Judge Lina Hidalgo urges Houstonians to be prepared for hurricane season

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- During a news briefing on Friday, Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo urged Houstonians to make sure they are prepared for hurricane season.

With Tropical Storm Cristobal on the radar, Hidalgo and the Harris County Flood Control District meteorologist Jeff Lindner said Houstonians should stay on alert this weekend.

"We know that storms can be unpredictable, so we still have to continue to stay alert and watch the news and always stay ahead when it comes to any disaster," Lindner said.

He also added that during hurricane season, the city of Houston is continually in touch with the National Weather Service to prepare a plan in case of a hurricane or tropical storm.

"Over the past year, we've worked with FEMA to be able to deliver better emergency messages to cell phones, and to also be able to deliver those in Spanish, and with more accurate targeting," Lindner said.

As of Friday afternoon, the National Hurricane Center said Cristobal was still centered over Mexico, but has turned to the north and is headed towards the Gulf of Mexico.

The forecast cone is shrinking as confidence is growing in a central Louisiana landfall, and all of coastal Texas is now out of the cone. Still, it's too early to know what we would see with the storm.

Hurricane season started June 1 and lasts until Nov. 30.

GET THE TROPICAL UPDATE: Cristobal regains tropical storm force on track to US coast

Hidalgo also discussed the increase in COVID-19 cases in Houston since Gov. Greg Abbott started to slowly reopen Texas.

Hidalgo said she fears a second wave or possible shut down if cases continue to rise.

"Despite everything that's going on in the world, in our community, we are still very much in the middle of a pandemic," Hidalgo said. "Over the past couple of weeks, we've seen a statistically significant increase in our hospital admissions. Not only that, not only is the population increasing, but it's increasing faster with the passing day."

Although hospitals still have a lot of more capacity, Hidalgo said this is a warning that things may be taking a turn for the worse.

"Please take personal responsibility to continue to exercise social distancing and wear face coverings and avoid congregating in groups," Hidalgo said. "Let's avoid a second shut down and a second hit to our economy."

RELATED: COVID-19 cases in Houston increasing since Texas reopened
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