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Burn Bans/Fire

Fresh flames rage at Texas chemical plant flooded by Harvey--
Harris County emergency officials were called to the Arkema chemical plant after a massive fire had broken out. The chemical plant lost power and refrigeration capabilities after the devastating flooding caused by Hurricane Harvey in the previous days. The U.S. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board has announced that an investigation of the incident is underway. Volatile compounds were allowed to combust during the flooding event due to the lack of cooling and being exposed to the Texas heat.  
ABC, Morgan Winsor, Julia Jacobo, Stephanie Ebbs, September 1, 2017

20-acre brush fire burning in Burnet County
A 20-acre brush fire in Burnet County has been burning for hours in a patch of cedar trees  on the side of a hill about one mile off Texas 29. No one has been reported injured from the brush fire, and six different departments have responded to put out the flames.
Hill County Tribune, Matt Briscoe, September 22, 2017


Monthly Change in Drought Monitor Classification

U.S. Drought Monitor, May 2, 2017
U.S. Drought Monitor, May 30, 2017


Dry fall could affect spring bluebonnets--
Most of the wildflowers that bloom in the spring are dependent on fall precipitation followed by sustaining winter rains, according to the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center at the University of Texas Austin. The Dallas-Fort Worth area has not seen rain since August 27, resulting in a nearly two inch rain deficit for September. With the possibility of La Nina developing this fall, a drier than normal winter will likely have a negative effect on the wildflowers next spring.
KXAS, Grant Johnson, September 19, 2017

San Marcos residents must conserve water under drought rules--
After a brief break from drought conditions, San Marcos residents will have to once again conserve water by cutting down on sprinkler usage and car washes. On September 24, Stage 1 drought rules will be implemented in San Marcos and on September 16, Stage 1 will be implemented by the Edwards Aquifer Authority. Residents are allowed to use sprinklers and wash their cars  only one day a week. Stage 1 rules go into effect when the 10-day Edwards Aquifer index well level is below 660 feet above mean sea level. On Wednesday, the level was at 658.8 feet.
KXAN, Kate Winkle, September 20, 2017

Texas experiencing drought, flooding simultaneously, Water Board says--
The state of Texas is currently experiencing two contrasting drought conditions. The Texas Water Development Board is reporting that some regions are continuing to recovery from Harvey’s heavy rains while others are experiencing a growing drought due to an unseasonably dry September. 21 percent of the state has been designated some category of drought, up 8 percent from last week.
Herald Democrat, Michael Hutchins, September 26, 2017


Texas State Vet tells horse owners to vaccinate now as flood waters recede--
The Texas Animal Health Commission urges horse owners in Texas to monitor their animals for signs of West Nile Virus, Eastern equine encephalitis, and other mosquito-related diseases as flood waters recede. The season for West Nile, for both humans and equine, begins at the start of spring and continues through fall. A recent outbreak of West Nile in equine in Texas is a concern as five new cases have been confirmed this year at the Texas A&M Veterinary Medical Diagnostic Laboratory. The virus has a 30 percent mortality rate in horses.
Southwest Farm Press, Logan Hawkes, September 15, 2017

Agriculture briefs--
Crops across Texas experienced relatively adequate growing season during the year. Cotton crops were especially favored this year. Timely rains and ideal temperature made for perfect growing conditions. The Annual Cotton Field Day will be this Wednesday in Runnels County.
Abilene Reporter-News, Joel Webb, September 24, 2017

Harvey may not have dealt devastating blow to Texas ranchers--
It is believed that the extent of Harvey’s damage did not inflict Texas cattle as initially expected in a comparison to Hurricane Ike. There were relatively few instances during the storm in which severe flooding drowned cattle. A Texas A&M University professor and agricultural economist suggests that the cattle market will not observe significant impacts in calf prices for other ranchers, or consumer beef prices.
Fox Business, Will Weissert, September 28, 2017

Significant Weather


‘Massive, massive cleanup’ in store for Houston after Hurricane Harvey--
As floodwaters are beginning to recede in the Houston area, city officials and residents are beginning an extensive cleanup process. It has been estimated that Hurricane Harvey dropped approximately 20 trillion gallon of rain on the Houston metroplex. With less than 20 percent of Texas homeowners having flood insurance, nearly 30,000 to 40,000 homes were destroyed during the catastrophic storm, as estimated by Harris County officials. Texas Governor Greg Abbott has expressed that the effects from this storm will be far more influential than due to its geographic scope and scale.
ABC, Karen Travers and Morgan Winsor, September 1, 2017

Harvey timeline: See how the storm developed and marched across Texas and Louisiana--
National Hurricane Center meteorologists began monitoring a tropical wave off the west coast of Africa that developed a low pressure on August 13. Beginning August 17 through August 22, the tropical wave developed into a tropical storm named Harvey, passing over the windward islands then weakening to a tropical depression that crossed the Yucatan Peninsula. From August 23 to August 25 the storm intensifies quickly in the Gulf to a Category 4 making landfall in the late hours of the 25th. After two more subsequent landfalls on Gulf Coast areas, the storm ceases to maintain tropical storm wind speeds in Louisiana.
Corpus Christi Caller Times, Allison Ehrlich, September 2, 2017

