Tag Archives: Weather

Hazardous Weather Expected Tues and Wed

A full fledged storm system will arrive Tuesday bringing a threat of tornadoes and damaging winds and very heavy rainfall through Wednesday afternoon. Many areas will see some areas may see 3-7″ amounts with a few spots 10-12″. The window for the heaviest rainfall should be Tuesday night through Wednesday afternoon.

Very strong southerly winds will feed unusually rich moisture into the area to fuel the storms. These strong winds will prevail over the Upper Texas Coastal waters with near Gale conditions. The persistent nature of the strong winds Tuesday and Wednesday will escalate tide levels and seas and lead to coastal flooding and extensive beach flooding. Tide levels of 3.5 to 4′ will be likely Tuesday night and Wednesday and will be slow to recede Thursday as a second surge of southeasterly winds may return to the area Thursday morning.

We Can’t Always Stop Disasters, But We Can Get Prepared



Disasters like floods, hurricanes, and tornadoes are a harsh reality for our community and that’s why the Galveston County Health District (GCHD) is urging families to develop an emergency plan and kit on National PrepareAthon! Day, September 30.

“It’s very important for families to take the time to develop a plan and kit for when an emergency or disaster strikes,” said Randy Valcin GCHD Manager of Disease and Disaster. “For those who have already prepared their families, this is a good time to revisit the plan and emergency kit.”

Have a plan addressing:

  • What to do in case of a fire, flood, or tornado
  • Where to meet if separated
  • Who to call as emergency contacts

Have a kit with:

  • At least three days of food and water
  • A battery operated flashlight and radio
  • Other items included here: http://www.texasprepares.org/english/disaster_kit_list.pdf
  • A document bag with:
    • Current photo IDs, driver licenses, birth records, Social Security cards, passports
    • Photos of family members in case you get separated
    • Health insurance and prescription cards
    • Medical records, medications and dosages
    • Phone numbers (family, friends, doctors)
    • Bank account information
    • Wills
    • Insurance documents (homeowner, renter, flood, life)
    • Property deeds, leases, loan documents
    • Inventory of household possessions and their value
    • Backup computer files (on a CD, DVD, USB drive)
    • Copies of important keys
    • Utility bills (to prove where you live)

Managed and sponsored by the Ready campaign, National PrepareAthon! Day is the culmination of National Preparedness Month. The campaign is designed to raise awareness and encourage Americans to take steps to prepare for emergencies in their homes, schools, organizations, businesses, and places of worship.

More information and preparedness tips are available by visiting texasprepares.org and ready.gov/prepare.

DPS Encourages Texans to Make Emergency Plans, Stay Aware During Hurricane Season

20150806223809!TX_-_DPS_SealAUSTIN – The Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) is reminding residents that three months still remain in the 2015 Hurricane Season, and Texans need to stay prepared for the potential threat of hurricanes or tropical storms. Hurricane season began June 1 and continues through Nov. 30 – and historically, September is one of the more active months during a hurricane season and storms can form in the Gulf of Mexico with little warning.

“As we continue through the hurricane season, it is crucial that Texans remain aware of the possibility for dangerous storms and establish family emergency plans now – if they haven’t already done so,” said DPS Director Steven McCraw. “In many cases, staying safe during severe weather depends on early and adequate preparation.”

All Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico coastal areas are subject to hurricanes or tropical storms. Because the strongest winds in a hurricane are not located precisely at the center, it is possible for a storm to affect conditions over land even if landfall does not occur.

Hurricanes can cause catastrophic damage to coastlines and areas several hundred miles inland, and winds can exceed 155 miles per hour. Hurricanes and tropical storms can also spawn tornadoes, create storm surges along the coast, cause extensive damage from flooding and create dangerous rip currents.

Here are several measures residents can take now to prepare for potential storms:

  • Assemble an emergency kit that includes essential documents, supplies and provisions.
  • Review hurricane evacuation maps, and select a route for you and your family.
  • Plan how all family members and pets will evacuate safely.
  • Plan ahead for individuals with functional or access needs.
  • Stay informed about changing weather conditions in and around your area.

For more information on these tips and other ways to prepare for the 2015 hurricane season, please visit: www.texasprepares.org.

