Severe Weather Update-Fri 4/29

A weather system passing through Harris County beginning this afternoon has the potential to cause additional flooding in areas already saturated by last week’s storms. Rainfall has the potential to continue through the weekend and produce additional flooding.
Current National Weather Service (NWS) forecasts anticipate widespread rainfall of 2-4 inches with isolated areas receiving more. In addition, thunderstorms capable of producing isolated tornadoes, damaging winds, and hail are possible across the entire region.
TxDot has modified traffic lights from Mason road to Barker Cypress to help traffic flow quickly and smoothly and Trans-Star has also started placing barriers in low-lying areas that are prone to flood. It is imperative to follow all traffic signs and road blocks.
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What is the danger?
A series of storms entering Harris County Friday afternoon has the potential to bring 2-4 inches of rainfall to all parts of the area. Isolated areas could see more. In addition, the rain will be accompanied by possible tornadoes, damaging winds, and hail. These storms have the potential to seriously impact the afternoon commute.
What you should do:
Flooding is the most common weather hazard for Harris County residents. Flash floods are the number one cause of weather-related death. Residents should monitor local media for forecast updates as well as emergency information.
If you are on the road during heavy rainfall or severe weather, remember to slow down and give yourself extra time to get to your destination.
Steps to Take NOW
• TURN ON your TV/radio and monitor local weather information. If watches or warnings are issued, follow emergency instructions.
• BUILD OR RESTOCK your emergency preparedness kit. Include a flashlight, batteries, cash, and first aid supplies.
Basic Flood Safety Tips
• Turn Around, Don’t Drown! ® DO NOT DRIVE through high water and DO NOT DRIVE AROUND BARRICADES! Just 2 feet of water can sweep your vehicle away.
• DO NOT WALK through flood waters. Just 6 inches of moving water can knock you down.
• If your home floods, STAY THERE. You are safer at home than trying to navigate flooded streets on foot.
• If floodwaters rise around your car but the water is NOT MOVING, abandon the car and move to higher ground. Do not leave the car and enter MOVING water.
• STAY AWAY from streams, rivers, and creeks during heavy rainfall. These areas can flood quickly and with little warning.
• MOVE important items – especially important documents like insurance policies – to the highest possible floor. This will help protect them from flood damage.
• DISCONNECT electrical appliances and do not touch electrical equipment if you are wet or standing in water. You could be electrocuted.
Basic Tornado Safety
Tornadoes can strike quickly and without warning. They can be nearly transparent by day and invisible at night.
Know the difference between a watch and a warning:
Tornado Watch – Tornadoes are possible. Remain alert for approaching storms. Watch the sky and stay tuned to NOAA Weather Radio, commercial radio or television for information.
Tornado Warning – A tornado has been sighted or indicated by weather radar. Take shelter immediately.
If you are in a structure (e.g. home, small building, school, nursing home, hospital, factory, shopping center, high-rise building)
• Go to a pre-designated area such as a safe room, basement, storm cellar, or the lowest building level. If there is no basement, go to the center of a small interior room on the lowest level (closet, interior hallway) away from corners, windows, doors, and outside walls. Put as many walls as possible between you and the outside. Get under a sturdy table and use your arms to protect your head and neck.
• In a high-rise building, go to a small interior room or hallway on the lowest floor possible.
• Put on sturdy shoes.
• Do not open windows.
If you are outdoors, there is no single research-based recommendation for what last-resort action to take because many factors can affect your decision. Possible actions include:
• Immediately get into a vehicle, buckle your seat belt and try to drive to the closest sturdy shelter. If your vehicle is hit by flying debris while you are driving, pull over and park.
• Take cover in a stationary vehicle. Put the seat belt on and cover your head with your arms and a blanket, coat or other cushion if possible.
• Lie in an area noticeably lower than the level of the roadway and cover your head with your arms and a blanket, coat or other cushion if possible.
In all situations:
• Do not get under an overpass or bridge. You are safer in a low, flat location.
• Never try to outrun a tornado in urban or congested areas in a car or truck. Instead, leave the vehicle immediately for safe shelter.
• Watch out for flying debris. Flying debris from tornadoes causes most fatalities and injuries.
Where you can learn more?

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