Texas Task Force 1 & 2 still rescuing people as flood waters recede--
Texas Task Force 1 & 2 are remaining busy throughout the week with rescue efforts for residents in the Gulf Coast. Though rain has ceased, many roads remain flooded as the Brazos Rivers fills beyond its banks. Many roads are flooded out in the city of Richmond forcing residents to remain stationary. Teams will continue to complete their searches and rescues by boat for the next coming days as Fort Bend and Houston drain out allowing for coastal creeks and rivers to swell.
KBTX, Michael Oder, September 2, 2017

Houston braces for more flooding, chemical plant fires out--
Officials were forced to carry-out a controlled burn on Sunday at a chemical plant flooded during Hurricane Harvey to neutralize unstable compounds. The highly unstable compounds had caused some explosions previously and posed a threat to nearby residents. More fires and flooding are expected for areas near the chemical plant on the Gulf coast as rivers continue to overflow.
ABC, Michael Graczyk and Will Weissert, September 3, 2017

Texas prisons take hit from Harvey, complaints of water, sewage problems surface--
Prisoners at a Houston area detainment facility were transferred to a Navasota facility in an attempt to escape rising floodwaters during Hurricane Harvey. During the flooding, some prisoners were stated that water rose to their kneecaps and flooded their water systems. Officials have found that sewage systems in the facility have become compromised by the high standing water, eliminating the use of bathrooms for the inmates. Officials also fear that the displacement of inmates put them at risk of not receiving needed medication and proper living conditions as one federal judge deemed the temporary facility too hot to house inmates with medical conditions. The status of the inmate location placement is indefinite at this time.
The Houston Chronicle, Gabrielle Banks, September 4, 2017

Kansas water rescue teams sent to Texas have returned--
Rescue units are returning to the state of Kansas from Texas over the past week. Departments across Kansas joined together to form rescue teams deployed to Texas to service people and animals who were victims to the catastrophic flooding caused by Harvey. At the end of their missions, the Kansas rescue teams searched over 4,000 structures and evacuated over 100 people.
The Wichita Eagle, Nichole Manna, September 5, 2017

Hurricane Katia Forms in the Gulf of Mexico, Not Expected to Impact Texas--
Tropical system Katia has now become classified as a category 1 hurricane in the Gulf of Mexico with sustained-winds in excess of 75 mph. A high pressure ridge positioned over Texas will keep the storm away from Texas while upper level winds will steer it towards eastern Mexico on Saturday. High surf along the Texas coast for the next few days is expected to be the only effect felt along the south Texas coast.
KXAS, Staff Writer, September 6, 2017

Hurricane Harvey Death Toll Hits 70--
Hurricane Harvey has taken nearly 70 lives from drowning in floods, being crushed by trees, and loss of life during power outages. The National Hurricane Center reports that there were no fatalities caused from storm surge. Houston officials are also reporting that at least 18 people are still missing in Houston alone with bodies still expected to emerge. A Houston police officer has suggested that the death toll would have been significantly higher had the city issued a mandatory evacuation, relating back to the tragedies of the Hurricane Rita (2005) evacuations.
KXAS, Paul Weber and Claudia Lauer, September 6, 2017

Do we need to worry about Hurricane Katia?--
The tropics are very active right now, with three hurricanes in the Atlantic Basin including Hurricane Katia in the southern Gulf of Mexico. Texas is not expected to have any impacts from Katia since the cold front that moved through our area early this week is keeping moisture from Katia in South Texas. High pressure is moving into the region and will also help keep storms and extra moisture at bay into early next week.
KTRK, Casey Curry, September 7, 2017

Number of fatalities linked to flooding in Harris County rises--
Flood rescue-search teams are continuing efforts to recover bodies in the Houston area as flood waters are beginning to recede. Efforts are finally being able to be made with expediency by the Houston Fire Department in areas that were previously completely covered by floodwaters. Some residents west of the Beltway 8 were put at a greater risk of flooding danger due to assumptions about the area’s inability to flood. Residents who had the ability and need to evacuate near this area did not, expecting the region to remain without high standing water.
The Houston Chronicle, Cindy George, Margaret Kadifa, and Emily Foxhall, September 8, 2017

Harvey the strongest hurricane to hit US in more than a decade--
Hurricane Harvey is the strongest hurricane to hit the US in more than 10 years. It made landfall in Southeast Texas as a Category 4 hurricane with sustained winds near 130 mph and dumped more than 18 inches of rain in some areas within its first four hours over land. By the next day, even though it had downgraded to a Category three, Harvey had completely flooded cities such as Port Arthur. Texas State Climatologist John Nielsen-Gammon said Harvey set new standards for historic rainfall and flooding, averaging 34.72 inches over five days across an area of 10,000 square miles. The previous record of 21.39 inches was set in 1899.
Corsicana Daily Sun, Todd Glasscock, September 9, 2017

Thousands disrupted by the slow-motion disaster that spread across southeast Texas--
Stories about those who perished during the intense force of Hurricane Harvey are becoming more accentuated in the wake of the storm’s destruction. There have been numerous tales of families separated due to rushing floodwaters and high standing water across the southeast and Gulf Coast. Refinery employees, farmers, ranchers, and those that use their products and goods are seeing some the largest effects of the storm. Recovery from these sectors will take much longer to recover from the severe flooding.
Cleburne Times-Review, Jill Nolin, September 10, 2017

