Public Information Statement
Issued by NWS Brownsville, TX

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PUBLIC INFORMATION STATEMENT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE BROWNSVILLE TX
841 AM CDT WED MAY 27 2015

...PUBLIC INFORMATION STATEMENT...

...MAY 24TH THROUGH 30TH IS HURRICANE PREPAREDNESS WEEK IN TEXAS...
...TODAY`S TOPIC IS INLAND FLOODING...

THE HONORABLE GOVERNOR OF TEXAS...GREG ABBOTT...HAS PROCLAIMED MAY
24TH THROUGH 30TH 2015 AS HURRICANE PREPAREDNESS WEEK IN TEXAS.

THE FOLLOWING TROPICAL WEATHER TOPICS WILL BE DISCUSSED FOR THE REST
OF THE WEEK:

TODAY..................INLAND FLOODING
THURSDAY...............MARINE IMPACTS
FRIDAY.................PERSONAL PREPAREDNESS TIPS

PRIOR TO HURRICANES KATRINA IN 2005...IKE IN 2008...AND SANDY IN 2012...
MORE PEOPLE DIED FROM INLAND FLOODING THAN FROM STORM SURGE...TORNADOES...
AND HIGH WINDS COMBINED DURING THE LAST HALF OF THE 20TH CENTURY.
WHILE THE PERCENTAGES CHANGED DRAMATICALLY AFTER 2005...INLAND FLOODING
REMAINS A MAJOR THREAT TO COMMUNITIES HUNDREDS OF MILES FROM THE
COAST WHEN TORRENTIAL RAINS INUNDATE COMMUNITIES LARGE AND SMALL.
HURRICANE IRENE IN 2011 KILLED MORE THAN A DOZEN IN THE NORTHEAST
UNITED STATES FROM INLAND FLOODING.

INTENSE RAINFALL IS NOT DIRECTLY RELATED TO THE SAFFIR SIMPSON WIND SCALE
OF HURRICANE INTENSITY. SOME OF THE HIGHEST RECORDED RAINFALL EVER
IN TEXAS OCCURRED WITH TROPICAL STORMS...NOT HURRICANES...THAT DRIFTED
SLOWLY OR STALLED.

...SIGNIFICANT INLAND FLOOD PRODUCING STORMS...
IN 1979...TROPICAL STORM CLAUDETTE STALLED OVER SOUTHEAST TEXAS AND
DUMPED 45 INCHES IN ALVIN.  42 INCHES FELL IN 24 HOURS...WHICH
REMAINS A U.S. RECORD FOR RAINFALL OVER THIS TIME SPAN.

IN 2001...TROPICAL STORM  ALLISON DUMPED EXTREMELY HEAVY RAINFALL
RESULTING IN CATASTROPHIC FLOODS IN THE HOUSTON AREA. AS ALLISON
DRIFTED TO THE EAST AND THEN NORTHEAST...HEAVY RAINFALL AND FLOODING
CONTINUED FROM LOUISIANA...TO NORTH CAROLINA...AND EVEN AS FAR
NORTH AS MASSACHUSETTS. OVER 30 PEOPLE DIED IN THE HOUSTON AREA...
WITH NEARLY 5 BILLION DOLLARS IN DAMAGE.  ALLISON REMAINS THE
ONLY RETIRED TROPICAL STORM.

FOR THE RIO GRANDE VALLEY AND DEEP SOUTH TEXAS...THE STORM OF
RECORD FOR INLAND FLOODING REMAINS BEULAH IN SEPTEMBER OF 1967.  BEULAH
DROPPED MORE THAN 20 INCHES OF RAIN IN A SWATH FROM STARR COUNTY
NORTHEAST TO BROOKS COUNTY...INCLUDING NORTHERN AND WESTERN HIDALGO
COUNTY. REPORTS FROM CAMARGO MEXICO...SOUTH OF STARR
COUNTY...INDICATED 30 INCHES OR MORE MAY HAVE FALLEN.

