Houston officials launch plan for flood-prone roads

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Roads across the area face potential flooding, Elissa Rivas reports. (KTRK)

Houston officials say they are preparing to barricade dozens of roads in case of flooding.

Mayor Sylvester Turner says the city is pre-deploying street barricades at 38 intersections. The city will also accelerate storm debris collection ahead of the potential storms.

VIDEO: Houston prepares for threat of severe weather
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The Addicks and Barker reservoirs will be closed this afternoon, officials say

"City emergency operations personnel are keeping a close watch on the approaching weather," Turner says. "We hope this is nothing more than some strong storms that our systems can handle, but there is some indication that it could be something more severe."

Turner says the barricades are being placed at these locations in the event they must be closed to traffic:

  • Barker Cypress @ Saums

  • Barker Cypress @ Morton

  • Washington Ave. @ Hempstead

  • Allen Pkwy. @ Waugh

  • Memorial @ Waugh

  • Allen Pkwy. @ Montrose Blvd.

  • Allen Pkway. @ Roch

  • Memorial @ Montrose Blvd.

  • Allen Pkwy. @ Bagby

  • Center St. @ Houston Ave.

  • Houston Ave. @ Lubbock

  • Houston Ave. @ Weber

  • Houston Ave. @ White Oak Drive

  • White Oak Drive @ Usener

  • White Oak Drive @ Sabine

  • White Oak @ Morrison

  • Studewood @ Voight

  • Studewood @ I-10

  • North Main @ Burnett

  • North @ North Main

  • Crosstimbers @ I-45 N.

  • Greens @ Greenspoint

  • I-45 N. @ Greens Rd.

  • Greens Rd. @ Hardy Toll Rd.

  • Franklin @ Commerce

  • N. of Franklin at Milam

  • Harrisburg @ E. of Dowling

  • Jensen @ Bennington

  • Bennington @ I-59 N.

  • Crosstimbers @ I-45 N.

  • E. Jensen @ S. of Miles

  • Jensen near 610 Loop

  • Mesa near Highway 90

  • Galveston Rd. @ S. of Howard

  • Lawndale @ Braes Bayou

  • 9600 Lawndale @ E. of Goodyear Dr.

  • 7000 Main St. @ Holcombe N. of Pressler St.

  • 7000 Fannin @ Holcombe N. of S. Braeswood

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

Turner also urges residents to remain weather aware ahead of these possible storms.

The mayor stressed Houstonians should be prepared for high water. "Turn around, don't drown," the mayor repeated.

The National Weather Service reports each year, more deaths occur due to flooding than from any other thunderstorm related hazard.

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

The Harris County Toll Road Authority (HCTRA) is monitoring 18 locations around the toll system for potential flooding, but there are "5 life-threatening locations" being monitored by HCTRA, in conjunction with TXDOT

  • 59/610 interchange (this includes the Westpark Tollway exits at Edloe and Westpark)

  • Beltway 8 and the Hardy Toll Road (the interchange underneath where the 18 wheeler victim was found)

  • Westpark Tollway and Ranchester/Briarpark (most notably impacted by Memorial Day flooding)

  • Hardy Toll Road and Crosstimbers (where it goes underneath the Hardy, and at the last free exit between 610 and the Hardy)

  • Katy freeway and Beltway 8 (where it goes under the West Sam Houston Toll)

In addition, the Toll Road deputies and the civilian Incident Response Teams are starting 12 hour shifts until otherwise necessary. If there are reports of high water, they'll be dispatched to go and shut the intersection down.

PHOTOS: Severe weather across southeast Texas

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.

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.

Related Topics:
trafficfloodingflash floodingbarricadetraffictraffic delayHouston
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