‘Cautiously optimistic’: Houston, Harris County leaders on what area can expect ahead of Hurricane Laura

Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo speaks about storm preparations in Houston on Aug. 24, 2020.
Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo speaks about storm preparations in Houston on Aug. 24, 2020. (KPRC)

HOUSTON – Mayor Sylvester Turner urges residents to keep their guard up as Hurricane Laura makes landfall.

Despite the changed track, Turner asked Houstonians to be off the roadways by 8 p.m. Wednesday due to the possibility of strong winds and rain. With more wind expected than rain, local officials anticipate Laura will raise chances of power outages.

CenterPoint Energy said they have made ample resources available, including about 2,000 employees spread across the Greater Houston area. The company also staged 30 sites with personnel ready to be deployed for restoration after the storm passes.

The priority will first be to address downed power lines for hospitals, public works, and first responders. Then, they will focus on the areas with the greatest number of customers affected at once.

CenterPoint said residents don’t need to call about power outages since they will be notified, but should call them or 9-1-1 for safety concerns.

Turner said the Houston area that is most at risk is near Interstate 45 at Interstate 610 in Clear Lake. He said rescue and restoration teams and shelters are ready to be deployed if needed.

Hurricane Laura update

WATCH LIVE: Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner and other city officials are discussing what Houston should expect when Hurricane Laura makes landfall. MORE: https://www.click2houston.com/news/local/2020/08/26/watch-live-mayor-turner-holds-briefing-on-what-city-can-expect-ahead-of-hurricane-laura/

Posted by KPRC2 / Click2Houston on Wednesday, August 26, 2020

Staying ready

Houston officials reminded residents that this is only the beginning of hurricane season, which lasts until about November. They reminded people to:

  • Review your hurricane evacuation plan and gather a hurricane safety kit, which also includes healthy safety items such as hand sanitizer and masks for each person.
  • Don’t drive through water, keep a full tank of gas, and monitor reliable sources for information. Drivers should also be mindful of downed trees and powerlines and treat all intersections without power as a four-way stop.
  • If you’re using a generator, be sure to keep it at least 20 feet from your home.
  • Seniors and those on oxygen should prepare in advance. They should keep supplies charged, pack extra batteries and chargers and keep all medicine and medical information in watertight storage.
  • Seniors and other high-risk populations can sign-up for the Centrepoint’s Critical Care Customer Form.

Check on elderly neighbors, those with small children disabled, those who may be vulnerable in 30-40 mph winds,” said Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee during the press conference on Wednesday.

Houston’s homeless population is asked to call 311 for temporary shelter during the storm. Houston police and critical responses teams are offering shelter to all those they encounter.

“Hurricane season is not over... they are prepared to go to roman numbers if we run out of names,” Turner said.

Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo also provided an update Wednesday evening on what the county can expect from Laura.

Here is the Spanish-only version of the press conference:

Hurricane Laura update

Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo and other county officials will provide an update Wednesday evening on what the city can expect from Hurricane Laura.

Posted by KPRC2 / Click2Houston on Wednesday, August 26, 2020

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