NEW: Bellaire warns to shelter-in-place in ‘serious flooding,’ turn off power if water is rising

By Charlotte Aguilar

After a night of relentless rain from the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey — and ahead of several more days of anticipated storm conditions — the city of Bellaire has warned residents to stay off  “treacherous” roads and to shelter in place at home or work.

“The city of Bellaire will be impacted by serious flooding conditions, and this may be the case for several days,” the 6 a.m. alert reads. “Please turn off the power to your home if water approaches the level of your electrical outlets.”

“Will be” is outdated — Bellaire residents are taking to social media to report flooded streets and water in homes as Harvey’s remnants creep along at one mile per hour to the south-southeast, its bands dumping inches of water as it stalls.

While residents are reminded to call 911 for emergencies and 713-662-8206 to reach the Emergency Command Center with other problems, it’s unclear what help the city can offer.

The city announced offices will be closed Monday and that there will be no garbage collection.

Houston’s metereologists have been exclaiming over language they say they have never heard from the National Weather Service, describing “epic, catastrophic” flooding.

Jeff Lindner, a meteorologist with the Harris County Flood Control District, told ABC-13 that in some areas water levels have already exceeded Tropical Storm Allison in 2001 and the disastrous 2015 Memorial Day flooding.

Brays Bayou is over its banks in Meyerland after nearly 14 inches of rainfall in the past 24 hours, complicating drainage from Bellaire’s flooded streets, and is causing problems in the Texas Medical Center.

•As early as 8 p.m. Saturday, flooding was reported on and along the feeder roads of the West Loop, but live monitoring cameras showed motorists attempting to drive through the high water, becoming stalled.

•Centerpoint Energy says service is still being provided to more than 97 percent of Houston-area customers and that there is no need to call with power outages — they are automatically reported through Smart Meters, and that crews will be unable to deal with most problems until floodwaters have receded. Click here to see Centerpoint’s outage tracker.

•Metro has suspended all service, TxDOT has closed several freeways, and Hobby Airport is closed. For conditions at Intercontinental Airport, click here.

•Harris County emergency response teams are staging rescues in the area along I-10 east of downtown and in southeast Houston, where water is reportedly reaching the second floor of homes and buildings. They are warning anyone in the county who sees water rising fast in their home NOT to evacuate to the attic, but to reach the roof — both to avoid becoming trapped and to be easily visible for rescue.

InstantNews would like to help Bellaire residents link with information about flooding and other hazardous conditions. If you can do so safely, please send information and photos of conditions in your neighborhood to charlotte@instantnewsnetwork.com. Be sure to identify your location (such as the 4600 block of Bellaire Boulevard).

Houston’s professional weather-watchers are startled by language from the NWS, such as that in this warning that came overnight.

 

 

 

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