Houston’s ‘flood czar’ says Harvey has brought the city to a decision point on flood control--
Before Hurricane Harvey, Stephen Costello, the City of Houston “flood czar” reported that he had no staff and nearly no funds. Post-Harvey, the State of Texas is expected to receive billions in recovery aid over the next few years. Costello emphasizes that the destruction of Hurricane Harvey has forced the City of Houston to develop creative and financially responsible flood-control upgrades. As the newly appointed flood czar, Costello hopes to work towards seeing these upgrades happen in an expedited manner.
The Texas Tribune, Neena Satija and Kiah Collier, September 13, 2017

As a result of Hurricane Harvey, 600 more Texas prisoners getting AC--
About 600 more Texas prisoners are receiving air conditioning because of Harvey-related evacuations. Ahead of the hurricane, the inmates had been evacuated from the flood prone Stringfellow Unit to the Wallace Park Unit in Navasota, which has been blamed for nearly two dozen heat related deaths over the last two decades. The Department of Criminal Justice ordered heat-sensitive inmates to be moved if temperatures inside the non-air-conditioned Navasota prison rose above 88 degrees. In total, about 6,000 prisoners were evacuated to escape Harvey.
The Texas Tribune, Jolie Mccullough and Jay Root, September 16, 2017

Here’s where Houston flooded the most and least--
Hurricane Harvey damaged over 127,000 single-family homes in the Houston area, according to the Texas Division of Emergency Management. At the top of the list of most affected communities was Mont Belvieu and Friendswood, which had rainfall measurements greater than 50 inches. However,Houston neighborhoods such as Montrose and Fall Creek escaped the worst of Harvey’s devastation. Houston’s residential real estate market post-Harvey will experience an increase in rentals and condos with sales declining in the flooded areas.
Houston Business Journal, Jen Para, September 18, 2017

Anxiety swirls after 200 residents ordered to leave flood-damaged high-apartment complex--
Nearly 200 residents of a public housing complex in Houston were ordered to vacate the property in less than a week’s notice so that city officials could evaluate the safety of the building in the wake of Hurricane Harvey. The building has flooded at least three times in recent  years, which officials say spread mold and damaged electrical and plumbing systems. Residents will be transferred to other housing in the city, but there is no estimated date on when residents can return to their original complex.
Houston Chronicle, Robert Downen, September 19, 2017

When’s the last time DFW went without rain in September--
So far this month there has been no measurable rainfall at the Dallas-Fort Worth Airport. Aside from a trace of rain Tuesday as a front moved through the area, North Texas could finish off its first September since 1898 without any rain. The month usually averages 2.55 inches in North Texas, but the lowest amount on record was 0.06 inches in 2014. Since no official records exist before 1898, it is unknown if September has been rain-free before.
Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Bill Hanna, September 20, 2017

After Harvey, another mammoth challenge for flooded areas: getting rid of mountains of trash--
In Houston and other cities in Southeast Texas, piles of garbage have been left behind for weeks in the wreckage from Hurricane Harvey. Although some people have paid contractors to haul away the debris, most people are waiting for the city to remove it. The Director of Houston’s Solid Waste Management Department said that even if other Texas cities such as Austin, San Antonio and Dallas help send resources, the cleanup process in Houston could take three to six months. In addition to Houston’s efforts, the Texas Department of Transportation has sent crews and equipment to help with the trash removal. As of Wednesday, TXDOT removed 432,000 cubic feet of debris from the city and county roads, according to the governor’s office.
The Texas Tribune, Ala’a Ibrahim, September 22, 2017

Harvey recovery continues in parts of flooded Liberty County--
Although the city of Houston received record breaking amounts of rainfall from Hurricane Harvey, the city of Liberty observed a storm total of 55 inches of rain, four inches higher than the 51 inches collected in Houston. The last major flooding event in Liberty was the 1994 storm that flooded 16 subdivisions along the Trinity River, releasing a record 110,600 cubic feet of water per second from Lake Livingston Dam. When Harvey moved through southeast Texas, this record was matched in Liberty, killing more than 10 people.
Houston Chronicle, John D Harden, September 22, 2017

Southwest Texas faces chances of flash flooding--
Heavy rainfall is expected for many portions in Texans beginning Monday through Thursday morning. Flash flooding is a possibility in these areas, with the largest heavy rainfall threats focused on the Rio Grande Plains and the southern Edwards Plateau. Western Texas rain chances are forecast to reach 3 to 6 inches with some isolated amounts as high as 8 to 10 inches. Rivers and tributaries have the possibility of overflowing contributing to the flash flood threats.
Austin-Statesman, Rachel Rice, September 24, 2017

Flash Flood Watch issued for western counties--
The National Weather Service has issued a Flash Flood Watch for Rocksprings, Del Rio, Eagle Pass, and Uvalde counties in effect from Wednesday evening to Thursday evening. Pacific and Gulf moisture has combined in the western half of Central Texas producing atmospheric disturbances that allow for the possibility of flooding. Flooding by small stream and rivers are the biggest threats. Rainfall amounts are expected to range from 4 to isolated amounts of 10 inches in the region.
KENS5, Paul Mireles, September 25, 2017

Two high water rescues in South Texas, more than 100 rescued--
Oil field workers in La Salle County were forced to move to higher ground as overnight torrential rain downpours led to high standing water. According reports by officials, nearly 50 workers were rescued from Vesper Ranch. The workers were caught off guard by the speed the flooding occurred and had to stand on atop cars and machinery until rescued.
KENS5, Staff Writer, September 26, 2017

