Imelda 9:30 AM Update

Imelda continues to produce severe flooding in the east and northeastern portions of the region with rainfall totals over the past 24 hours hitting over 20 inches. In Fort Bend County, our rainfall totals have come in less than anticipated. Over the past 48 hours, the peak rainfall across the County was around 4 inches in the Sugar Land Area with the majority of the County receiving on average between 0.5 to 1.5 inches.

Significant rainfall is continuing to fall in the northeast part of our region. Based on the forecasts, we could continue to see additional rain move through the entire region brining an additional 1 to 2 inches in portions of Fort Bend County. This morning the rain has picked up in the lower Brazos River Watershed, south of Bryan/College Station to Hempstead. Similar to Fort Bend County, the lower Brazos River Watershed could see 1 to 3 inches over the next 24 hours. With the possible precipitation, the WGRFC has updated their forecasts for the Brazos River, which currently shows gages from Hempstead to Richmond staying below Action Stage. Until this system completely moves out of the region, we will continue to monitor the conditions and provide updates if needed.

TD Imelda 8:00 AM Update

Overall the majority of the heavy rainfall over the past 24 hours stayed south and east of Fort Bend County. Tuesday rainfall totals hit as high as 16 to 20 inches in Brazoria and Matagorda Counties. Through Fort Bend County, the NWS observed between 1 to 4 inches with the heaviest rainfall falling over the Sugar Land / Missouri City areas.

Even with Imelda being downgraded to a Tropical Depression, the region continues to remain under a Flash Flood Watch or Warning with additional rainfall over the next 24 to 48 hours. There continues to be some uncertainty in the exact details of tonight’s forecast, but similar to yesterday, the heaviest rainfall should remain to our east, moving north. Overall the NWS is forecasting an additional 2 to 4 inches with the potential for isolated higher amounts through Fort Bend County over the next 24 hours. We will continue to watch for changes in the forecast throughout the day and provide additional updates as needed.

Tropical Storm Imelda 2:30 PM Update

The Tropical System that we have been watching over the past couple days has been officially upgraded to Tropical Storm Imelda. The system has produced sustained winds of 40 mph with gusts near 50 mph near Freeport. With its development and the formation of a more well defined surface circulation, we are gaining slightly more confidence in the rainfall forecast and amounts. TS Imelda’s center is forecasted to move in a north to north-northwesterly direction along the SH 288 corridor through Brazoria and Harris County this evening and overnight. This should bring the heaviest rainfall along the center and to the east of its track.

Depending on the final path and speed of TS Imelda, we have the potential for rainfall amounts between 4 to 6 inches with isolated amounts 10 to 15 inches through Thursday. As mentioned, the heaviest rainfall should be along and to the east of the SH 288 corridor, but this system could produce rainfall intensities between 2 to 3 inches per hour. Although Tropical Storm Winds are possible for areas along the Coast, our biggest threat continues to be the rainfall which could cause street and small stream flooding. At this time, there is no forecasted threat of flooding along the Brazos River, but we will continue to monitor the conditions and provide updates as needed.

Weekly Brazos River Outlook

The Brazos River in Richmond is currently at Gage Elevation 10.38. Based on the 7-day extended forecast, we could see a rise in the Brazos River through Fort Bend County; however, at this time no flooding along the Brazos River is anticipated.

This Week

A tropical disturbance is currently located over the northwestern Gulf of Mexico with a 10% chance of development. Regardless of its development, the region is expected to receive heavy rainfall throughout the week. The current forecasts are showing the potential for widespread rainfall amounts between 3 to 6 inches through Thursday with isolated areas seeing amounts as high as 10 to 15 inches. We will see showers starting to move through the region Monday and Tuesday with the heaviest rainfall potentially falling Wednesday and Thursday. The current forecasts are not calling for major flooding to occur; however, rainfall intensities of 2 to 3 inches per hour with isolated areas of 3 to 4 inches per hour could cause some localized street and stream flooding. We will continue to monitor the conditions throughout the week and provide updates as needed.

Atlantic Tropical Weather Outlook

In addition to the disturbance in the Gulf of Mexico, the National Hurricane Center is continuing to watch Hurricane Humberto and another disturbance in the central Atlantic.

Reservoir Status

Below is a summary of the current Reservoir Status.

Eastern Gulf Tropical Disturbance

The National Hurricane Center is watching the potential for a tropical system in the eastern Gulf of Mexico. As of this morning, this disturbance has a 30% of development over the next few days as in moves toward the western Gulf of Mexico. Regardless of development, this system could bring widespread rainfall Monday through Wednesday with the heaviest rainfall possible occurring south of I-10. The rainfall amounts are still unclear but some of the forecasts are showing the potential for 2 to 6 inches through Wednesday. The final amount of rainfall will depend on the conditions as the system moves toward southeast Texas. We will continue to monitor the forecasts and provide updates as needed.

