Houston prepares for threat of severe weather

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Emergency responders will be on standby throughout the weekend in anticipation of further flooding.

With the threat of severe weather ahead, there is the potential for more flooding in the Houston area.

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People who live near the Willow Waterhole Bayou in southwest Houston prepare for possible flooding

The Army Corps of Engineers is planning on closing both the Addicks and Barkers Reservoirs by early to mid-afternoon.

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Officials say the reservoirs may be closed ahead of severe weather this weekend

Crews have already started decreasing the amount of water coming out of the reservoirs because of the forecasted storms.

The levels have already come down a foot from last week, so they want to continuing releasing as much water as possible.

Officials tell us it only takes about 30 minutes to close the reservoirs.

VIDEO: How to escape your car if you're caught in a flash flood
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How to escape a flooded car

PHOTOS: Severe weather across southeast Texas

Drivers who went out last week learned quickly just how dangerous high water can become on our roadways.

The message remains the same: Turn around, don't drown.

But, what if you cannot help the situation and you get caught? Having your vehicle swept away by water is pretty scary, but there is something you can do.

Drivers can use a tool called the "resqhammer" to escape their vehicle It cost about $29 at Bering's Hardware on Bissonnet.

First, you cut your seat belt. Experts say in high water, your car's electrical system can short out, causing your seat belt to jam.

VIDEO: ABC13 reporter Steve Campion rescues driver caught in high water
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This driver found himself in a dangerous situation. Fortunately, Steve Campion was nearby.

VIDEO: Elderly man rescued from car
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Elderly man rescued from car

Next, use the car escape tool to shatter the glass of your window so you can escape. The tool features a steel tip that makes it easier to break the glass from the inside.

ABC13 reporter Kaitlin McCulley demonstrated how this tool can help you escape your car if you're caught in a flash flood.

Smartphone and tablet users should download the abc13 weather app for up-to-the-minute information and alerts that can save your life during severe weather.

This is a tool that has helped a lot of people out there. Again, it's free and available in your app store.

Full coverage of Houston severe weather and flooding

To our viewers: TURN AROUND, DON'T DROWN! The National Weather Service reports each year, more deaths occur due to flooding than from any other thunderstorm related hazard.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that over half of all flood-related drownings occur when a vehicle is driven into hazardous flood water. The next highest percentage of flood-related deaths is due to walking into or near flood waters.

People underestimate the force and power of water. Many of the deaths occur in automobiles as they are swept downstream. Of these drownings, many are preventable, but too many people continue to drive around the barriers that warn you the road is flooded.

A mere six 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.
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