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Weather
City of Galveston
News Release
Thursday, August 24, 2017

VOLUNTARY EVACUATION CALLED FOR THOSE WITH MEDICAL OR ACCESS AND FUNCTIONAL NEEDS ON THE WEST END OF GALVESTON

Galveston, Texas – The National Hurricane Center (NHC) has issued a Tropical Storm Warning for the City of Galveston as Hurricane Harvey continues towards a Texas coast landfall.  While there is still uncertainty with the track, and impacts could vary based on landfall, the City is urging residents to prepare in advance in the event the island experiences heavy rain, wind and possible tidal flooding. Harvey is now forecasted to strengthen to a Category 3 Hurricane, which would make it the first major Hurricane to hit the United States since Wilma in 2005.

"The forecast is becoming more certain as the storm strengthens and the impacts to our area could be significant as we remain on the east side of the storm." said Niki Bender, Emergency Management Coordinator for the City of Galveston. "Residents should prepare their homes for tidal flooding from a potential 4-5” storm surge, gusting tropical storm force winds, and possible rains in excess of 15” through the duration of this system passing through our area."  

The City of Galveston’s Office of Emergency Management continues to monitor the system with the National Weather Service. 

VOLUNTARY EVACUATION FOR THE WEST END FOR THOSE WITH MEDICAL OR ACCESS AND FUNCTIONAL NEEDS

In anticipation of a storm surge and heavy rains that would impact our low-lying areas, the City has called for a voluntary evacuation of those living on the west end of the island who have medical or access and functional needs. The combination of sustained high tides and heavy rains will limit our access to those residents should they need emergency response. Those residents who chose to evacuate should follow the evacuation routes which can be found on our website at www.galvestontx.gov/stormready. For anyone who needs assistance leaving the island, please call 409-797-3701 or sign up online on our website at www.galvestontx.gov/needaride.

ANTICIPATING IMPACTS TO THE ISLAND

  • We are currently under a storm surge watch as well as a tropical storm warning issued by the National Hurricane Center.
  • We anticipate tropical storm force winds that may be 30-40mph sustained and 40-50mph gusts if the storm remains on its current track with the peak of the winds Friday evening and Saturday morning.
  • We anticipate 72+ hours of rain and high tides which could lead to numerous impassable roads across the island limiting city service and accessibility to homes. Storm surge will begin Friday evening putting the tides potentially above 4” through the beginning of next week.
  • In the latest models Galveston is still forecasted to see greater than 15” of rain with this system.
  • There is a significant threat of tornadoes and tropical cyclones (water spouts).
  • Strong rip currents beginning Friday morning. Swimmers are asked to avoid swimming beyond the areas protected by the Seawall, avoid swimming near the rocks, and to swim near lifeguard stands.

CITY PREPARATIONS

  • Our EOC has been activated to a Level 2.
  • All city generators and fleet vehicles are serviced and fueled. Fleet has been moved out of low-lying areas.
  • Galveston Marine Response is preparing their high-water rescue vehicles for use in the event that they are needed.
  • The Galveston Beach Patrol has moved the lifeguard towers off the beach.
  • The Public Works Department is preparing vehicles that can traverse high water in the event they are needed.
  • We have pre-staged barricades at designated low-water areas throughout the City.
  • We have begun cleaning debris out of the storm drain systems in advance of the rain and will continue this effort throughout the weekend to keep the storm drains clear.

CHANGES OR INTERRUPTIONS TO CITY SERVICES

  • The City will cancel all League City Park & Ride routes beginning Friday until further notice.
  • The City’s trolley service will be suspended Saturday until further notice.
  • The City’s Island Transit service will move their 25th Street Terminal operations to the Market Street terminal beginning Friday. Service will continue to run until streets are impassable.
  • If roads are impassable on the west end on Monday, trash service will run the following Friday September 1st for west end residents.
  • The code that prohibits residents from blocking sidewalks with their vehicles will not be enforced beginning Thursday at 5pm through Monday.
  • Bulk pickup service will be suspended Monday. Public Works will not accept any request for scheduled bulk pick up until Tuesday. We ask that all residents not place any trash at their curbside or in their alleyway after Thursday.

WHAT RESIDENTS CAN TO PREPARE FOR THE HEAVY RAINS

  • Residents can make sure that their homes are prepared for heavy rainfall and possible flooding by doing the following:
    • If you have drains in front of your home ensure they are clear
    • Have current photos of all of your valuables that would be covered under insurance
    • If you have gutters, ensure that they are clean
    • Ensure you have all of your insurance policy information readily available
  • We encourage all residents to avoid driving through flood waters, as a reminder it is illegal to push a wake with your vehicle when driving on flooded roadways
    • This not only protects your safety, but protects the property owners who might be impacted by water being pushed into their home or businesses
  • Due to strong rip currents, swimmers are being asked to avoid swimming beyond the areas protected by the Seawall, avoid swimming near the rocks, and to swim near lifeguard stands.

BE PREPARED

Having a plan, making a kit and staying connected are your best resource when forecasts change from hour to hour.  Galveston residents can download the 2017 Hurricane Preparedness Guide on our website at www.galvestontx.gov/stormready. The publication includes checklists and reminders that will walk them through the emergency planning process, as well as what supplies they should have on hand.  The Office of Emergency Management will continue to monitor the system.

The Galveston Office of Emergency Management will use the City’s “One Call Reaches All” emergency notification system if necessary during the event.  Please ensure that your family, friends, and neighbors are signed up with current information in our system by logging on online at www.galvestontx.gov/onecall.

FOR OUR VISITORS:

EVENTS THAT HAVE CANCELLED:

  • ArtWalk has been cancelled on Saturday night.
  • "Dixie's Tupperware Party" at The Grand 1894 Opera House has been cancelled on Saturday night.
  • Sunday night “Stay and Play” fireworks have been cancelled.

ATTRACTIONS THAT HAVE ANNOUNCED CLOSINGS:

  • Galveston Historical Foundation is closing all attractions on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. This includes 1892 Bishop's Palace, 1877 Tall Ship ELISSA, Eighteen Seventy One, Pier 21 Theater, the Architectural Salvage Warehouse, and the Texas Seaport Museum. For any questions please call 409-765-7834.
  • Seawolf Park, East Beach, Stewart Beach and Beach Pocket Parks will be closed as of 5pm Thursday through Tuesday.

STAY CONNECTED

Stay connected to the City through www.galvestontx.gov and the City’s social media channels on Facebook and Twitter for the latest updates.




Remembering Jim Guidry


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