To register for assistance – including evacuation assistance – during a disaster, visit: http://dps.texas.gov/dem/stear/public.htm.

To monitor tropical activity this hurricane season, please visit: www.nhc.noaa.gov.

Peak of hurricane season is here

Boats floated up to the Kirby bridge in Seabrook during Hurricane Ike. (Photo: Kar Hlava)

Boats floated up to the Kirby bridge in Seabrook during Hurricane Ike. (Photo: Kar Hlava)

The hurricane season runs June 1 – Nov. 30 each year, but the historic peak of the season is this week, specifically Sept. 11-12.

So even though it has been a relatively slow hurricane season thus far, experts warn area residents to remain vigilant as some of the strongest and most damaging storms to hit Texas did so after Labor Day.

“We are concerned about the safety of every Texan during hurricane season,” Mark Hanna, a spokesman for the Insurance Council of Texas (ICT), said. “Even if a hurricane in the Gulf of Mexico is only a “Category 2” coastal residents should still make sure they’re prepared to protect their property and evacuate if needed. Texas homeowners and businesses who have been through a hurricane can tell you how devastating the storms can be.”

Category 2 (Cat 2) refers to the category strength of a hurricane with winds ranging from 96 to 110 mph and one that can be expected to produce extensive property damage. Hurricanes are categorized on a scale from 1 to 5, with 5 being the strongest. The category strength of a storm, however, makes no reference to the hurricane’s storm surge or rainfall amounts.

The last major storm to strike Texas, Hurricane Ike in 2008, was a Cat 2 hurricane, and it claimed more than 100 lives and completely wiped 3,000 homes and businesses off the Bolivar Peninsula. Hurricane Ike knocked out power for more than a week to hundreds of thousands of residents living in the area. Afterwards, city officials in Galveston would not allow evacuees to return to their homes for more than a week because of the putrid conditions from flood waters that had created a health hazard.

Despite the damage caused by Hurricane Ike, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) did not list it as a major hurricane, even though it was by far the costliest storm to ever hit Texas, causing $12 billion in damages. A hurricane must be a Cat 3 or stronger to be listed as a major hurricane.

Ike arrived late in the season, and should be a reminder for local residents to stay prepared.

“Generally if we make it to October (without a hurricane in the Gulf) we’re OK,” Dan Reilly, Warning Coordination Meteorologist with the National Weather Service’s Houston/Galveston office said. “But remember Alicia also developed during a quiet season, so it could be that type of year.”

Alicia was the only major storm of the 1983 hurricane season, forming on Aug. 15 and lasting five days on a path through Galveston and Houston. But before Alicia dissipated it caused the deaths of 21 people and $2.6 billion in damages.

“We need to stay tuned to weather reports and be ready for what may develop,” Reilly said. “Even in a quiet year they can pop up quickly in the Gulf, like Humberto in 2007.”

Humberto, a Category One hurricane, was the fastest developing hurricane in recorded history. It developed off the coast of Texas on Sept. 12, slammed High Island, and began dissipating inland on Sept. 14.


Changes in the Windstorm Insurance regulations and procedures can catch policy holders unaware if they haven’t been paying attention. With the peak of the hurricane season upon us, Hanna urges area residents to understand their windstorm policy.

“A lot of people have no idea of windstorm protection costs and how it impacts them,” he said. “Coastal contractors know the requirements. They know how many nails per square foot, what the codes are to be in compliance with (policy requirements). But a lot of people do not. People need to understand what to do with the certification process and who they should call. If you have any questions call the office. It’s a free service.”

TWIA regulations require any repairs, replacements or upgrades, to be done under code and certified with a TWIA inspector or certified engineer (a list of the latter can be found on the TDI website). If work is done on covered areas without the necessary inspection certificate, the policy may be void. And the inspections must be done before the work is completed.

“A lot of people who try to sell their house and have made repairs run into trouble because they can’t get insurance because they didn’t have the inspections done when they made repairs,” Hanna said. “It is a costly process if you have repairs made and you don’t have an inspector there. Then you have to go in again and get an engineer to come in behind the work and see that it was done properly, and that’s expensive. It is kind of a vicious cycle.”