THESE RAINS...COMBINED WITH EVEN HEAVIER RAINFALL IN NORTHERN MEXICO
AND ALREADY SATURATED GROUND FROM A WET AUGUST...STRESSED THE LEVEE
AND FLOODWAY SYSTEM ALONG AND NEAR THE RIO GRANDE.  FROM EAST OF
RIO GRANDE CITY TO PENITAS...THE RIVER FLOODED AT A WIDTH OF 3 TO 5
MILES INUNDATING LARGELY AGRICULTURAL LANDS. THE WORST FLOODING
OCCURRED FARTHER DOWNSTREAM WHEN INCREASED FLOWS WELL ABOVE DESIGN
CAPACITY OVERSPILLED THE ARROYO COLORADO IN HARLINGEN AFTER A WEIR
WAS BREACHED AT THE INTERSECTION OF THE MAIN...NORTH...AND ARROYO
COLORADO FLOODWAYS. NUMEROUS HOMES FLOODED...SEVERAL UP TO THEIR
ROOFTOPS!

MORE THAN 25 INCHES FELL NEAR FALFURRIAS.  OFFICIALLY...NEARLY 23
INCHES FELL IN FALFURRIAS WHICH OVERWHELMED PALO BLANCO CREEK AND
CIBOLO CREEK AND INUNDATED THE TOWN.

IN JULY 2008...HEAVY RAINS ASSOCIATED WITH HURRICANE DOLLY RESULTED IN
WIDESPREAD FLOODING OVER MUCH OF THE RIO GRANDE VALLEY. THE HIGHEST
REPORTED RAINFALL TOTALS FOR THE DURATION OF THE STORM WERE
CONCENTRATED OVER HIDALGO...CAMERON AND WILLACY COUNTIES WHERE
GREATEST RAINFALL TOTALS RANGED FROM 12 TO 18 INCHES. AN UNOFFICIAL
REPORT FROM THE CAMERON WILLACY LINE NORTH OF COMBES SUGGESTED MORE
THAN 20 INCHES FELL.

THE FLOODS CLOSED MANY ROADS AND CAUSED SUBSTANTIAL AGRICULTURAL
LOSSES...ESPECIALLY TO THE LOWER RIO GRANDE VALLEY COTTON CROP.
FORTUNATELY...NO INJURIES OR DEATHS WERE DIRECTLY ATTRIBUTED TO THE
HEAVY RAINS AND FLOODING FROM HURRICANE DOLLY.

IN EARLY JULY 2010...INCREDIBLE RAINFALL FROM THE REMNANTS OF
HURRICANE ALEX FELL ACROSS THE FRONT RANGE OF THE SIERRA MADRE.
ESTIMATED RAINS OF MORE THAN 50 INCHES RAN OFF INTO THE LOWER RIO
GRANDE BASIN...SPILLING OVER MANY MEXICAN DAMS AND ULTIMATELY
FLOWING INTO THE RIO GRANDE.  THE VOLUME OF WATER REQUIRED DAM
RELEASES FROM AMISTAD...NEAR DEL RIO TEXAS...AND FALCON...ADJACENT
TO ZAPATA COUNTY.

IMMEDIATELY AFTER THE RELEASE...FLOODING BEGAN IN ROMA AND NEAR RIO
GRANDE CITY...WHICH QUICKLY SURGED SOUTHEAST AND TURNED THE NORMALLY
THIN WATER CHANNEL INTO A RAGING TWO MILE WIDE MAELSTROM...CREATING
MAJOR FLOODING TO UNPROTECTED COMMUNITIES FROM LA GRULLA TO LOS
EBANOS.  SOON AFTER...THE DIVERSION DAM AT ANZALDUAS IN HIDALGO
COUNTY WAS ACTIVATED AND WATER SOON FILLED THE FLOODWAY WHICH
MEANDERS BETWEEN PHARR...PROGRESO LAKES...AND MERCEDES/WESLACO.
WHILE WATER ROSE UP TO 8 FEET HIGH IN THE FLOODWAY...THE LEVEE HELD
AND IMPACTS WERE CONTAINED TO PROPERTIES AND CROPS INSIDE THE LEVEE
ON BOTH THE RIVER AND FLOODWAY.

