At this time, local and national eyes are on the Texas Gulf Coast.

The National Weather Service (NWS) reports that Tropical Storm Nicholas may cause flash flooding, dangerous storm surge and gusty winds along the Texas Coast today.  Nicholas is forecast to approach the middle of Texas as a strong tropical storm, but could progress to hurricane intensity at landfall.  Experts predict that the heaviest rainfall will occur this evening and may be significant enough to cause considerable flash and urban flooding.

Residents of the Gulf Coast, including the greater Houston area, are advised to limit evening travel and complete all efforts to protect life and property.  Since the NWS describes Nicholas as “erratic,” lets remind out family members, friends and colleagues to be prepared and stay informed.  Some school districts and governmental entities, Including Precinct 2, are closing.

The City of Houston Office of Emergency Management recommends the following steps to prepare before the storm impacts the area:

Steps to Take Now:

  • Before the rain, clear your drain. This helps improve water drainage for streets that will experience substantial rainfall.
  • Ensure your family has 5-7 days of food, water, and necessary supplies.
    • This includes enough prescription medication for at least this duration, in case pharmacies and doctor’s offices are closed.
    • Consider the unique needs of small children, seniors, family members with disabilities, and pets.
    • Fill your car’s gas tank to at least half two thirds full.
  • Decide what you and your family will do if the storm impacts your area.  Most City of Houston residents are not vulnerable to storm surge and do not need to evacuate before a hurricane or tropical storm. Vulnerable residents who require electricity may also consider evacuation in advance of a major storm.  For a map of hurricane evacuation zones and mandatory evacuation areas, visit:
  • Develop a family communication plan, so that you know who to check in with after a storm. Visit for more information on developing a plan.
  • Know how to turn off your utilities.  This includes electricity, water, and gas.  Only turn off gas if instructed by local officials or by CenterPoint Energy.
  • Houstonians should also register for AlertHouston at for additional updates.

Houston residents who might need additional assistance in evacuating during a disaster can register for the State of Texas Emergency Assistance Registry (STEAR). STEAR allows residents to provide information on their specific situation to emergency management officials who will work to help them evacuate safely or provide them with the appropriate life-sustaining help they need in a disaster. Call 2-1-1 or visit for more information.

Monitor Official Sources for Current Information: Rumors and misinformation can be common before and during major storms.  It is important to seek out official information from trusted sources.

Official sources include: the City of Houston Emergency Information Center (, National Weather Service Houston/Galveston Forecast Office (, National Hurricane Center (, Harris County Flood Warning System (, Houston TranStar (, and local meteorologists.

C. Vital

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