To adequately prepare for the onslaught of a hurricane, ICT recommends that coastal residents and businesses have an evacuation plan and make sure their insurance is up to date. You cannot buy a windstorm policy if a named storm is already in the Gulf of Mexico. Also, make sure you have flood insurance if you are in an area prone to flooding. Keep in mind that a there is a 30 day waiting period before a flood insurance policy goes into effect. These coverages are in addition to your homeowners policy.

The Insurance Council of Texas is the largest state insurance trade association in the country consisting of approximately 500 property and casualty insurers writing business in Texas. For more information click on www.insurancecouncil.org or http://www.facebook.com/insurancecounciloftexas

Memorial Hermann Southeast Hospital Offers Tips to Beat the Heat

MHIt’s not uncommon for the temperature to hit 100 degrees during a typical Texas summer. In fact, the Houston area averages between three and four 100 degree days each year.

Sunday, August 9 marked the seventh time this summer we’ve hit 100 degrees and the fourth consecutive day of triple digit temperatures. Consecutive days of excessive heat can really take a toll on the body.

From 1999 to 2010, 7,415 deaths in the United States, an average of 618 per year, were associated with exposure to excessive heat. Doctors say it’s important to respect the heat and listen to your body’s cues.

“Extreme heat has a cumulative effect on the body meaning daily effects of the heat over time can increase the likelihood an individual will suffer a heat related illness,” says Dr. Nadim Islam, Medical Director, emergency department at Memorial Hermann Southeast Hospital. “If you’re hot, if you’re thirsty, you should find a cooler space and rehydrate. Don’t wait for more serious symptoms to develop.”

Two heat related illnesses to look for are heat exhaustion and heat stroke. Some warning signs of heat exhaustion include heavy sweating, pale skin, muscle cramps, dizziness, headache and nausea. Treating heat exhaustion can be as simple as resting in a cool place, taking a cool shower or bath and rehydrating with water or an electrolyte rich sports drink.

Heat stroke is a more serious condition that occurs when the body is unable to control its temperature. Heat stroke can develop in minutes and requires immediate medical attention. Some warning signs of heat stroke are a body temperature above 103 degrees, hot and dry skin without any sweat, rapid pulse, throbbing headaches, dizziness, nausea, confusion and unconsciousness. Generally speaking any alteration in mental status in the setting of extreme heat should prompt a patient to seek emergency medical attention.

Dr. Islam offers these tips to keep you and your children healthy during the summer heat:

  • Drink plenty of water, don’t wait to get thirsty and avoid caffeine and alcohol.
  • Wear loose, lightweight, light colored clothing. Dark colors absorb the sun’s heat.
  • Keep to air-conditioned spaces.
  • Avoid being outside during the hottest time of the day, typically around 3:00 p.m.
  • If you have to be outside, take frequent breaks and stay hydrated.

Houston Activates Heat Emergency Plan

Heat Plan Activation

The Following Library Locations will extend  their operating hours Saturday, August 8th until 7:00 p.m.:

  • Johnson Neighborhood Library (3517 Reed Rd.)
  • Moody Neighborhood Library (9525 Irvington)
  • Hillendahl Neighborhood Library (2436 Gessner)
  • Shepard-Acres Home Neighborhood Library (8501 West Montgomery)
  • Stanaker Neighborhood Library (611 S Sgt. Macario Garcia)
  • Tuttle Neighborhood Library (702 Kress)
  • Walter Neighborhood Library (7660 Clarewood)

Hurricane Symposium provides businesses, individuals with readiness ideas

W. Nim Kidd, Chief, Division of Emergency Management, Texas Department of Public Safety.

W. Nim Kidd, Chief, Division of Emergency Management, Texas Department of Public Safety.

HOUSTON — ImpactWeather and StormGeo held the 26th annual Hurricane Symposium on Thursday (July 9) at the Marriott West Loop. The event emcee was Frank Billingsley, the Chief Meteorologist at KPRC Channel 2.

The Symposium featured ten speakers with presentations designed to inform the business professional, emergency operations manager, risk specialist, business continuity coordinator and others who want to be prepared with the latest advancements and information during hurricane season.

This year’s program was entitled, “Aftermath,” and focused on the actions recommended by experts in the days and weeks following a major storm, both from business and individual viewpoints.

