Since June 1st was the beginning of hurricane season, we have not had to wait long for Tropical Storm Cindy to develop in the Gulf of Mexico. Currently, Cindy has sustained winds of 60 mph and is located in the northwestern Gulf with a projected landfall somewhere between Galveston, Texas and the Louisiana-Texas state line. Widespread heavy with flooding potential is the greatest threat with a 40% chance of isolated tornadoes from eastern Texas through the panhandle of Florida along the gulf coast. Some areas along the gulf coast from New Orleans to Pensacola have already received 4” to 7” of rain. An additional 4” to 8” inches of rain is possible along with winds gusting 30 to 45 mph in the Tropical Storm Warning area from Houston to Pensacola.
The latest storm projections show that heavy thunderstorms are developing around Cindy’s center of circulation, which increases the flood threat from Houston, Beaumont, Lake Charles to Shreveport eastward for later today through Thursday. This is significant since Cindy has been torn apart by wind shear and shown considerable disorganization. Therefore, it is important to be prepared as the storm track and impact could change! I have attached safety checklists for preparing for tropical storms and flooding and then what to do if you return to your home and it has experienced storm damage. Please feel free to share this with your employees, family and friends.
The American Red Cross is already pre-deploying resources, supplies and equipment to the areas being affected and/or forecast in the storm path. Shelters are on standby in southeast Texas and points eastward, while some shelters are already operating in Gulfport and Pascagoula, Mississippi. The Red Cross will always be there in times of need. Please stay safe and consider how you may be able to support the American Red Cross.
Tropical Storm Cindy
Tropical Storm Cindy is maintaining its strength in the central Gulf of Mexico, and is expected to bring potentially life-threatening flooding to parts of the Gulf Coast through late this week. Gusty winds, rip currents and isolated tornadoes are also expected. Moisture and energy from Cindy will also spread north and east ahead of a cold front Thursday to Friday, which will result in heavy rain and possible flooding from the South to as far north as the Ohio Valley. At least 17 million people are under a tropical storm warning from San Luis Pass, Texas, to the Alabama-Florida border. American Red Cross disaster workers across impacted areas are readying supplies, shelter locations and staffing resources in anticipation of the storm.
Texas: Red Cross disaster workers are closely monitoring the storm system and preparing staffing and material resources. Rainfall amounts of 3-5 inches with isolated maximum amounts of 6 inches can be expected in southeast portions of the state through Thursday.
Louisiana: Red Cross disaster workers are closely monitoring the storm system, and standing by to assist with sheltering and feeding resources throughout at-risk areas.
Mississippi: Red Cross disaster workers are preparing for possible flooding and any other complications related to the tropical storm. Heavy rains have already impacted coastal areas. On Tuesday the Red Cross operated two shelters to provide a safe place to stay for impacted residents overnight.
Georgia: Red Cross disaster workers are bracing for impact related to Tropical Storm Cindy, while also responding to several damaging flooding events (listed below). On Tuesday night the Red Cross operated one shelter which provided a safe place to stay for 13 people overnight.
Florida: Red Cross disasters teams are closely monitoring the storm system and are ready to provide sheltering and feeding assistance as needed. Tropical Storm Cindy is expected to produce total rain accumulations of 6-9 inches with isolated maximum amounts of 12 inches in the Panhandle.
Tennessee: Red Cross disaster workers are closely monitoring the storm system’s trajectory and are prepared to respond with sheltering, relief supplies and feeding when it is expected to impact the region later this week.
MEETING CANCELED… due to the positioning of TS Cindy and the demands it has placed on the speakers, the June 21 flood forum will be rescheduled for a date to be determined.
If you have any questions please contact Charles Goforth, President of the Brays Bayou Association, at Goforth@vonniecobbrealtors.com.
With hurricane season underway, we encourage you to review the 2017 Hurricane Preparedness and Safety page.
If you have any questions and concerns please contact Mark Baker, Senior Corporate Major Gifts Officer, American Red Cross at Mark.Baker@redcross.org.
While there are no specific or credible threats to the Houston area, the Mayor’s Office of Public Safety & Homeland Security wants to remind residents of their role in preventing terrorism.
