Tropical Depression Imelda is the first named storm since Hurricane Harvey in 2017 to bear down on the Houston area. As of Thursday morning, rescues were reportedly underway, and calls for help were pouring into 911 call centers across Southeast Texas. The worst of the heavy rain at the moment seems to be falling east of Houston.
Kent Prochazka is a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in League City, Texas. He says a band of heavy rain began overnight on Wednesday, extending into Chambers and Liberty Counties.
“Some pretty mind-boggling rainfall has come with this – rainfall rates of anywhere from 5-6 inches an hour,” Prochazka says. “That harkens back to Harvey and Allison kind of rainfall.”
Areas west of Beaumont have reported 31 inches of rain, so far, with 23-29 inches along Interstate Highway 10, going into Chambers and Montgomery Counties, Prochazka says. Some roadways in both counties are completely submerged, he says.
The Beaumont Enterprise reports that some areas that did not flood during Hurricane Harvey are currently flooded.
Prochazka says the severity of rains in Southeast Texas means residents should be extremely cautious.
“I really want to stress that getting out and traveling in this is a really bad idea,” Prochazka says. “If you need help, if you need medical attention, call 911.”
Prochazka says the bands of rain will continue to move southward, but rainfall rates may be reduced as wind lessens. Rain may move more toward the southwest and northeast during Thursday afternoon.
Prochazka expects heavy rains in the Houston metropolitan area, beginning in late morning or early afternoon, making travel difficult.
Written by Shelly Brisbin.