Gov. Abbott orders increased readiness ahead of possible severe storms in Texas

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- Harris County emergency management officials are warning about the potential for dangerous weather and torrential downpours Friday afternoon.

"Right now, we're monitoring the potential for severe weather," said Francisco Sanchez, deputy emergency coordinator for Harris County's Office of Emergency Management.

On Friday, Gov. Greg Abbott ordered increased readiness ahead of severe weather expected in parts of Texas.

"As severe weather approaches, it is imperative that Texans heed all warnings from first responders and local officials," said Governor Abbott. "I encourage all Texans to stay alert to potentially hazardous road conditions and changing weather patterns. Texas is prepared to respond and offer the necessary assistance to local communities as they deal with the impact of this storm."

In particular, bayous and creeks in the northern parts of Harris County will be the focus of concern.

"Most of our bayous and creeks can handle 4.5 inches of rain. Once we start to get to that threshold, that's where we start getting concerned," explained Jeff Lindner, Harris County Flood Control District meteorologist.

More than six inches of rain are expected, with the impact possibly lasting for days.

"Even though the rain is going to stop early morning to midday Saturday, some of these creeks and rivers may not reach their peak until Sunday or Monday," Lindner said. "So just because the rain stops on Saturday does not mean the threat is over until early next week."

For now, they are asking people to clean up the leaves that have fallen, which could clog up gutters and ditches and slow down the draining process. With the talk of heavy rain comes the warning about driving through high water. Street flooding is also possible.

"The biggest concern is high water locations that could happen, especially in the overnight hours, when it's dark and Friday night, when people are out and about," Sanchez added.

The Office of Emergency Management will activate at 3 p.m. Friday.

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