HARRIS COUNTY, Texas – KPRC2 sat down with Jeff Lindner, a meteorologist with the Harris County Flood Control District, on Tuesday to ask him some questions about the potential for heavy rain over the next week or so.
Here are the questions and answers.
Q: What is being done to help with flooding in the Clear Lake area?
A: This morning we did open our Clear Creek second outlet gates and this is just an alternative outlet to let water out of the Clear Creek watershed. It's on the east side of Clear Lake. We opened them out of an abundance of precaution this morning. We had 3 to 5 inches of rain along the lower portions of the Clear Creek watershed overnight and this morning. So we opened them to help expedite that water out of the creek and we're going to go ahead and leave them open tonight and into tomorrow in case we get some more heavy rain this evening and overnight tonight. We'll reevaluate tomorrow what we're going to do at the end of the week for the tropical system heading toward the coast.
Q: Is there any concern of neighborhood flooding due to opening the gates?
A: No, actually we've been monitoring the creek levels today and there's no potential for structure flooding or roadway flooding around the bay and the creek. Galveston Bay and Clear Lake are about equal right now. It was really just a precaution just in case we had more significant rain this afternoon and this evening and so far we've done fairly well down there. We haven't seen any additional rainfall.
Q: How are the bayous looking ahead of Issac?
A: The bayous are doing good right now even though we have been wet and we will continue to see showers and thunderstorms off and on through the next couple days. Going later into the week -- Thursday, Friday, Saturday -- we need to be paying attention to the tropical wave and the Caribbean which now has a 70 percent chance of developing into a tropical depression or tropical storm in the northwest Gulf of Mexico and potentially impacting the Texas coast in that Thursday, Friday, Saturday time frame. The main threat right now appears to be additional heavy rainfall and of course that falling on already saturated, soggy ground could result in higher rates of runoff than what we've seen over the last few days, so we need to be paying attention to it, we encourage everybody to have their plan, to make sure they have their hurricane kits stocked, fully, right now, because as we have seen in the Gulf of Mexico, things can change relatively quickly with short notice, so you need to be paying attention and checking the forecast at least once a day for the next several days.
Q: Has anyone from the East Coast reached out to ask how we handled Harvey?
A: We haven't heard anything from North Carolina. Obviously, they're dealing with a very serious situation in the Mid-Atlantic and the Carolinas right now. They're following their emergency plans just like we would be doing here if we were under that same level of threat. Everything seems to be going relatively smoothly there, but that is going to be a difficult impact for them later this week.
Q: What else should we know about the weather in the next week or so?
A: You know, really right now, it's just monitoring. Keeping an eye on things. I encourage people to check the weather at least once a day for the next several days to make sure they know what's happening. Things can change fairly quickly in the Gulf of Mexico this time of year, so we need to be paying attention. If we start to see additional heavy rainfall, especially later in the week, Harris County FWS.org is the place to go to look at rainfall and bayou levels as well as real-time inundation mapping that will show what is being inundated if a creek or bayou does come out of its banks.