Portions of South Texas under flood watch; Main threat Co.--
The National Weather Service has issued a Flash Flood Watch for Bexar and other South-Central Texas counties, expiring at 7 p.m. Thursday evening. Heavy rains have been persistent in the region over the last 24 hours, with some areas expected to see another one to two inches. Flash flooding may begin at any time, though the main threats are expected Wednesday night in Bexar County.
KENS5, Staff Writer, September 27, 2017

Woman dies of flesh-eating bacteria contracted in Hurricane Harvey floodwaters--
A 77-year-old woman has died, succumbing to infection from flesh-eating bacteria in Hurricane Harvey floodwater. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention reports that the infection, necrotizing fasciitis, spreads quickly and kills body tissue. Hospital records show the elderly woman suffered complication from blunt trauma at the upper extremity along with the infection.
ABC15, Alex Hider, September 29, 2017

EPA: Tests show contaminants exposed at Texas Superfund site--
The Environmental Protection Agency reports that dioxins, a dangerous and deadly pollutant, has been washed downriver from a superfund site in the Houston-area. Samples collected at the site measured levels 2,300 times higher than the cleanup trigger level. Some environmental specialists are criticizing the speed of action from the EPA due to the inadequacy of sampling at the site.
The Associated Press, Michael Biesecker, September 29, 2017

Warm Weather

Weekend forecast: Late summer weather is back in Austin--
Late summer weather is back in Austin as this weekend will boast below normal high temperatures. Saturday will be sunny with a high near 88 and a low of 63. Sunday will also be sunny with a high near 88 and a low near 63. Next week is expected to be clear with warm temperatures in the forecast.
Austin American-Statesman, Taylor Goldenstein, September 9, 2017

KSAN storm team daily update--
Clouds and a few thunderstorms will finish out the day today in the San Angelo area. Tomorrow and Monday will see a high in the mid to upper 90s in the afternoon with a low temperature near 70. Moisture from Hurricane Norma in the East Pacific will spread towards South Texas and cause an increase in rain chances mid to late week.
KSAN, Scott Barry, September 16, 2017

NBC5 forecast: Hot and breezy today--
More high temperatures in the 90s and sunny days are in store for North Texas through the rest of the week and weekend. Rain chances will remain low until the beginning of next week when a cold front will approach the area, bringing cooler temperatures and a return of fall weather. Low temperatures will dip into the upper 60s mid week and rain chances will lessen for the weekend.
KXAS, Staff Writer, September 20, 2017

5 Things to Watch in This Week's Weather, Including More Summerlike Warmth in the East and Rockies Heavy Snow --
Warm temperatures are expected to make their way into Texas and regions of the Midwest and East over the next week. The warmth will not reach temperatures as high as the previous week. In the Northwest, rainy and cooler conditions are forecasted as the week progress. Forecasters are also keeping an eye out for tropical development this week in the Atlantic and Gulf.
The Weather Channel, Jonathan Belles, September 30, 2017

Cool Weather

Old Farmer’s Almanac predicts cold, snowy winter for North Texas--
The 2018 Old Farmer’s Almanac has predicted an intense winter for the North Texas region like that of 2013. This prediction is in stark contrast to that made by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration which expects a relatively mild winter season. Long-range forecasters originally anticipated El Nino to develop which may have influenced the prediction.
Star Telegram, Bill Hanna, September 13, 2017

NOAA: “La Nina” pattern possible this fall and winter--
La Nina, the opposite Pacific Ocean phenomenon of El Nino, is the cooling of the central Pacific Ocean that affects weather around the world. In the US, La Nina usually means drier and warmer winters in Southeast Texas. There is a 55-60% chance of La Nina during the fall and winter. The last La Nina was weak and short lived, but contributed to a warmer than normal winter in 2016.
KBTX, Staff Writer, September 14, 2017

Rainy and cool days ahead--
A cold front is forecast to bring cool temperatures and rainy weather in the coming days in Abilene. With the passage of the front, current 80 degree highs will dip into low temperatures of upper 60s and lower 70s with winds picking up to 10 to 15 mph. By Friday, highs will be in the low to mid-70s will achieve 15 to 20 mph with even stronger gusts. Rain chances will dissipate by Saturday and Sunday, but cloud cover is expected  to hang around for the remainder of the weekend.
KTXS-12, Megan Murat, September 24, 2017

Finally: SE Texas may get some cooler weather--
Texas residents were skeptical about the arrival of fall last week as temperatures lingered in the lower 90s. Forecasters at the National Weather Service are expecting a front this coming week that will allow for cooler and drier temperatures to the eastern region of the state. Temperatures will remain in the high 80s to lower 90s through Friday as the front passes bringing low temperatures down to the 60s and lower 50s.
Beaumont Enterprise, Fernando Ramirez, September 25, 2017

Severe Weather

National Weather Service confirms 29 tornadoes during Hurricane Harvey--
An updated storm report from the National Weather Service has a preliminary count of 29 confirmed tornadoes associated with Hurricane Harvey. Damage reports were noted from Galveston to College Station during the period from Friday, August 25 to Sunday, August 27, which included downed fences, power lines, and tree limbs. Sienna Plantation and Pecan Grove in Fort Bend County suffered significant home and structure damages.
KTRK, Staff Writer, September 14, 2017

