Harvey Now Cat. 1 Hurricane; Flash Flood Watch Issued Until Monday Morning

Here’s the 4:38 p.m. report on Hurricane Harvey from the National Weather Service covering southeast Texas.

Harvey has intensified into a hurricane this afternoon and could become a high Category 3 hurricane on Friday before it makes landfall. But the primary impact from Harvey for Bryan, College Station, and Brazos County remains very heavy rainfall and the potential for extreme flooding. We may see the lower end of some tropical storm force winds on Friday night and into Saturday, but the flooding is really the concern.

A Flash Flood Watch has been issued for Brazos County and other surrounding counties from 4 a.m. Friday until Monday morning. That Flash Flood Watch also could be extended further into next week depending on Harvey’s path and how much it slows down over the weekend.

Flash Flood Watch to include a portion of southeast Texas…including the following counties…Austin…Brazoria…Brazos…Burleson…Chambers…Fort Bend…Galveston…Grimes…Harris…Liberty…Montgomery…Waller and Washington.

The weather service and other meteorologists are still estimating that Brazos County will be likely to get anywhere from 3-10 inches of rainfall over the weekend, depending on the strength and direction of different bands of rain from Harvey, with some local areas getting even more than that.

This is a serious situation and residents are encouraged to follow our City of Bryan updates here and on our social media channels, and to check your local news outlets and keep up-to-date on the changing weather conditions.

 
 
Here’s the complete 4:38 p.m. statement from the National Weather Service.

Hurricane Harvey Local Statement Advisory Number 18
National Weather Service Houston/Galveston TX AL092017
438 PM CDT Thu Aug 24 2017

This product covers Southeast Texas

**HARVEY HEADED TOWARDS THE TEXAS COAST**
**DEVASTATING FLOODING BECOMING LIKELY FOR SOUTHEAST TEXAS**

NEW INFORMATION
—————

* CHANGES TO WATCHES AND WARNINGS:
– None

* CURRENT WATCHES AND WARNINGS:
– A Tropical Storm Warning and Storm Surge Watch are in effect
for Chambers and Harris
– A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for Austin, Colorado,
Fort Bend, Liberty, Waller, and Wharton
– A Storm Surge Warning and Hurricane Warning are in effect for
Jackson and Matagorda
– A Storm Surge Warning and Tropical Storm Warning are in effect
for Brazoria and Galveston

* STORM INFORMATION:
– About 320 miles south of Galveston TX or about 300 miles
south-southeast of Port O`Connor TX
– 24.7N 93.9W
– Storm Intensity 85 mph
– Movement North-northwest or 330 degrees at 10 mph

SITUATION OVERVIEW
——————

Harvey has intensified into a hurricane this afternoon. Harvey is
expected to continue to strengthen possibly becoming a major hurricane
on Friday before landfall. At this point, Harvey could become a high
end category 3 hurricane. The primary impact from Harvey remains very
heavy rainfall and extreme flooding for southeast Texas. There is also
the threat for tropical storm to hurricane force winds and storm surge
along the coast. The most likely arrival time for tropical storm force
winds to reach the upper Texas coast is during the day on Friday. Since
the wind fields have expanded in Harvey, higher storm surge can be
expected up the Texas coast. Again, we want to emphasize the high
amounts of rainfall that could lead to widespread and prolonged
flooding across the area.

POTENTIAL IMPACTS
—————–

* FLOODING RAIN:
Prepare for life-threatening rainfall flooding having possible
devastating impacts across much of southeast Texas. The highest threat
is for areas along and south of a Columbus to Houston line. Potential
impacts include:
– Extreme rainfall flooding may prompt numerous evacuations and
rescues.
– Rivers and tributaries may overwhelmingly overflow their banks
in many places with deep moving water. Small streams, creeks,
canals, and ditches may become raging rivers. Flood control
systems and barriers may become stressed.
– Flood waters can enter numerous structures within multiple
communities, some structures becoming uninhabitable or washed
away. Numerous places where flood waters may cover escape
routes. Streets and parking lots become rivers of raging water
with underpasses submerged. Driving conditions become very
dangerous. Numerous road and bridge closures with some weakened
or washed out.

Prepare for life-threatening rainfall flooding having possible
limited to extensive impacts across areas north of Columbus to Houston.

* WIND:
Prepare for life-threatening wind having possible devastating impacts
across Matagorda Bay from Port O`Connor to Sargent. Potential impacts
in this area include:
– Structural damage to sturdy buildings, some with complete roof
and wall failures. Complete destruction of mobile homes. Damage
greatly accentuated by large airborne projectiles. Locations
may be uninhabitable for weeks or months.
– Numerous large trees snapped or uprooted along with fences and
roadway signs blown over.
– Many roads impassable from large debris, and more within urban
or heavily wooded places. Many bridges, causeways, and access
routes impassable.
– Widespread power and communications outages.

