HOUSTON — The city of Houston is keeping a close watch on the weather and it activated its Emergency Operations Center to help deal with potential flooding.
When it rains heavily in Houston, Mayor Sylvester Turner admits his heart sinks a little, too.
“Because you never know what Mother Nature is going to do,” said Turner.
He said he’s confident knowing those who staff the EOC have a grasp on the situation.
“We have five departments represented here,” said Public Safety Director George Buenik. “We have outside agencies as well.”
Some of those have also preemptively addressed areas that can flood without much warning.
“We’ve identified about 60 I would call low-water areas,” said Turner. “Underpasses, where barricades have already been put into position.”
Friday morning, the Houston Fire Department showed off one of its newest high-water rescue trucks. It has an automated lift that makes it more accessible and easier for crews to help those who may be disabled.
Thirty-one of these are positioned around the city. Meanwhile, Lake Houston was lowered by two or more feet Friday as a precaution. That allows it to take in more water in the event of flooding.
“I would certainly advise people to start making their way home and get off the roads,” said Turner. “And, certainly, after midnight when visibility is not as good.”
Turner plans to keep the EOC fully staffed through Saturday morning and all weekend, if necessary. Although he hopes no one will need to be rescued.