(Please see food delivery note below)
It has been five days since our Hurricane Harvey response began and it is still not over. Our crews have been working around the clock staffing nine apparatus, five ambulances, and numerous command vehicles in addition to our command staff who have been operating our Emergency Operations Center at our Station 5 complex 24 hours a day since 9:24 pm Saturday night. To date, we have responded to over 400 calls and helped rescue almost 1,500 men, women, and children as well as numerous pets and livestock.
Addicks and Barker’s watersheds have received 32 to 35 inches of water since the start of this event and that has caused a lot of flooding in and around our area. Fortunately, the Barker Reservoir hit what should be its peak of 101.6 feet and has begun to slowly recede to 101.43 feet as of 5:30 pm Tuesday evening.
Currently, the gate at the Barker Reservoir is releasing 6,300 cubic feet of water per second into Buffalo Bayou but it is not expected that we will see a significant decline in water levels for many days. Our rescue crews canvassed all affected neighborhoods throughout the day today and still found many people who, in spite of being flooded in with no power, did not want to leave their homes. This flooding will not recede quickly like a localized high water event and anyone who’s home is currently under water should not expect the situation to improve anytime soon. With expected temperatures in the low 90’s, anyone choosing to remain in their home at an extreme risk of heat related and dehydration issue and we strongly recommend they let our crews get them to higher ground.
Harris County Flood Control reported that the Addicks pool elevation was 109.1 feet, up from 108.9 feet on Tuesday night. Several neighborhoods were flooded on Tuesday after water began overflowing from the reservoir through the north-end spillway but it is not expected that this will continue much longer.
We’re reminding the public that it is important to stay out of flood waters whenever possible.
• Debris that can’t be seen and can injure you
• Wild animals, snakes, floating fire ants
• Downed power lines that can cause electrocution
• Pollutants from runoff
Residents should wash their hands frequently and clean all items that touch flood waters thoroughly. For information on cleaning and storm recovery, please visit Harris County Public Health.
Food and Goodie deliveries:
We would like to thank our Katy community for their overwhelming generosity and outpouring of donations (meals, treats, and clothing) that have been coming into all four of our stations. This unbelievable response has prompted us to ask our community members to reach out to us prior to delivering donations as we are currently at max capacity.
If you would like to provide comfort food for our First Responders please email us at Food48@hcesd48.org, include your name, phone number, food donation and amount of people you intend to feed. A member of our department will contact you to help coordinate a date and time you would like to deliver your donation.
First responders are working on thousands of rescues and calls continue to come in. Harris County Sheriff’s Office along has completed more than 2200 rescue operations. We are also seeing many citizen rescue attempts. If you receive calls offering volunteer help, please direct them to:
• American Red Cross, (866) 526-8300, http://www.redcross.org/
• Volunteer Houston, (281) 656-1533, http://volunteerhouston.org
• Texas Gulf Coast VOAD, http://txgulfcoastvoad.org/
• Katy Disaster Response, https://katydisasterresponse.com/
We are no longer asking for boats and high water vehicles. We are encouraging people with boats/vehicles who still want to help to assist their neighbors if they can do so safely.
It is important that if you are already beginning to clean out and take debris from your home, that you sort and place at your curb. Each neighborhoods trash pick up up may be different but debris and household items must be sorted and placed properly to be picked up!
Home Flooding Reporting:
If your home has been impacted by the floods, go to www.distasterassistance.gov, regardless if you have flood insurance, and fill out the application for potential FEMA assistance and to record flood damage assessment in our area. Thank you!
Water will take at least a few days to recede. Stay off the roadways.
• 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 and contact 9-1-1. 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.
Download HCOHSEM’s ReadyHarris mobile app (http://bit.ly/ReadyHarrisApp). The free app puts the power to build a personalized preparedness plan in the palm of your hand and is available for both Apple and Android devices.
Tuesday: Important Barker Reservoir Update and Flooding FAQ!
Monday: Barker and Addicks Reservoirs… How it affects the Katy area.