Hurricane Laura Continuing to Strengthen but Should Cause Minimal Impacts to Lower Brazos River

The story of the week continues to be Hurricane Laura, which is now a Category 4 Hurricane. There are some indications on if Laura could become a Category 5 Hurricane before landfall, but regardless of its final strength, it is already a life-threatening storm along the Texas-Louisiana Border. The NHC predicts Laura will make landfall around 1 AM as it continues to move inland and across the eastern United States. Hurricane and/or Tropical Storm impacts could extend up near the Arkansas Border.

Life threatening storm surge and severe wind will cause catastrophic damage along its path which could extend miles inland.

The storm surge along with heavy rainfall will cause major flooding along the lower Sabine and Neches Rivers including several local streams, bayous, and lakes.

Fort Bend County and the Brazos River Watershed

Overall Fort Bend County will receive less severe weather than those along the Texas/Louisiana Border. Similar to yesterday’s forecast, Fort Bend County along with many areas on the west of downtown Houston have a 20 to 50% chance of experiencing Tropical Storm Force Winds (1-Minute Average ≥ 39 MPH). Generally speaking, many local agencies are reporting that those of us west of downtown Houston should see wind totals between 20 to 30 MPH with higher gusts. Final wind speeds will vary as the storm lakes landfall.

With the potential, Fort Bend County remains under a Tropical Storm Warning. Although less damaging than Hurricane Force Winds, TS Winds are still capable of causing downed trees and tree limbs as well as displacing debris and other loose objections. Everyone is encouraged to secure any loose items around structures and remain indoors as the storm passes. Once the storm passes, whether you are clearing debris from your own home or assisting others, remember to proceed with caution. Use proper safety measures when clearing limbs and downed trees and watch for hidden damage such as downed powerlines.

The most significant rainfall continues to remain to our east. The latest Quantitative Precipitation Forecast (QPF) continues to show Fort Bend County and most of the Lower Brazos River Watershed receiving less than 1 inch of rain over the next 24 to 48 hours. There is the potential for some areas west of Houston to see isolated higher amounts; however, generally our rainfall should remain less than 2 or 3 inches. We do not anticipate flooding along the Brazos River as a result of Hurricane Laura.

Impacts to Fort Bend County should be minimum, but we encourage everyone to stay informed by visiting your favorite local weather source, including the National Weather Service, the National Hurricane Center, and West Gulf River Forecast Center. If you have not ready down so, please remember to sign up for Emergency Updates from Fort Bend County.


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