The best way Houston area residents can help prevent terrorist attacks from happening is to be vigilant of their surroundings and report suspicious activity to local law enforcement. It’s important to remember that terrorism isn’t defined by what someone believes thinks, or the words they use. Terrorism is generally defined as the use of violence to pursue a political goal. Terrorism can be classified in many different ways, but ultimately, communities should be on-guard for acts which could result in death or injury.
Terrorism is a crime.
Remember it is not a crime to:
- Make harsh or inflammatory comments about the U.S., its government or its people.
- Have a strong set of beliefs that go beyond what is considered respectable discourse. Americans are guaranteed the right of free speech.
Who is a Terrorist?
The term “terrorist” can only apply to someone who has actually committed a crime. Terrorism is a type of blackmail used to threaten or intimidate.
Terrorism might target:
- Government policies
- One or more local communities
- A business or businesses
- One or more racial or ethnic groups
- Members of any specialty group
The goals of terrorism are usually political, social, or religious in nature. Terrorists often truly believe they are pursuing justifiable and righteous goals.
Terrorists may be seeking:
- To influence policy decisions
- Their own homeland or some type of independence
- Downfall of an existing government seen as unresponsive, authoritarian, corrupt or immoral
- Exemption from various laws or rules
What is Considered Suspicious?
- Suspicious Packages – Be alert to bags or packages that are unattended, that are smoking, or have visible suspicious wiring.
- Surveillance – Be aware of people who may be taking photos or making notes of security measures, such as cameras, law enforcement, or emergency exits.
- Unusual Supplies – If you observe someone buying or possessing a lot suspicious items that may be used to create explosives, such as fertilizer, chemicals, modified electronics or wires.
- Unseasonable/Bulky Clothing – If you see someone wearing a large jacket when the weather is not calling for it, or clothing with unexplainable humps or shapes.
- Unauthorized Entrance into Restricted Areas – People loitering around, or entering exits or restricted areas.
- Unauthorized or Empty Vehicles – Vehicles without license plates, or those that are parked illegally, or for a long period of time should be treated as suspicious
How to Report Suspicious Activity
If you feel there is a life threatening emergency in progress, call 9-1-1.
To report activity you think may be suspicious, call 1-855-i-watch-4 (429-8244) or report it online at iwatchhouston.org.
Where can I learn more?
The Houston Regional Catastrophic Preparedness Initiative (RCPI) and Ready Houston Initiative has information for residents and businesses on preventing terrorism online at iwatchhouston.org. This includes a facilitator guide for businesses, and videos on a range of topics including:
- Make the Call – Spotting Suspicious Activity (YouTube Video)
- Run.Hide.Fight (R): Surviving an Active Shooter Event (YouTube Video)
- Spotting Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) (YouTube Video)
Also, make sure your family is prepared to deal with the after effects of a terrorist attack. Download a copy of the City of Houston Disaster Preparedness Guide from houstonoem.org.
The Flood Control District and FEMA are sharing revised preliminary floodplain maps in the Sims Bayou Watershed in order to help officials and residents identify their flood risks and use that information to make decisions about buying flood insurance and any future development. These Flood Insurance Rate Maps include the map revisions that became effective in May 2016.
To share this information, a public Open House is scheduled for interested citizens to obtain more information about the proposed changes.
Tuesday, May 16, 2017
3:00 – 7:00 p.m.
Houston Community College – Central South Campus
1990 Airport Blvd
Houston, TX 77051
Attached is a flyer for you to share with anyone interested in learning more about the Sims Bayou Flood Insurance Rate Maps. Additional information is available, including links to the interactive mapping website on www.riskmap6.com. Residents can also contact the floodplain administrator in each community in the Sims Bayou Watershed area for more details. For questions regarding the open house, please contact the Flood Control District’s floodplain information line at 713-684-4150 or online at www.hcfcd.org/contact-us/.
Hurricane season is around the corner, so be prepared by visiting www.weather.gov/wrn/hurricane-preparedness.
Also, register to attend the FREE Extreme Weather Ready Expo on Saturday, June 3, 2017 at the George R. Brown Convention Center. Here is the link to register for the event http://www.hurricaneworkshop.com/