Tropical Storm Beta made landfall Monday on the south central Texas coast, dumping up to 12 inches of rain in some parts of Houston. There was also heavy rain in parts at Galveston and Fort Bend counties.
Beta was downgraded to a tropical depression Tuesday, but more rain is expected throughout the day, including in areas that saw major flooding three years ago during Hurricane Harvey. Jeffrey Evans, meteorologist in charge of the national weather service offices for Houston and Galveston, told Texas Standard that Beta is a slower-moving storm, somewhat like Hurricane Harvey in 2017. And though it won’t produce nearly as much rain as Harvey, flooding is still a problem.
“Clear Creek, which runs along the Harris County-Galveston County border, that’s out of its banks for most of the channel down towards the bay,” Evans said.
Some highway intersections and streets in downtown Houston are flooded, and some school districts have moved all of their classes online because of the storm. Evans said there are no reports yet of flooded homes.
The biggest risk right now is flooded roadways. Evans said residents should stay off the roads as much as possible.
“Especially people in the current flash-flood warnings [areas] … just stay put. Don’t get yourself out there trying to move around in these roads,” Evans said. “The vast majority of fatalities with flood events are in vehicles.”
He said Beta should move out of the area by Wednesday.