Officials say between 50 and 100 homes were damaged by a possible tornado in Fort Bend County overnight. In the first 24 hours of rainfall from Hurricane Harvey, parts of Fort Bend county have already recorded 9 inches of rain.
Alan Spears, Deputy Emergency Management coordinator for Fort Bend County, says severe weather hit the Sienna Plantation subdivision around 1:30 a.m. on Saturday.
“Evidently, this tornado cut a pretty wide swath through there. We’ve got road and bridge crews out there right now clearing up the roadways and cutting limbs and all that. And the Red Cross is on the way out there to set up a shelter – if it’s needed”, Spears said.
The National Weather Service is investigating and will determine if the storm was in fact a tornado.
By Saturday morning, Brazoria County had seen nearly 8 inches of rain.
Hurricane Harvey officially made landfall on Friday night as a Category 4 hurricane at San Jose Island (near Port Aransas). Early on Saturday, it was downgraded to a Category 1 hurricane with maximum sustained winds of 85-90 mph moving inland through south central Texas.
Harris County was under a Flood Warning on Saturday until further notice. The National Hurricane Center forecast rainfall totals up to 15-30 inches, with isolated totals of up to 35 inches or more between Saturday and Wednesday. This will be a dangerous flooding event for most of the county, the Harris County Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Management warned.
Reports of roadways beginning to flood. Please do not attempt to drive, you are placing yourself and others in jeopardy #HurricaneHarvey
— HPOU (@HPOUTX) August 26, 2017
And the worst is yet to come for Harris. That was the message from local emergency officials who were concerned that people might look outside and think the storm is over.
Francisco Sánchez, with Harris County’s Office of Emergency Management, says the next several days could bring disastrous flooding. “This isn’t a typical hurricane where it makes landfall and then dissipates and we move into recovery”, he explained. “Right now for our area, we haven’t seen the worst that we’re going to see. So exercise some caution, exercise some patience and just know we will be getting severe rain. But because it doesn’t happen yet, doesn’t mean that it won’t.”
The highest rainfall amount recorded was just under 4 inches at Mason Creek.
By Saturday morning, Centerpoint Energy said about 60,000 people were without power. That was down from 70,000 earlier in the day.
There were also widespread outages in Katy and parts of Fort Bend county and much of Galveston.
Centerpoint estimates restoration of power to many neighborhoods will be complete this morning.
Some areas were already flooded, like the underpass at I-10 and Monmouth, so authorities recommended to avoid that intersection.
Also, the East Sam Houston Tollway southbound Spencer exit was closed because of high water on the service road.