FEMA 2.0 – Risk Rating

Recognizing that purchasing flood insurance can be confusing, FEMA, through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) is redesigning its risk rating system to improve the policyholder experience. “Risk Rating 2.0” aims to leverage best industry practices in hopes of better reflecting a property’s unique flood risk. The current rating methodology has not changed since the 1970s and is heavily dependent on the 1-percent-annual-chance-event, whereas Risk Rating 2.0 will incorporate a broader range of flood frequencies. FEMA will pair new technology with the NFIP’s mapping data to establish a new risk-informed rating plan. FEMA is hopeful that these models, in combination with the ability to leverage the mapping data will provide a better understanding of risk. FEMA is also building a new rating engine to help agents easily price and sell policies, and help policyholders to better understand their property’s flood risk. New rates for all single-family homes will go into effect nationwide on October 1, 2020.

Ken R. DeMerchant, the County Commissioner for Fort Bend County – Precinct 4, has written a letter to Senators Cornyn and Cruz, and Congressmen Green and Olson regarding his concerns about the potential negative impact Risk Rating 2.0 could have on residents’ insurance policies. Among other issues, Commissioner DeMerchant seeks to make sure that Risk Rating 2.0 does not make flood insurance unaffordable or punish residents that currently carry flood insurance. Moreover, Commissioner DeMerchant voices his concern about whether the program would acknowledge local efforts to mitigate flood risks, as the Fort Bend County levee system has provided significant protection. Commissioner DeMerchant has asked that residents of Precinct 4 support his letter and work to stop any negative impacts from Risk Rating 2.0 to help ensure that any new NFIP authorizations take into consideration Fort Bend County’s successful efforts to build and maintain flood control infrastructure. You can view Commissioner DeMerchant’s letter and vote your agreement with his letter at the following website: https://www.fortbendcountytx.gov/government/governing-body/commissioners-court/commissioner-precinct-4/fema-risk-rating-2-0. It is very important to show your support for Commissioner DeMerchant in this matter as Risk Rating 2.0 could adversely affect residents within the precinct and District.

Learn more about Risk Rating 2.0 here:
https://www.fema.gov/nfiptransformation

Update: Park Construction

Fort Bend County Municipal Utility District No. 46 has kicked off construction on a loop trail around the existing detention basin off of Belmont Shores Lane. The trail will be concrete and include mileage markers, an educational sign, benches and landscaped nodes.

Weekly Brazos River Outlook

The Brazos River in Richmond is currently at Gage Elevation 10.54. Based on the 7-day extended forecast, no flooding along the Brazos River is anticipated.

This Week

Some were lucky enough to receive rainfall this morning; however, the majority was located within eastern Fort Bend County with a peak total of just over ¾ inch in the Sugar Land area. The current forecasts are showing additional rain chances (between 20 to 50%) this afternoon through Wednesday with highs in the low 90s. After Wednesday, the hot, dry weather returns as our rain chances drop below 20% with highs in the mid to upper 90s. Not including this morning’s rainfall, the 7 day forecast is showing a total of less than ½ of rainfall for most of the lower Brazos River watershed, including Fort Bend County.

Atlantic Tropical Weather Outlook

The National Hurricane Center is currently watching 2 disturbances in the Atlantic along with Tropical Storm Gabrielle; however, at this time there are no threats to the western Gulf of Mexico.

Reservoir Status

Below is a summary of the current Reservoir Status.

Weekly Brazos River Outlook

The Brazos River in Richmond is currently at Gage Elevation 12.14. Based on the 7-day extended forecast, no flooding along the Brazos River is anticipated as drought conditions continue to rise with limited precipitation in the forecast.

This Week

Drought conditions continue to increase as excessive heat and limited to no precipitation has fallen over the past couple weeks. The first part of this week will remain hot with highs near the upper 90s with the potential to hit 100°. A “weak summertime cold front” approaches the region on Wednesday and arrives on Thursday. This will increase our rain chances and bring temperatures down to the mid-90s. Overall, the forecast is showing less than ½ inch of rain over the next 7 days.

Atlantic Tropical Weather Outlook

The National Hurricane Center does not anticipate any tropical development over the next 2 to 5 days.

Reservoir Status

Below is a summary of the current Reservoir Status.

Weekly Brazos River Outlook

The Brazos River in Richmond is currently at Gage Elevation 13.78. Based on the 7-day extended forecast, no flooding along the Brazos River is anticipated.

This Week

The extended forecast is showing a continuation of our weekend weather with highs in the low to mid 90s with relatively low rain changes over the next several days. Our highest chance for rain is Tuesday and Wednesday; however, overall the forecasts are showing less than ½ inch over the next 7 days.

Atlantic Tropical Weather Outlook

The National Hurricane Center is giving a tropical disturbance a 20% chance of forming over the next 5 days. The disturbance is currently over the eastern Caribbean Sea and is expected to move west-northwestward across the Caribbean Sea and the Greater Antilles during the next few days. At this time, it is anticipated that this tropical wave could move toward Florida before making a north-northeasterly turn avoiding the western Gulf of Mexico.

Reservoir Status

Below is a summary of the current Reservoir Status.