HOUSTON – The City of Houston is working to coordinate the response to Hurricane Harvey. The City’s Emergency Operations Center has been activated to Level II (High Readiness) until further notice to ensure City departments have the information and resources they need to prepare for the storm’s arrival.
Due to the inclement weather caused by Hurricane Harvey, several City of Houston departments have the following operational updates:
- Bureau of Animal Regulation and Care (BARC) will be closed to the public on Saturday (Aug. 26) and Sunday (Aug. 27).
- Municipal Courts will be closed beginning at 6 p.m. on Friday (Aug. 25) through Saturday (Aug. 26). Jail Bonding will be available, however, there will be NO:
- Trials (by Judge or Jury). Anyone scheduled for trial on these days must come in person Monday (Aug. 28) through Wednesday (Sept. 6) to receive a new trial date.
- Jury Service. Individuals who are scheduled for jury service will be rescheduled and will be notified by mail of their new date.
- Parking Adjudication Hearings. If you have a hearing scheduled, you will be rescheduled and notified by mail of your new hearing date.
- Weddings. Individuals who had wedding ceremonies scheduled for Saturday (Aug. 26) will be contacted by the department to schedule a new date.
- Resets will be given in person at all City of Houston court locations Monday (Aug. 28) through Wednesday (Sept. 6) until 9 p.m. Please visit the Municipal Courts’ website at www.houstontx.gov/courts for information on all court locations and hours of operation.
- It is important to note that if an individual fails to reset their case(s) during the reset period (8/28/17 through 9/6/17), an arrest warrant may be issued.For additional announcements and information please call the City of Houston Helpline at 3-1-1, or 713.837.0311 if outside of the City of Houston, or visit the Municipal Courts website at www.houstontx.gov/courts
- Solid Waste Management Department (SWMD) is closing all public drop-off facilities including Neighborhood Depositories/Recycling Centers, Westpark Recycling Center, Reuse Warehouse, and Environmental Service Centers due to inclement weather. The centers will remain closed until further notice. Please refer to the website for updates.
- The following locations are closed until further notice:
- North (9003 North Main 77022)
- Northwest (14400 Sommermeyer 77041)
- Northeast (5565 Kirkpatrick 77028)
- South (5100 Sunbeam 77033)
- Southwest (10785 Southwest Fwy 77074)
- Southeast (2240 Central Street 77017)
- Westpark ( 5900 Westpark 77057)
- Environmental Service Center (11500 South Post Oak 77035)
- Reuse Warehouse (9003 N Main 77022)
- Ellington Airport/Clear Lake* (246 Loop Rd. 77034)
- Kingwood* (3210 West Lake Houston Parkway 77339)*Boxes will remain in place, however, will not be able to empty until water recedes. SWMD also advises everyone to secure their City of Houston GREEN and BLACK carts. Carts should be stored in a safe place or securely tied down. For more information about SWMD and our services, visit www.houstonsolidwaste.org, http://www.facebook.com/houstonsolidwaste, or call 3-1-1, the City of Houston’s Customer Service Helpline.
- The following locations are closed until further notice:
Steer Clear of Flood Prone Roadways
The City of Houston Office of Emergency Management (OEM) is urging residents and visitors to avoid Houston roadways as Hurricane Harvey impacts the area over the next several days. The Department of Public Works & Engineering and OEM have produced a map of roadway segments and underpasses that are especially prone to flooding. If residents are unable to suspend all travel during the duration of this storm, they should heed special caution around these locations.
All intersections and underpasses have the potential to be dangerous during periods of heavy and/or prolonged rainfall. If you see a barricade in your path, DO NOT drive around it or move it. Barricades are put in place explicitly to protect lives.
Make Preparations Now
The City is asking residents to begin preparing for the impacts of Hurricane Harvey, this includes:
- Ensuring you have enough supplies for 5-7 days, such as water, food, medications and emergency supplies. For a full list of what should be in your kit, visit houstonemergency.org/harvey.
- Identify your risk of flooding. For a map of floodplains in Harris County, visit harriscountyfemt.org. Remember, any portion of Houston is subject to flooding, so residents should be prepared whether or not they live in a flood plain.
- Residents should plan to park their vehicles out of streets, especially in those prone to flooding.
- Secure anything that can be picked up by the wind and thrown about. Remember, any debris the comes loose could potentially block storm drains, and make flooding worse.
- Ensure drains on your property are functional – Ask your local drainage repair company things like how does pipe relining work? How can I check for blockages? This way, you know your drains are prepared.
- Residents who own generators should ensure they are in good working order and have enough fuel safely stored. CenterPoint Energy has safety tips available for the use of generators.
What is the City Doing?
The City is preparing emergency response resources to be able to meet the public safety needs of residents during the storm.
- The Houston Fire Department is preparing evacuation boats and swift water rescue assets ahead of the arrival of the storm.
- The Houston Police Department and Public Works and Engineering Department (PWE) is preparing high water rescue vehicles to be used in the event they become necessary.
- The General Services Department, Department of Neighborhoods, and PWE are preparing to conduct rapid damage assessment following impacts from this storm.
- The Office of Emergency Management is coordinating the City’s disaster response with neighboring jurisdictions, the State of Texas and federal agencies, as necessary. In addition, OEM activated the City’s Emergency Operations Center at 7:00am this morning in support of anticipated emergency actions.
In anticipation of the arrival of the Hurricane, some City events and facilities have preemptively closed or canceled:
The Bureau of Animal Regulations & Care (BARC) closed to the public on Friday at 3.00pm. BARC will remain closed on Saturday and Sunday.
The Houston Parks & Recreation Department (HPARD) has reported the following closures:
- Lake Houston Wilderness Park will be closed Friday, August 25, through Sunday, August 27. Park visitors with reservations will receive a full refund.
- All Community Centers, Golf Courses, and park facilities will be closed on Saturday and Sunday. A city-wide rain-out has been called for all adult sports league play.
- The McGovern Centennial Gardens, Hermann Park Railroad, pedal boats, gift shop, Pinewood Cafe, and Lake Plaza restrooms will be closed Friday through Sunday. The decision about reopening Monday will be made as the weather event continues.
- The Houston Museum of Natural Science closed earlier this afternoon and will remain closed until further notice.
- The Houston Zoo will be closed Friday through Sunday. The decision on reopening Monday will be made as the weather event continues.
- The Japanese Garden at Hermann Park will close Saturday and Sunday.
The Theatre District Open House scheduled for Sunday has also been canceled.
The Houston Airport System (HAS) reminds residents who are planning travel by air over the weekend to check with their carriers about possible cancellations. HAS is currently operational. HAS coordinates with both the Federal Aviation Administration and air carriers, who take the lead in determining, if and when, flights are cancelled. Decisions are made as conditions warranted. For a list of carriers and contact information, visit fly2houston.com.
At this time, the American Red Cross has not opened any emergency shelters. If and when they become necessary, they will be posted to redcross.org. Additionally, residents who may need Red Cross Assistance can call 1-800-733-2767 (1-800-RED-CROSS).
Health Tips After Exposure to Floodwater
The Houston Health Department reminds residents to:
- Practice good hygiene, such as handwashing after any contact with floodwaters. Wash children’s hands frequently, especially before meals.
- Do not allow children to play in floodwater areas.
- Do not eat any food that was in contact with floodwater.
The City of Houston will continue to provide updates on Hurricane Harvey as they become available through AlertHouston.
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