes, and businesses.
The design and planning of the city are part of what aggravates your flood problem, experts say.
Urban expansion in recent decades has transformed water-absorbing vegetation into the concrete. Low regulations did not allow for a proper estimate of the potential hazards of floods. Finally, mismanagement of reservoirs and land has revealed a lack of long-term planning on these issues, experts said.
Another storm is coming
Tropical Depression 10 is getting ready in the Atlantic Ocean and is expected to become a tropical Jerry-type storm on Wednesday. The storm could become a hurricane at the end of the week when it passes near or north of the Lesser Antilles, said CNN meteorologist Taylor Ward.