* SURGE:
Prepare for life-threatening surge having possible devastating
impacts across the entire Upper Texas Coast. Potential impacts in
this area include:
– Widespread deep inundation, with storm surge flooding greatly
accentuated by powerful battering waves. Structural damage to
buildings, with many washing away. Damage greatly compounded
from considerable floating debris. Locations may be
uninhabitable for an extended period.
– Near-shore escape routes and secondary roads washed out or
severely flooded. Flood control systems and barriers may become
stressed.
– Extreme beach erosion. New shoreline cuts possible.
– Massive damage to marinas, docks, boardwalks, and piers.
Numerous small craft broken away from moorings with many lifted
onshore and stranded.

Also, prepare for life-threatening surge having possible significant
to extensive impacts across Galveston Bay.

* TORNADOES:
Prepare for a tornado event having possible limited impacts across all
of southeast Texas. Potential impacts include:
– The occurrence of isolated tornadoes can hinder the execution
of emergency plans during tropical events.
– A few places may experience tornado damage, along with power
and communications disruptions.
– Locations could realize roofs peeled off buildings, chimneys
toppled, mobile homes pushed off foundations or overturned,
large tree tops and branches snapped off, shallow-rooted trees
knocked over, moving vehicles blown off roads, and small boats
pulled from moorings.

Elsewhere across Southeast Texas, little to no impact is anticipated.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS
———————————-

* EVACUATIONS:
WATCH/WARNING PHASE – For those under evacuation orders, leave as
soon as practical with a destination in mind. Gas up your vehicle
well ahead of time. Be sure that you take all essential materials
from your emergency supplies kit. Let others know where you are going
and when you intend to arrive.

WATCH/WARNING PHASE – If evacuating the area, stick to prescribed
evacuation routes. Look for additional traffic information on roadway
smart signs and listen to select radio channels for further travel
instructions. Drivers should not use cell phones while operating
vehicles.

WATCH/WARNING PHASE – For those not under evacuation orders,
understand that there are inherent risks to evacuation (such as
traffic congestion, accidents, and driving in bad weather), so
evacuate only if necessary. Help keep roadways open for those that
are under evacuation orders.

WATCH/WARNING PHASE – If you are exceptionally vulnerable to wind or
water hazards from tropical systems, consider voluntary evacuation,
especially if being officially recommended. Relocate to a
predetermined shelter or safe destination.

WATCH/WARNING PHASE – If evacuating away from the area or relocating
to a nearby shelter, leave early before weather conditions become
hazardous.

* OTHER PREPAREDNESS INFORMATION:
Now is the time to check your emergency plan and take necessary
actions to secure your home or business. Deliberate efforts should be
underway to protect life and property. Ensure that your Emergency
Supplies Kit is stocked and ready.

When making safety and preparedness decisions, do not focus on the
exact forecast track as there are inherent forecast uncertainties
which must be taken into account.

If you live in a place that is particularly vulnerable to high wind,
such as a mobile home, an upper floor of a high rise building, or on
a boat, plan to move to safe shelter. Take enough supplies for you
and your family for several days.

If you live in a place particularly vulnerable to flooding, such as
near the ocean or a large inland lake, in a low lying or poor
drainage area, in a valley or canyon, or near an already swollen
river, plan to move to safe shelter on higher ground

Always heed the advice of local officials and comply with any orders
that are issued. Do not needlessly jeopardize your life or the lives
of others.

When securing your property, outside preparations should be conducted
as soon as possible before conditions deteriorate. The onset of
strong gusty winds and heavy rain can cause certain preparedness
activities to become unsafe.

Be sure to let friends and other family members know of your
intentions and whereabouts for surviving the storm. For emergency
purposes, have someone located away from the threatened area serve as
your point of contact. Share vital contact information with others.
Keep cell phones handy and well charged.

Be a Good Samaritan and check on those who may not be fully aware of
the situation or who are unable to make personal preparations.

Visitors to the area should become familiar with nearby surroundings.
If you are a visitor, know the name of the county or parish in which
you are located and where it is relative to current watches and
warnings. If staying at a hotel, ask the management staff about their
onsite disaster plan. Listen for evacuation orders, especially
pertaining to area visitors.

Closely monitor NOAA Weather Radio or other local news outlets for
official storm information. Listen for possible changes to the
forecast.

* ADDITIONAL SOURCES OF INFORMATION:
– For information on appropriate preparations see ready.gov
– For information on creating an emergency plan see getagameplan.org
– For additional disaster preparedness information see redcross.org

NEXT UPDATE
———–

The next local statement will be issued by the National Weather
Service in Houston/Galveston TX around 1030 PM CDT, or sooner if
conditions warrant.