Derek Ortt, Tropical Meteorologist with StormGeo, presented a new way of predicting hurricane tracks with more accuracy and lead-time, enabling businesses to prepare in a timelier fashion.

Andrew Hagen, Tropical Meteorologist with StormGeo, gave a history of aerial hurricane reconnaissance, beginning with the first flight in 1943 and ending with current unmanned (drone) aircraft being used today.

Dave Gorham, Senior Meteorologist with StormGeo, presented about hurricane readiness, emphasizing that most businesses and individuals who think they are ready are actually not as prepared as they could be. He said that the four main focuses of a hurricane kit are food, water, prescription medications and technology, primarily cell phones.

Gorham suggested some upgrades to the typical hurricane kit: hand sanitizer, rain gear, a map with the applicable evacuation routes highlighted, insect repellent, extra pairs of eyeglasses, soap and to take a CPR class before hurricane season begins. He also suggested adding a pet emergency kit, if applicable, including vaccination records and proof of ownership in the form of photographs in case the pet gets separated from the owner.

Gorham also suggested several resources. Taking an online class at ReadyHoustonTX.gov takes about 90 minutes. Pre-registering an elderly or disabled person (anyone who may need professional assistance in an evacuation) for the State of Texas Emergency Assistance Registry (STEAR) at TexasSTEAR.org takes just a few minutes, but will save precious time when a storm is approaching.

For more detailed training, many cities offer Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) classes, which typically are 12 weeks long. To locate a local CERT class, visit https://www.fema.gov/community-emergency-response-teams. Gorham also reminded the attendees about 2-1-1, which connects callers with a myriad of services.

Gorham said that the guideline for water is to have one gallon per person per day on hand. A family of four needs only about six cases of water for seven days. For people who plan to use a bathtub to store water, Gorham suggested visiting MyWaterSafe.com, which sells hurricane water storage systems and collapsible water containers.

A seven-day supply of food per person is the guideline for readiness according to Gorham. He suggested stocking up on food that has a long shelf life and mentioned that self-heating meals are now available. He gave two resources for online companies that will deliver convenient, long-lasting meals for storage to the home: WiseFoodStorage.com and TheReadyStore.com.

Technology-wise, Gorham emphasized the Twitter application, available for most smartphones, tablets and computers. Twitter is an online social networking service that enables users to send and read short 140-character messages called “tweets.” Gorham suggested several accounts to follow to get the latest emergency information available: @TxDOT, @DisasterPIO, @FEMA, @RedCross, @GalvCountyOEM, @HouChron, @KPRC2Weather, @HellerWeather and @ChronSciGuy.

Gorham also suggested downloading the Red Cross and FEMA apps, “Get a Game Plan,” which is an app containing tips, suggestions and resources about hurricane planning from the state of Louisiana and Life 360, a location-based service that allows family members to share their location with each other in real time. All of these apps are available in the App Store (for Apple iOS users) and Android Central or Google Play (for Android users).

For a larger group, such as a neighborhood, Gorham suggested NextDoor.com, a private social network limited to residents of a subdivision or community that may be joined by invitation only.

W. Nim Kidd, Chief, Division of Emergency Management, Texas Department of Public Safety, discussed how the state manages and directs its resources and assets in the face of a disaster such as the aftermath of a hurricane. Chief Kidd said that mayors and county judges are the official directors of their area’s emergency management and are the ones to order evacuations.

Kidd suggested that each person keep a piece of paper with important phone numbers on it with them at all times, as many people are used to just pressing a button to call a loved one and don’t have the number memorized. He suggested that Twitter users follow @TX_Alerts to be notified of Amber and Silver Alerts and @TDEM to get updates from the Texas Dept. of Emergency Management.

Kevin Oden, Assistant Emergency Management Coordinator for the City of Dallas Office of Emergency Management, spoke about how inland cities can be prepared to host disaster evacuees efficiently. He recounted his experiences with Hurricanes Gustav and Ike and what persons evacuating from a disaster should expect from a receiving city and what the receiving city should expect from those evacuating.

Francisco Sanchez, the Liaison for Harris County Homeland Security and Emergency Management, discussed returning to Harris County after a major storm, including understanding SWEAT (safety, water, energy, access and telecommunications), plus reentry or not (for the public), credentialed personnel and the start of recovery and individual assistance.

