While both the East Coast and West Coast US are experiencing nearly 100 degree days, the city of Houston and other parts of central Texas are still expected to see heavy rainstorms within the coming week. A slow-moving storm is bringing in moisture from the Gulf of Mexico, and travels across the Lone Star State could be bringing about scattered thunderstorms and high risk of flash flooding.
These forecasts continued to arrive even as the affected areas have been coming out of a very cold, rainy May. About 20 inches of rainfall had been recorded in some areas during the last month, with close numbers flooding places as far as neighboring Louisiana.
In any case, the forecasts may have very well prompted many Houston citizens to prepare for another round of dangerous flooding to avoid a repeat of the Hurricane Harvey disasters.
Texas flood becoming major concern
The flood levels brought about during the May rainfall weather had broken records dating as far back as the 1940s. And with the Atlantic hurricane season just beginning, governments on the local and federal level are expected to prepare evacuations as well as initiatives to clean up damages.
It has been estimated that Hurricane Harvey inflicted property damages that roughly totaled to $125 billion, putting it on par with Hurricane Katrina. Controversy over aid and repairs was all over the news at that time (particularly a billion dollar aid scandal between the state and the city of Houston).
Regardless, here are some changes that can be expected in response to the scattered rainstorms to come.
1. Travel advisories.
Interstate travelers going by road through Victoria, Houston and Austin may be discouraged from going any further in the onset of a rainstorm. Vehicles may also need to be parked in places away from flood-prone neighborhoods to avoid possible water damage.
2. Home preparation.
Expect to see more homes shoring up anti-flood protection in their yards as well as within their own basements. Whether it is to repair cracks in the lower walls or improving a garden drainage system, expect a lot of people lining up at home and hardware stores.
3. School closings.
A majority of the state's schools have been reopened since fall. However, some districts may expect temporary closures and suspension of classes. Students and parents should expect notifications in the coming weeks.
Houston's vulnerable communities demand stronger action against floods
From Hurricane Harvey to this year's May floods, the current climate has once again brought to light the struggles of Houston's poorer communities. Many advocates continue to speak out against what they perceive as the state's unequal treatment of minorities who live in still segregated neighborhoods.
The same neighborhoods have even weaker measures against floods and are the first to suffer from the city's poor management record of flood control. Evacuation procedures are also not well-received, as the lack of both literal and social mobility make it extremely difficult to abandon homes (even temporarily). The slow movement of aid funds has certainly not made things better.
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