RIVER STAGES AND FLOODWAY WATER LEVELS WERE THE HIGHEST SINCE
1971...WHEN RAINFALL FROM BACK TO BACK HURRICANES FERN AND EDITH
FILLED THE LOWER RIO GRANDE BASIN.

HERE ARE SEVERAL STEPS YOU CAN TAKE TO PROTECT LIFE AND PROPERTY IN
THE EVENT OF INLAND FLOODING.

...GET PROTECTED FROM FLOODING...
PLACE VALUABLES IN PLASTIC STORAGE CONTAINERS AND MOVE THEM TO THE
ATTIC OR OTHER ELEVATED LOCATION. FOR JEWELRY AND PHOTOS ON YOUR
WALLS...HAVE SMALL...EMPTY PLASTIC STORAGE CONTAINERS NEARBY SO YOU
CAN QUICKLY SCOOP UP YOUR BELONGINGS AND PLACE THEM IN SAFE
LOCATIONS. IF POSSIBLE...RAISE LARGE ITEMS SUCH AS OUTSIDE AIR
CONDITIONING UNITS. DURING A FLOOD...IMMEDIATELY SHUT OFF YOUR
ELECTRICITY AT THE CIRCUIT BREAKERS.

MOST IMPORTANTLY...PURCHASE INSURANCE THROUGH THE NATIONAL FLOOD
INSURANCE PROGRAM. NEARLY ALL HOMEOWNER`S INSURANCE POLICIES DO NOT
COVER FLOODING FROM RISING WATER.  IF YOU LIVE IN A DESIGNATED
FRESHWATER FLOOD ZONE OR AN AREA THAT IS PRONE TO INLAND
FLOODING...NOW IS THE TIME TO BY FLOOD INSURANCE. A POLICY WON`T
BECOME ACTIVE UNTIL **30 DAYS AFTER SIGNING UP**...SO GET ONE AS
SOON AS POSSIBLE BEFORE THE PEAK OF THE SEASON ARRIVES.  FOR
MOST...FLOOD INSURANCE COSTS LESS THAN A DOLLAR A DAY BUT THE PEACE
OF MIND IT PROVIDES IS PRICELESS.

...KNOW WHERE TO GO...
STUDY AND LEARN YOUR EVACUATION ROUTES. HAVE DETAILED MAPS TO NAVIGATE
ALTERNATIVE ROUTES IF THE USUAL ROADS ARE FLOODED. PLAN AHEAD FOR
THE FLOOD. GET ANSWERS TO ALL YOUR QUESTIONS BEFORE A FLOOD OCCURS.
SHOULD FLOODING THREATEN...REMAIN CALM AND FOLLOW YOUR ACTION PLAN.
MANY FLOOD DEATHS RESULT FROM FEAR AND CONFUSION...A RESULT OF NOT
HAVING A PLAN. DO NOT LET THIS HAPPEN TO YOU!

FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION REGARDING INLAND FLOODING AND
PREPAREDNESS...PLEASE VISIT THE FOLLOWING WEBSITES /USE LOWER CASE/:

BROWNSVILLE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE HURRICANE PREPAREDNESS:
FLOODING
HTTP://WEATHER.GOV/RGV/?N=HURRPREP_FLOOD

TEXAS HURRICANE GUIDE, RIO GRANDE VALLEY EDITION (AVAILABLE BY MAY
31)
HTTP://WWW.SRH.NOAA.GOV/IMAGES/BRO/TROPICAL/GUIDE/2015/ENGLISH.PDF

GUIA OFICIAL DE HURACANES, LA EDICION PARA EL VALLE DEL RIO GRANDE
(DISPONIBLE POR 31 DE MAYO)
HTTP://WWW.SRH.NOAA.GOV/IMAGES/BRO/TROPICAL/GUIDE/2015/ESPANOL.PDF

NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER INLAND FLOOD PREPAREDNESS PAGE
HTTP://WWW.NHC.NOAA.GOV/PREPARE/HAZARDS.PHP#RAIN

NATIONAL FLOOD INSURANCE PROGRAM:
HTTP://FLOODSMART.GOV

$$


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