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Q&A: Harris County Meteorologist Jeff Lindner on Imelda

HARRIS COUNTY, Texas – Harris County Meteorologist Jeff Lindner spoke to KPRC 2 anchor Keith Garvin on Thursday night.

He discussed Imelda's impact on the county.

Here's a portion of the interview:

Q: Which bayous and creeks are in danger of reaching their banks on Tuesday night?

A: The bayous and creeks in the southeast part of the county are definitely the ones we are watching the most. We've had anywhere from 4 to 6 inches of rain today (Tuesday) over the southeast part of the county around Clear Creek and the I-45 Ellington Field area.

Those channels down there, Beamer Ditch and Turkey Creek, are some of the highest channels we have right now. But, for the other bayous and creeks in the county, they're in very good conditions and relatively low. We are just starting to see the heavier rain spread a little further north into Harris County, out of Brazoria County. The actual center is now up around the north of Pearland and headed up towards the Galleria area. So, we'll expect that heavy rain to push a little further north over the next few hours.

Q: Where is the heaviest rain on Tuesday night?

A: Really, the heavy rain on the eastern and southern side of the center (of the system). We've seen some heavy rainfall this evening over parts of Brazoria County, and we'll see if that lifts northward into eastern Harris County, really east of I-45 is the threat area for tonight and tomorrow morning.

Q: How has the county handled the rain?

A: You know, so far, we've been able to handle the rain. Even down to our south, where they've had some of the heavier totals, no widespread flooding reported, as of yet. We've been fortunate in the fact that we've been able to handle this rain so far, so we'll see how that continues tonight. But the potential is there, the threat is there for some heavy rainfall.

Q: What makes Imelda interesting?

A: The interesting part of this storm is that it's actually better defined this evening, now well inland, than down near the coast this morning. Sometimes, we see that with these weak tropical systems that are pretty ill-defined at the coast. The friction of the land itself kind of tightens up that circulation so that looking at it on the radar this evening it's actually better defined than what we were seeing earlier this morning, so sometimes, that helps to focus that rainfall near the center and these bands to the east of it during the overnight hours, so we're going to be paying attention to that tonight.

Q: What threat does the storm pose for residents?

A: The No. 1 thing is going to be the street flooding potential, and if you see water, if your route tends to have high water, you might pick an alternate route for tomorrow. And, of course, if you see water over the roadway, don't drive into it. Be especially cautious at the underpasses where we can particularly see the water get pretty deep. We've had issues with that and vehicles before in some of the other floods we've had. Just be cautious out there if you're driving around tonight or first thing tomorrow morning. And get up early in the morning. Check the conditions before you head out so you can kind of prepare yourself for what's expected out there.

The other thing to say is, this is the start of this. We still have you know 24 to 48 hours to go into Thursday of this heavy rain potential so just because we get through tonight and first thing tomorrow morning potentially OK doesn't mean that the threat is completely over.


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