Houston area residents prepare for possible storms

Monday, June 19, 2017
Officials with OEM break down storm preps
Some Houston residents prepare for possible tropical storms after flooding hit the city during previous storms.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- Two years after the Memorial Day flood, Meyerland continues to rebuild. Michael Joseph's family was one of the lucky ones. Their home turned into a shelter, of sorts.

"We had like two families stay here also. It was about 10 people, with their dogs," he said. "They actually put their phones in zip lock bags, put all their belongings in trash bags and swam over with a little baby."

Weather guessers don't know what the storms brewing in the Gulf are going to do or where they're going to go. But just the thought of a storm that could create a repeat is scary.

"We know it's going to happen again in this area," Joseph said.

He told ABC13 his family keeps a close watch on the storm sewers outside of their home every time they hear about a storm coming.

As the unformed storm barrels toward the coast, people around the county cross their fingers that the progress made on flood-relieving projects by the Harris County Flood Control District works, such as Project Brays.

And The Office of Emergency Management is monitoring the storm around the clock and working with first responders on preliminary preps in the event that the worst case scenario happens.

"We've got a staffing plan that if necessary on how this storm develops, we'll keep people here 24/7 until there's no longer a threat to Harris County," said coordinator Mark Sloan.

Rice University professor Philip Bedient says people should get ready now...and stay ready.

"The last big one that hit here was 2008 with Ike, so it's been a long time," he said. "And on average, we get a really big hurricane in here about every 15 years. So we're kind of rolling the dice right now."

He says Houston is in a pickle. We're already in a flood zone. Throw in the development we've seen since Ike wreaked havoc on the region and he predicts we're stuck with these floods and just need to learn how to live with them.

"There's no question there are a few projects that have contributed and are helping. But the problem is that the rate of urban development far exceeds the rate of money and cash flow coming in to provide for those flood control benefits," Bedient said.

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