TX Marine Warning and Forecast--
Strong thunderstorms over the Gulf of Mexico are causing dangerous marine conditions. The National Weather Service is warning coastal areas from Matagorda to Freeport to take heed of threatening conditions. Doppler radar signatures are indicating strong storms capable of producing winds around 30 knots.
Marine weather Statement, National Weather Service, September 29, 2017

Other Climate Impacts


Trump pays 2nd visit to Texas; Houston mayor orders 300 to evacuate--
Nearly 300 people have been ordered to leave their flooded homes in Houston by Sunday morning, after which CenterPoint Energy will turn off power to those residents. The mayor ordered the evacuations out of concern for the safety of both the residents and firefighters, who would have trouble responding to emergencies in inundated areas. Parts of west Houston have seen sustained flooding due to the intentional release of reservoirs in the area.
CNN, Jason Hanna, Ralph Ellis and Nicole Chavez, September 2, 2017

Turner says Houston is “getting back on our feet” after Harvey. Here’s what you should know today.--
Residents of Houston, Texas are in the process of rebounding from the destruction caused by Harvey. Environmental officials have found that many heavily-polluted Superfund sites are flooded, posing a risk to inspection officials and neighboring residents. Though response and aid from the federal government is being praised, recovery costs estimates are continuing to grow. The Houston Independent School District expects many classes to begin in temporary facilities with 200 out of 254 inspected schools being damaged.
The Texas Tribune, Shannon Najmabadi, September 3, 2017

After Harvey, insurance drones take to the Texas skies--
The future of home insurance claim assessment is changing. Companies are beginning to use drones mounted with cameras to record high definition video and still images to assess home damages. The increase in use and contracting of third party companies who handle these type of drones comes just after Hurricane Harvey damaged many homes. Insurance companies, such as Allstate, see the use of these drones as a faster, safer, and more efficient way to inspect home damages. The drones will significantly reduce the time and hassle for assessment of damages by allowing all inspectors to collaborate at one time rather than sending them to the site of damage for multiple trips.
ABC, Pat Eaton-Robb, September 4, 2017

Harvey aid and flood insurance high priorities as Texans return to Congress--
Delegates representing the state of Texas in the U.S. House of Representatives are holding a bipartisan meeting to discuss the federal government role in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey. Federal natural disaster organizations and committees such as the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) are now becoming more urgent in the wake of this storm. The House will cast votes on a funding package diverting funds from the Small Business Administration into loans handled by the NFIP. It is estimated that homeowners can expect to pay $250,000 to structural damages and $100,000 to belongings inside.
The Texas Tribune, Abby Livingston, September 5, 2017

House Passes Disaster-Relief Funds as Texas Flooding Costs Mount--
The US House of Representatives has decided to move forward with federal disaster-relief funds by passing a measure on Wednesday that designates $7.4 million to the state of Texas, and other Gulf Coast areas. The measure is designed to assist thousands of homeowners who were victim to flood damage caused by Hurricane Harvey. There is stark bipartisan division on funding extensions in the government with proposals in the House and Senate to increase debt ceiling and others to possibly allow for a government shutdown.
Bloomberg, Eric Watson and Steven Dennis, September 6, 2017

Qatar giving $30 million to help Harvey victims in Texas--
Qatar is donating $30 million to help people in need in Texas after Hurricane Harvey, a gift that shows the nation is a constructive global player amid a diplomatic crisis with its neighbors. The donation is the largest from a foreign government to assist with reconstruction after Harvey. On the same day, the United Arab Emirates announced a $10 million donation to Texans. Several other countries have offered smaller amounts along with non-monetary assistance.
The Washington Post, Josh Lederman, September 7, 2017

Harvey’s toll on Texas will be predictably immense-- but will we learn the lessons?--
It is important that factors of climate change be considered when understanding the intensity of tropical systems. With suggested funding cuts to the National Weather Service and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association, many are in fear of the inability of forecasters to efficiently predict strong tropical systems that could have similar effects as with Harvey.  
My San Antonio, Andrew Dessler, Katharine Hayhoe, and Daniel Cohan, September 9, 2017

Power restored to thousands following fire at BTU substation--
Fire Department officials in the Brazos Valley report that power has been restored to residents after a fire affected many on the east side of Bryan. The fire occurred at the Bryan Texas Utilities Nall substation, first reported at about 12:23 p.m. Officials report there were no injuries at the scene and no one was at the building at the time the fire is thought to have started. By 2:00 p.m. Residents had full restoration of power as the fire was contained. An investigation is underway to determine the fire’s cause.
KBTX, Rusty Surette, September 10, 2017

Abbott, Sharp promise SE Texas aid--
The city of Beaumont’s pump station was finally cleared as efficient after 10 days of being flooded-out. Residents in Beaumont and surrounding areas were under a boil-water notice following the severe flooding caused by Hurricane Harvey. State of Texas officials and Governor Greg Abbott have promised to provide southeast and Gulf Coast Texas residents with aid that will assist in repairing Harvey’s record-breaking flood damage. $134 million has already been allocated to Harris County.
Beaumont Enterprise, Dan Wallach, September 10, 2017

After the Storm, It’s Finally the First Day of School in Houston--
Houston-area residents are beginning the process of returning to pre-Harvey routines. Schools within the Houston Independent School district are allowing students to return to classes this week, after the storm caused an estimated $700 million in costs and damages to classrooms and technology. Charitable efforts by family, school, and church groups are providing clothing and other materials for students and families that experienced property loss.
The New York Times, Mitch Smith and Dana Goldstein, September 11, 2017

