Harvey late night: Water levels rising across Houston metro area

Monday, 12:30am CT—Nearly every bayou, river, stream, and waterway in and around Harris County has reached the top of its banks, or exceeded them. Flooding is occurring in multiple neighborhoods across the region, and worse is still to come. It is anything but hyperbole to say this is the most catastrophic flooding event in the city of Houston’s history. Tropical Storm Allison, a 500-year-flood, held the title for just 16 years.

This radar image (below) from around midnight shows what the region is up against tonight, and in the coming days. As the center of Tropical Storm Harvey drifts toward Matagorda Bay, it is producing a huge, 400-mile arc of showers that stretches all the way from south of the Texas-Mexico border into The Woodlands. This is an awesome, terrifying feat of nature—a freight train laden with moisture bound for the upper Texas coast.

Radar image at midnight, Sunday. (Intellicast)

Truthfully, we don’t really know what will happen next. Some drier air has moved into the southern half of the region from the west tonight, and this has led to some drying behind the line of showers, from El Campo to Galveston. Some of the short-term, high resolution models suggest the heavier activity will now slowly move off to the northeast of Houston tonight, toward Beaumont and Western Louisiana. (Beaumont is having an historic rain event too, by the way). This may offer a short reprieve for parts of Houston, and truthfully anything is welcome.

But with Harvey’s center so close by, we can almost certainly expect more to come. Tonight, western areas of Houston, including Katy, Cinco Ranch and other communities along the Sam Houston Tollway, picked up 7 to 10 inches of rain in just six hours. Who will be hit so hard next? We probably will have to worry about these mega-rain-bombs for another two or three days, perhaps into Wednesday, or Wednesday night. And what will that mean for Houston, its bayous, and its increasingly beleaguered citizenry?

Truly, we don’t know what happens next. This is uncharted territory for Houston in terms of flooding and potential disruption to our communities. Certainly, some help is on the way from the state and federal government. But in the meantime, be kind to your neighbors. We have seen incredible acts of valor and bravery and heroism during these last 36 hours from common, ordinary people. We have saved lives, and made the lives of others just that tiniest bit easier. We will need much more of this to make it out the other side.

Posted by Eric at 12:30am CT on Monday by Eric

28 thoughts on “Harvey late night: Water levels rising across Houston metro area”

    • It’s really difficult to say, Ryan. As I said, we are approaching off-the-charts flooding.

      • Off the charts in terms of the area covered? Or unprecedented in the potential for continuing rain? Because, at least so far, my neighborhood hasn’t exceeded the depth of flooding during Allison. Ike was comparable to what we’ve seen so far. The spring floods in 2015 and 2016 were not quite as bad as this, and also ended much sooner, without the threat of another 1, 2, or 3 days of rain.

      • Is it better to wait upstairs in a flooded house or try to evacuate? We are memorial / dairy ashford

        • Options, in no particular order

          1. Go to Cajun Navy 2016 group page on facebook.
          If you need to be rescued enter your info.

          # people, ages, disabilities
          full address and contact number and how much water in house. Please share this information.
          Jon Bridgers Sr

          2. Emergency numbers
          Houston Center: National Guard
          Coast Guard:
          281-464-4854 or 4855 or 4856 ext 55
          National Guard: 979-822-9059
          Non -Emergency Houston:713-884-3131
          Helicopter Rescue: 832-776-4587
          Hopefully these help!!!

  1. Thank you for all your posts, especially this one. Be kind … be helpful … be courteous … be brave. All the things I teach my Cub Scouts. We can do this. We are Houston.

    • Yes, this is kind of what I’ve been thinking. We may be divided as a country, but we are united as a city.

  2. Eric two points:

    1. I don’t see how Harvey is going to beat this dry air from the west. I think it may be possible that the dry air will save Houston from receiving as much rain as the current forecast shows

    2. It’s ironic, but the closer the (naked) center moves toward H-town while remaining on land, I believe the less severe precip might see… as the feeder bands slide to the east. Check the radar and see if you don’t agree. I think the eye has moved a little closer to Houston.

    • I agree, SkyGuy. I’m no weather person, but my eyes have been glued to those feeder bands for 32 hours now, and what I think I’m seeing is what you think you’re seeing.

      People Please remember how tired you are and don’t take chances if at all possible. We are one in this.


  3. Thanks Eric and Matt! Have you guys written about Houston’s infrastructure of streets to drains to reservoirs to bayous before?

    • Sandra, these guys are legit busy already. Asking for personal attention for an unspecified added project is …asking a lot.

  4. I hope you win an award for all of your hard work. I certainly have appreciated reading your updates. Thank you so much!

    • Wondering if there is Something others can assist you with? You said you have an idea. I am willing…

  5. I was lucky to have found your Facebook page, and your site. I came here from California five years ago to be close to family but, alas, they are no longer here. Having never experienced a hurricane, or a tropical storm of this magnitude, your words have been factual and calming to my wild mind. Thank you for your diligent, well researched work. Someone like me would never have thought to meet a weather site like yours. I thank God for tour life purpose!

  6. I know weather is your thing, but I’m wondering if you have any insights on just how high the reservoirs at Barkers and Addicks will go? My home depends on the reservoir staying under 107 feet.

    As anxious as I am the night before evacuating my home, I wanted to thank you and everyone for looking out so much for each other. As horrible as all this is, Houston’s heart was so obvious today, and I’m so proud to be a Houstonian today.

  7. Thank you so much for these posts. They have been sanity savers. We’re located in sugar land (new territory) and are now being told to evacuate (mandatory) tomorrow due to levees being opened. Unsure of which direction to even go as looking at radar everywhere seems to be wet. Based on rain/weather, does it make more sense to go north towards Austin or west towards San Antonio?

  8. While Harvey will slip to the east and the rain will finally stop the flooding will continue. Large amounts of water will be coming from upstream with Lake Conroe and Lake Livingston releasing record amounts. The devastation will continue for at least another week. Stay aware and stay safe everyone.

  9. Thank you for unbiased, non hysterical coverage. As Joe Friday would say, just the facts, ma’am.

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