Situation update 5pm (4/18/16): Harris County ESD 48 Fire Department has responded to 31 emergency calls and our Emergency Operations Center (1773 Westgreen Blvd. Katy, TX 77450) received dozens of non-emergency calls for assistance since the storm event began Sunday night (4/17/16).
ESD 48 has responded to two structure fires in the past twelve hours. Both were caused by lightning strikes. The more significant was at 1055 hours and was located on Autumn Terrace Lane, where fire extended through the walls into the second floor and attic. A quick stop was made by crews working at the scene and damage greatly minimized. The first house fire happened earlier in the morning at 0122 hours on Cordova Brook Lane. Again, quick action limited the spread of the fire.
We have had two significant water rescues this morning, both performed by Engine 5. In the first incident, a lady was rescued from her flooded home on Franz near Fry Road and transported to an area hotel by Division Chief Sidwell. The second call had four people who were rescued by Engine 5 and transported to a local gas station where family members were waiting.
Currently, thanks to an amazing response from our volunteers and our paid firefighters holding over, all available front line and reserve fire suppression apparatus will be staffed for at least another 24 hours, as we see how the weather treats the district for another night.
Residents are urged to report house flooding at www.readyharris.org/go/survey/1829/11787/ or by calling the Harris County Flood Control District’s phone bank at 713-684-4000.
Call 911 only if you believe your life is in danger.
The Houston area received over 242 billion gallons of rain so far and all in less than a 24 hour period and it is expected that we will receive even more tonight and into Tuesday. Please avoid any unnecessary travel and do not proceed into standing water no matter how calm or shallow it may appear. At least 5 deaths have been reported in the Houston area and most are being attributed to crossing high water.
Residents are encouraged to stay at home or in a place of safety. Regardless, the most important safety tip is to stay out of the water. Not only is it impossible to determine the depth and movement of flood water but chemicals, snakes, rodents, insects and other critters may be lurking in the water.
A mere 6 inches of fast-moving flood water can knock over an adult. It takes just 12 inches of rushing water to carry away a small car while 2 feet of rushing water can carry away most vehicles. It is NEVER safe to drive or walk into flood waters.
Weather: http://www.srh.noaa.gov/hgx/ & http://www.spc.noaa.gov/
Local roads: http://www.houstontranstar.org/
State roads: http://conditions.drivetexas.org/curren/
Severe Warnings: http://www.ready.gov/
Power Outages: http://gis.centerpointenergy.com/outagetracker/
A special ‘thank you’ to the residents of ESD 48 who have brought by food to our stations and provided our crews with water when they have seen them working our many calls throughout our district. You make it a lot easier to work through the night and all day today.