National flood insurance will help clean up after Irma and Harvey. And that’s a problem--
After the devastating effects of Hurricane Harvey and Irma in Texas and Florida, the United States Congress is considering a reauthorization of the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). The NFIP has a history of failing to deliver on its stated goals due to deficits that are a result of a small amount of people purchasing policies and steep subsidies. Many wish to see the NFIP as affordable assistance, so Congress will most likely make attempts to reauthorize the program after its expiration at the end of September.
The Washington Post, Logan Strother, September 11, 2017

Four Texas Congressmen Vote Against $15 Billion Harvey Aid Package: Your Roundup--
$15 billion in aid has been provided by President Donald Trump through a bill signed on Friday for Harvey recovery. Ninety nay votes were counted, all of them Republican and four from Texas. The Texas Representatives attempted to strike down the bill due to the part that allowed for an extension on the federal debt ceiling. House Republicans hope to work with President Donald Trump for more comprehensive aid packages that will benefit relief efforts and the economy.
Texas Monthly, Leif Reigstad, September 11, 2017

Mexico pulls Texas aid offer as it grapples with earthquake--
Mexican government officials were forced to rescind the promise of aid to Texas after Hurricane Harvey. The passage of Hurricane Katia and a deadly earthquake over the past week left the Mexican government grappling with the aftermath and financial burden of both natural disasters. 25 trailers, 300 beds, water treatment equipment, and nine generators were initially proposed, though these materials will be used for Mexican recovery.   
CNN, Madison Park, September 12, 2017

Looking for a job? FEMA is hiring throughout Texas for storm recovery--
The immense amount destruction caused by Hurricane Harvey have led to a surge in employment opportunities at the Federal Emergency Management Agency. FEMA is hiring throughout the state and not just areas affected directly by Harvey. There are a wide range of job opportunities available including administrative assistants, graphics specialist, crisis counselor, and floodplain managers.
Star-Telegram, Matthew Martinez, September 12, 2017

Texas county looks to buy homes with high flood risk--
$17 million is being requested from the federal government by County officials in the Houston area to purchase flood-prone homes post-Hurricane Harvey. County officials will be competing with thousands of residents that have already requested buyouts. The Commissioners Court of Harris County voted on Tuesday for a Federal Emergency Management Agency grant that will buy and demolish the homes. The targeted homes for purchase are in locations throughout the county and not in one single area.
My San Antonio, Staff Writer, September 13, 2017

Harvey losses could top $11 billion, mostly in SE Texas--
The head of the National Flood Insurance Program said Hurricane Harvey could result in $11 billion in payouts to insured homeowners, mostly in Southeast Texas, putting Harvey as the second-costliest storm in the history of the insurance program, nearly $5 billion behind Hurricane Katrina. After the increase in flood insurance premiums in 2012, many homeowners dropped their coverage, resulting in numerous homes devastated by Harvey without flood insurance to help rebuild. Nationally, there are about 10 million residential structures in flood-prone areas, twice the number of properties currently covered by flood insurance.
Beaumont Enterprise, Michael Biesecker, September 14, 2017

Report: 70 percent of flooded properties uninsured--
As much as 70 percent of homes and apartments flooded by Hurricane Harvey were not covered by flood insurance, resulting in losses of up to $37 billion for residential properties alone. Nearly 1.5 million Houston homes are in flood prone areas, and three out of four homes that flooded in the past 10 years were not in a floodplain. Homeowners who cannot pay to  rebuild will likely be forced to relocate or move out of the city due to negative equity issues.
KTRK, Staff Writer, September 15, 2017

Harvey Recovery Continues in Texas Town of Bayside--
Many residents of Bayside are still trying to recover from Harvey’s destructive impacts on the town. Eighty percent of the homes in Bayside, a town with a population of 325, are unlivable. According to the mayor, who has been in office for only two months, says that without help from neighboring cities and the state, the town will not be able to rebuild. The mayor of Bayside worries that residents will choose to move away from the coast post-Harvey, and since property taxes and the water system are the only sources of income for the city, a declining population would further devastate the economy of the small town.
KXAS, Joe Holley, September 15, 2017

Flood damage from Hurricane Harvey forces change of plans at Lone Star College--
At least 600 in-person courses at Lone Star College-Kingwood will be partially to fully online after Hurricane Harvey flooded the campus with floodwater and sewage in late August, causing millions of dollars in damage and requiring major delays to courses. Before Harvey, only 28 percent of Lone Star College-Kingwood classes were partially or fully online, but now 73 percent of classes are forced to be moved online. Many professors were forced to go through abrupt online course training due to the change of schedules. The semester will begin on September 25 for the college.
Houston Chronicle, Lindsay Ellis, September 17, 2017

State of Texas: Planning for the next big storm--
While residents continue to recovery from Harvey’s destruction, Texas state legislators are already planning for future natural disasters and ways to better protect communities in need. Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick announced a joint interim committee to research a coastal barrier system that will prevent storm surge damage. Similar committees have been formed in the past, but there has been no outcome. Other committees, such as the House Committee on Natural Resources will examine potential infrastructure projects that can reduce the impact of future flooding.
KXAN, Danielle Ransom and John Thomas, September 17, 2017