Sanchez asked the audience to name some recent disasters and was jovially heckled by an attendee that shouted, “Blue Bell!” Sanchez joined the audience in laughter and then agreed that the lack of Texas’ trademark ice cream was indeed a disaster.

Gary Scheibe, the Security Manager for Shell Deer Park, discussed “PEARing Down the Aftermath.” The PEAR acronym stands for Protecting People, Environment, Assets and your Reputation.

Justen Noakes, Director of Emergency Preparedness for H-E-B, presented how H-E-B responds to a disaster and its desire to do more than simply re-open its doors in the aftermath of a hurricane.

Chris Hebert, Senior Meteorologist and Lead Hurricane Forecaster with StormGeo, discussed the 2015 Atlantic Basin tropical forecast. Hebert said that this season is forecasted to have lower activity than historical averages.

Finally, Josh Morgerman, renowned hurricane chaser with iCyclone, presented first-person video from his experiences chasing category-5 Super Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines (2013) and Hurricane Odile in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico (2014).

To learn more about the Hurricane Symposium, visit http://hurricanesymposium.com/.

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Tropical disturbance expected to make landfall in Texas late tonight or tomorrow morning


557efbe54ddd7.imageA tropical disturbance in the Gulf of Mexico is expected to make landfall on the Texas coast late tonight or early Tuesday.

Expected impacts

Heavy rainfall, flooding from late tonight through Wednesday.

Gusty winds also, especially near the coast, of 30 to 40 mph. Gusts to 50 mph close to where center makes landfall.

Flash Flood Watch late tonight through Wednesday. There will also be a threat of minor coastal flooding around time of high tide late tonight and Tuesday morning.

An isolated tornado or two will also be possible in rain bands.

High surf, elevated risk for rip currents

As of 8 a.m. Monday the disturbance, which would be named Bill if it becomes a tropical storm, was in the south central Gulf of Mexico and appeared to be more concentrated than yesterday. Forecasters give the system an 80 percent chance of becoming a tropical cyclone during the next 48 hours. Hurricane Hunter aircraft was beginning its investigation of the system Monday morning.

Pearland ISD Cancels Summer School on Tuesday June 16

PISDHeaderPearland ISD is canceling summer school and after-school programs Tuesday, June 16, because of reports of potentially severe weather. In addition, summer school teachers should not report to work on Tuesday. We will continue to monitor changing weather conditions. Please check the district website for updates.

City of Houston confirms additional weather-related fatality

A parked car near State Highway 288 in Pearland. Numerous stalled or abandoned vehicles throughout the greater Houston area were still being cleared Wednesday.

A parked car near State Highway 288 in Pearland. Numerous stalled or abandoned vehicles throughout the greater Houston area were still being cleared Wednesday.

The City of Houston is confirming that an additional victim was found deceased today as recovery operations were underway near US-59 and the the West Loop.

At 6:42 a.m. crews from the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) spotted a car at the entrance ramp on US-59 and W. Loop South (4900 Westpark). After additional water pumps were brought in, a body was discovered. The victim, identified as a 31-year-old Hispanic male was discovered near the vehicle. The cause of death is currently under investigation, but is presumed to be directly associated with the flooding in that area.

Total Fatalities

The following represents a list of fatalities currently confirmed by the City of Houston:

  • A white Female 64 years of age at 5775 Ranchester. This victim was found in an SUV.
  • A white Female of Unknown age was found at 4300 S MacGregor in the Brays Bayou.
  • A white male of unknown age was found at 1700 Studewood. This victim was discovered after his vehicle was inadvertently towed to a local vehicle storage facility, where his body was subsequently discovered.
  • Asian male, 50 years of age, was found at 1700 Holcombe.
  • A white male, 66 years of age was found at 1400 W. Loop South. This individual died of what is believed to be a heart attack after assisting a stranded motorist. The death is associated with, but not directly caused, by the flood event. Official cause of death is still pending autopsy by the Harris County Institute of Forensic Sciences.
  • A Hispanic Male, 31 years of age was discovered near a submerged vehicle at US-59 and W Loop South in southwest Houston.

If you come upon high water, TURN AROUND, DON’T DROWN!