HOUSTON – Harris County Judge Ed Emmett and Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner are addressing online social media and email messages that have been circulating Thursday about Hurricane Harvey.
“It creates uncertainty among the public and the public needs to know who they trust and who’s giving correct information. And we all try to coordinate very well and if suddenly people start getting their news off social media, then that runs counter to what we’re trying to say and it creates a dangerous situation," Emmett said.
Turner released a statement that read:
"False forecasts and irresponsible rumors on social media are interfering with efforts by the city of Houston, and its government and news media partners, to provide accurate information to the public about the expected effects of Tropical Storm/Hurricane Harvey.
"All residents of Houston and surrounding areas should rely solely on proven information sources, including the National Weather Service and the city Office of Emergency Management, to decide how to prepare for the heavy rainfall expected here.
Ignore unfounded, unsourced weather predictions that have needlessly frightened Houstonians. Get info from trusted outlets. @HoustonOEM— Sylvester Turner (@SylvesterTurner) August 24, 2017
"No evacuation orders have been issued for the city and none is being considered. Please continue to monitor mainstream news sources for updates on the weather and act accordingly as an informed resident. Rumors are nothing new, but the widespread use of social media has needlessly frightened many people today."
In addition to speaking about the messages circulating online, Emmett also tweeted about a specific email message he’d addressed earlier Thursday.
KPRC 2 has received several messages concerning some social media posts. The station is looking into this information, but the KPRC 2's Severe Weather Team of meteorologists is monitoring the latest forecasts and information, and will pass along any changes to the forecast as they develop.