Tropical Depression Imelda Closes Schools in Galveston; Houston Prepares for Possible Flooding

Sean Breslin
Published: September 18, 2019
Jeremy Franklin, left, with Mitchell Historic Properties, unloads bags of sand at Texas Scuba Adventures, in Galveston, Texas, as he and Chad Sterns prepare for possible flooding from Imelda on Tuesday, Sept. 17, 2019.
(Jennifer Reynolds/The Galveston County Daily News via AP)

As Tropical Depression Imelda began to soak the Texas coast on Tuesday, Houston officials made preparations for the possibility of flooding, and closer to the coast, some schools were closing.

The Galveston Independent School District announced on Twitter that all public schools will be closed Wednesday due to the expected impacts from the storm. High Island ISD, Texas City ISD, Houston Community College campuses and Galveston College also canceled Wednesday classes, according to KHOU.com.

"The combination of pre-dawn rain and high tide indicate a probable safety issue for students and staff," Galveston ISD said in a statement. "Safe travel to and from Galveston ISD is a primary concern."

(MORE: Check the Latest Forecast for Imelda

Meanwhile, rescue boats were staged and high-water vehicles were ready for use in the Houston area, according to the Associated Press. Gov. Greg Abbott made state resources available ahead of the storm, including having both the Texas Division of Emergency Management and the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department move boats into the area to assist with rescues, the report added.

"Please be alert and weather aware," Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner said Tuesday in a tweet.

Imelda is expected to bring flooding to Southeast Texas, though it isn't yet known exactly where the biggest rainfall totals will be reported. Jeff Lindner, a meteorologist for the Harris County Flood Control District in Houston, told the AP that some structures could flood during the storm, but widespread flooding of homes – as happened in 2017 during Hurricane Harvey – isn't the likeliest of scenarios.

"We have a few things in our favor. The ground is dry. It's been dry for a while here as we've come through summer," Lindner told the AP. "The initial parts of this rainfall will go toward saturating the ground."


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