Report: Houston Fire Department has inadequate equipment to handle floods--
The Houston Fire Department has little flood rescue equipment, which has contributed to millions of dollars in losses for the city in totaled fire trucks since the trucks are not built for a high-water environment, according to the Houston Fire Chief. The Houston Fire Department los 28 pieces of equipment during the storm, including six engines, which cost about $500,000 each to replace.The department owns only one high-water vehicle to support the city with a population of 2.3 million. The Houston Fire Chief surmised that 16 rescue boats would be adequate for a normal Houston flood event, 11 more boats than the department currently owns.
KPRC, Joel Eisenbaum, September 18, 2017

How to avoid flood-damaged cars from Hurricane Harvey--
Sometimes it’s hard to see the signs of a vehicle affected by floodwater. The National Insurance Crime Bureau issued a new vehicle warning telling drivers to beware of flood-damaged cars from Hurricane Harvey because they could soon appear at car lots around the state. Things to look for when checking if a car has been flooded include: water stains or mildew, moisture on the spare tire, fogging inside the headlights and tail-lights, and a heavy air freshener scent. The National Insurance Crime Bureau has a free database to check any car’s VIN.
KXAN, Samantha Chatman, September 21, 2017

Texas, US gasoline prices decline amid hurricane recovery--
Retail gas prices in Texas and across the US declined this week as oil and gas companies recover from hurricanes Harvey and Irma. According to AAA Texas, the average gasoline price statewide has dropped four cents to an average of $2.48 per gallon. Nationwide prices dropped five cents to $2.60 per gallon. As more refineries resume operations since the landfall of Harvey, the price of gasoline continues to drop. Drivers in Dallas-Fort Worth saw the highest gas prices in the state at $2.51 per gallon, and residents in Amarillo experienced the cheapest gas at $2.34 per gallon.
Fire Engineering, Staff Writer, September 21, 2017

Stunning drone video drives home why Allstate’s Hurricane Harvey losses hit $593 million--
Allstate, one of the largest home and auto insurers in Texas, says it expects to lose nearly $600 million in August from the damage caused by Hurricane Harvey along the Gulf Coast, three times the amount of losses recorded in July. 55 percent of Allstate’s Harvey losses resulted from vehicle damage. Farmers Insurance said it had received more than 40,000 claims costing $500 million, with the expectation that the claims would rise to 60,000. Progressive also said that 90 percent of its $254 million losses in August were from Harvey, and $228 million of the losses were from vehicle claims.
The Dallas Morning News, Paul O’Donnell, September 21, 2017

Hurricane Harvey caused electric system outages and affected wind generation in Texas--
Hurricane Harvey caused electricity outages all across the state as power plants and transmission infrastructure, especially in the Upper Coast, were damaged by strong winds and flooding. More than 10,000 megawatts of electricity generating capacity in the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) grid and a large number of power lines experienced outages due primarily to rain or flooding affecting generator fuel supplies and personnel not being able to reach the facilities.
The Energy Collective, Staff Writer, September 23, 2017

The best US cities to avoid effects of climate change, according to report--
A recent report by Business Insider has listed the American cities that are best fit to escape the significant effects of climate change. Topping the list is the Pacific Northwest, whose newer and more resilient infrastructure can effectively counter shocks such as high heat and flooding water. Out of the 13 listed cities, Austin was the only Texas city on the list, chosen for its durable infrastructure and the city’s steps taken to offset carbon dioxide and other pollutant emissions.
Austin-Statesman, Brianna Chambers, September 25, 2017

Texas homeowners: We weren’t warned about flooding risks--
Houston homeowners living in floodplains are questions the effectiveness of warning by county officials prior to Hurricane Harvey. 20 years ago, a warning was issued stating that subdivisions near the Barker Reservoir could be subject to “controlled inundation”. Many current residents were never notified about this rule. Currently, damage estimates  from the storm surpass a hundred billion dollars.
ABC12, Juan Lozano, September 26, 2017

Dam failure would doom Houston to “a week of corpses by the mile” --
Many are considering the possible tragedy that could have occurred during Hurricane Harvey if dams were not reinforced. The Texas Tribune has reported that twin reservoirs held back billions of gallons of Hurricane flood water during the storm. These reservoirs will be released into Buffalo Bayou over the next few months. Speculation is being developed in that the dams in Houston are not designed to withstand the long-term discharge that will come from giant release of water. Environmentalists are calling for legislative forces to reinforce the Houston-area dams for possible future events.
Houston Chronicle, Staff Writer, September 30, 2017


Rescue missions by Texas National Guard continue in Houston--
As torrential rain from Hurricane Harvey has ceased in the Houston and southeast Texas region, the Texas National Guard is continuing its rescue efforts throughout the area. Accessibility to supplies remains a difficult task for residents as standing water continues to be a problem and vehicles fit for use are unavailable. The National Guard is planning on transporting over 8,000 pounds of supplies to Gulf Coast residents.
KTRK, Staff Writer, September 3, 2017

Royal Canadian Air Force lands in Texas to deliver Harvey relief goods-- People from around the country are stepping up to lend a hand to victims of Hurricane Harvey in Texas. Even the Royal Canadian Air Force has flown in donations such as baby formula, blankets, and cribs to help those in need. The supplies were taken to San Antonio, Texas where the Federal Emergency Management Agency will then distribute the supplies.
KENS, Staff Writer, September 4, 2017

