USA – Floods in Texas After Tropical Storm Beta Makes Landfall

Record rainfall from Tropical Storm Beta caused flooding in parts of Texas, USA, from 22 September.

Beta made landfall over Matagorda Bay along the coast of central Texas on 22 September, 2020 with maximum sustained winds of 75 km/h.

Beta dumped more than 16 inches / 400 mm of rain as it made its way over Texas. National Weather Service (NWS) in Houston said Beta brought new daily rainfall records for the City of Houston with 3.58″ / 90.93 mm, breaking the previous record of 3.15″ / 80 mm from 1965. New daily records were also set at Houston-Hobby, with 7.32″ / 185.93 mm of rain falling on 22 September, shattering the old record of 3.86″ / 98 mm set in 1997. NWS Houston added that this was also largest single day total at Houston-Hobby since Hurricane Harvey. In 2017.

Rainfall in Texas from Storm Beta, September 2020. Image: NWS / NOAA

Extensive flooding was reported across Houston and surrounding areas after heavy rainfall swamped roads and caused rivers and bayous to overflow, including the Buffalo Bayou which flooding streets in Downtown Houston.

The Texas Department of Transportation said that 37 different locations were impacted by high water as of late 22 September. Several vehicles were left stranded on flooded freeways. Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner urged residents to stay at home and off the roads.

Houston Fire Department said they responded to just over 100 request for high water evacuations and swift water rescues in the past few days. Houston Police Department said a fisherman was reported missing in Brays Bayou.

Water levels around Houston were beginning to recede in some locations by 23 September. However, Beta is expected to move over Louisiana, Arkansas, and Mississippi, bringing the risk of flash flooding.

Social Media