FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
July 23, 2020 – 5PM
Tropical Depression Eight Update
Status Update from the Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Management
MONTGOMERY COUNTY –Tropical Depression 8 is expected to strengthen into Tropical Storm Hanna tonight with wind speeds of up to 50 MPH. This storm’s wind speeds remain at 35 MPH. A tropical storm watch has been issued for much of the Texas coast from Port Mansfield to San Luis Pass, and a tropical storm watch has been issued from San Luis Pass to High Island. Strengthening is expected over the next few days as it tracks across the warm waters of the Gulf towards the Texas coast.
Tropical Depression 8 is expected to produce heavy rains across portions of Louisiana and Southeast Texas, which could result in flash flooding and isolated minor-to-moderate river flooding. This storm is expected to produce 2 to 4 inches of rain with isolated maximum totals of 6 inches along the Gulf coast. Locally higher amounts are possible in any heavier rain bands. Our heaviest rains for the area are expected to be Friday night into Saturday, and we are at a marginal risk for flash flooding starting Friday into the weekend. The confidence on the track of the storm is increasing, but there is still considerable uncertainty on the amount of rainfall from any banding that could set up on the right side of this storms track.
Additionally, our office is monitoring Tropical Storm Gonzalo which has formed over the Atlantic, and continues to strengthen. Gonzalo is expected to move near or over the southern Windward Islands this weekend. Hurricane Watches are currently in effect for Barbados, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, with additional watches for other islands be announced later today. We are continuing to keep a close watch on Gonzalo as the storm track develops and makes its way West. It is important that residents of Montgomery County begin to prepare and keep a close watch on these storms in the Gulf. Our next update is expected around 11 PM today.
PREPARE FOR HURRICANE SEASON
- Understand that your planning may be different this year because of the need to protect yourself and others from COVID-19.
- Give yourself more time than usual to prepare your emergency food, water, and medicine supplies. Home delivery is the safest choice for buying disaster supplies; however, that may not be an option for everyone. If in-person shopping is your only choice, take steps to protect your and others’ health when running essential errands.
- Protect yourself and others when filling prescriptions by limiting in-person visits to the pharmacy. Sign up for mail order delivery or call in your prescription ahead of time and use drive-through windows or curbside pickup. If available order a 60 or 90 day supply to have on hand.
- Pay attention to local guidance about updated plans for evacuations and shelters, including potential shelters for your pets.
- If you need to evacuate, prepare a “go kit” with personal items you cannot do without during an emergency. Include items that can help protect you and others from COVID-19, such as hand sanitizer, or bar or liquid soap if not available, and two cloth face coverings for each person. Face covers should not be used by children under the age of 2. They also should not be used by people having trouble breathing, or who are unconscious, incapacitated, or unable to remove the mask without assistance.
- When you check on neighbors and friends, be sure to follow social distancing recommendations (staying at least 6 feet, about 2 arms’ length, from others) and other CDC recommendations to protect yourself and others.
- If you need to go to a disaster shelter, follow CDC recommendations for staying safe and healthy in a public disaster shelter during the COVID-19 pandemic.
STAY SAFE AFTER A HURRICANE
In addition to following guidance for staying safe and healthy after a hurricane, note that:
- You should continue to use preventive actions like washing your hands and wearing a face covering during clean up or when returning home.
- It may take longer than usual to restore power and water if they are out. Take steps to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning if you use a generator.
- If you are injured or ill, contact your medical provider for treatment recommendations. Keep wounds clean to prevent infection. Remember, accessing medical care may be more difficult than usual during the pandemic.
- Dealing with disasters can cause stress and strong emotions, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic. It is natural to feel anxiety, grief, and worry. Coping with these feelings and getting help when you need it will help you, your family, and your community recover.
- People with preexisting mental health conditions should continue with their treatment and be aware of new or worsening symptoms. Additional information can be found at the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration page.
- Register for AlertMCTX, the county’s official emergency alert system, to receive real-time weather alerts and post-storm recovery information.
- More information about how to prepared for this year’s hurricane season is available here.
- Download the ReadyMCTX app. This app shows shelter and donation center locations when activated, and additional information from our office.
- Recovery information is available at www.mctx.org/recover