Southwest Airlines Just Flew A Cabin Full of Animals Out of Storm-Hit Houston--
Dozens of animals flew on a Southwest Airlines flight to San Diego for adoption in an effort to clear up room in Texas animal shelters needed for pets whose owners have been displaced by Hurricane Harvey. The animals were already in shelters prior to the storm, but were relocated due to devastation in Southeast Texas by Harvey instead of being euthanised. Dogs and cats were also flown from Texas to Waukegan, Illinois in hopes of finding new homes.
Huffington Post, Nina Golgowski, September 7, 2017

Texas family visiting Alexandria when Harvey Struck--
A family visiting Alexandria while Harvey made landfall returned to find their home and business destroyed. The family, and others in the area, did not have flood insurance because the state of Texas doesn’t offer coverage for houses in a floodplain. Three other properties near Lake Houston were also demolished.
The Herald Bulletin, Ken de la Bastide, September 9, 2017

Low-income residents struggle after Harvey ruined their vehicles--
Tens of thousands of southeast Texan’s vehicles were damaged or totaled during Hurricane Harvey. Most residents only carried the minimum amount of auto insurance required by Texas law, which does not include flood damage. Estimates of how many vehicles were damaged or totaled during Harvey from the Insurance Council of Texas are around 250,000 along the Gulf Coast, and more than 90,000 of those vehicles were either uninsured or did not have flood policies.
KHOU, Brandon Formby, September 19, 2017


In Texas gas shortage, man fills garbage cans at pump in Austin--
Fearing an impending gas crises, motorists across Texas’ largest cities have created their own by rushing to gas stations and furiously filling their tanks. On Friday, one gas station tracking app showed that numerous fueling stations in San Antonio, Austin, and Dallas were completely out of fuel. A picture was captured of a man filling up gas cans with gasoline and storing them in the back of his truck. The National Ag Safety Database is warning motorists to be mindful of how they are storing gasoline by examining which containers are compatible with gasoline storage as temperature and volume expansion could lead to spilling.
The Houston Chronicle, Fernando Alfonso 3, September 1, 2017

Mom donates breast milk to Texas flood victims--
A mother in Missouri has taken advice from her son’s speech therapist to donate breast milk to Hurricane Harvey victims in Texas. The idea was initiated by the fact that the mother’s son is not capable to nurse due to a heart defect and other issues. The donated breast milk will go to mothers who lost frozen supply and or accessible breast pumps when power was lost.
KTRK, Staff Writer, September 5, 2017

Texas woman uses her coupon clipping skills to help hurricane survivors--
A San Antonio resident is participating in Harvey relief efforts by using her skills as a self-proclaimed coupon addict to provide replacement supplies for storm victims. Kimberly Gager has helped near 30 different groups of families and people by providing hygienic materials that she has fully stocked in her garage. Gager hopes to expand her efforts to Irma evacuees as well by sharing her contact information through Facebook.
ABC News, Eliza Murphy, September 12, 2017

Weather delays start of Texas Tech-Arizona State game--
The Texas Tech-Arizona State football game was delayed until 8:05 pm because of lightning in the area. The game was originally set to begin at 7:00 pm at the Jones AT&T Stadium in Lubbock before bad weather moved into the area. Texas Tech ordered fans to leave the stadium during the weather delay.
Texas Tech DieHards, Dean Straka, September 16, 2017

Texas Tech, Cal State-Northridge match postponed due to inclement weather--
Inclement weather pushed back the start time of the Texas Tech-Cal State-Northridge game several times, which eventually led to the cancellation of the non-conference game. The Red Raiders and Matadors are scheduled to play Monday morning with free admission.
Lubbock-Avalanche Journal, Carlos Silva Jr, September 17, 2017

Dogs, cats from Texas arrive in California after Hurricane Harvey--
More than 60 rescued dogs and cats from Texas were transported to the Bay Area of California on Sunday. The Hurricane Harvey rescue animals will be adopted out in the Bay Area to provide the dogs and cats with new permanent homes.
KTRK, Tiffany Wilson, September 18, 2017

A third of Texas special Olympians held back by Harvey--
The organization, Special Olympics Texas (SOTX) has been forced to cancel competitions and fundraisers in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey. Due to the cancellation of events, SOTX is reportedly facing a deficit of over $1 million for 2017. Organizational defense cuts are expected in the near future. A Special Olympics competitor is urging communities across the state to contribute to funding for future events.
KXAN, Wes Rapaport, September 27, 2017

NFL QB gives his first game check to help Texas flood victims--
Rookie quarterback Deshaun Watson has chosen to donate his first game check to cafeteria employees at NRG stadium. The Houston Texans quarterback personally provided each employee with checks worth about $9,000. Watson hopes to see the money go towards repairing the homes and vehicles of each worker after the devastating effects of Harvey.
WILX, Staff Writer, September 28, 2017

Texas Renaissance Festival opens up with great weather, Oktoberfest celebrations--
Mild and warm weather in during the weekend is allowing for a great opening of the Texas Renaissance Festival in Houston, Texas. The festival began this weekend with a German-themed Oktoberfest weekend. Guests of the festival can expect to see temperature in the mid 80s and sunny and clear skies.
Houston Chronicle, Daniela Sternitzky-Di Napoli, September 30, 2017


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