Photo taken on Aug. 24, 2017 shows empty storage in a market in Houston, the United States. The residents in the southern part of Texas are preparing for significant impacts from Hurricane Harvey as it is expected to make landfall as a Category 3 Hurricane from the Gulf of Mexico on Friday. (Xinhua/Zhong Jia)
HOUSTON, Aug. 24 (Xinhua) -- People in the southern part of Texas are preparing for significant impacts from Hurricane Harvey as it is expected to make landfall as a Category 3 Hurricane from the Gulf of Mexico on Friday.
According to the National Weather Service forecast, impacts on the City of Houston in the U.S. state of Texas are expected to mostly be significant rainfall. The forecast currently indicates that Houston will see close to 50 cm of rainfall over the weekend and into early next week.
This is likely to cause dangerous flash flooding, and could cause area flooding throughout the entire Houston region.
Houston emergency services urge residents to take measures for both the impact of flooding and Tropical Storm force winds, including enough supplies for 5-7 days of water, food, medications and emergency items.
An employee holds a sign showing water has sold out in a chained market in Houston, the United States, Aug. 24, 2017. The residents in the southern part of Texas are preparing for significant impacts from Hurricane Harvey as it is expected to make landfall as a Category 3Hurricane from the Gulf of Mexico on Friday. (Xinhua/Liu Liwei)
Furthermore, the emergency services advice residents should plan to park their vehicles out of streets beginning Friday, especially those prone to flooding.
Meanwhile, 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. In addition, PWE has identified 41 intersections that are prone to flooding, and will make barricades available as it becomes safe to do so.
The General Services Department, Department and Neighborhoods and PWE are preparing to conduct rapid damage assessment following the impacts from this storm.
The Office of Emergency Management (OEM) is coordinating the City' s disaster response with neighboring jurisdictions, the State of Texas and federal agencies as necessary. In addition, OEM will activate the City' s Emergency Operations Center Friday evening in support of anticipated emergency actions.
The island of Galveston would be the frontline facing the hurricane. Galveston issued on Thursday a voluntary evacuation for the West End of Galveston Island. Especially, the residents who have medical needs or other conditions are urged to move elsewhere, since high tides and heavy rains could cut off access for those in need of help from emergency responders.
"The forecast is becoming more certain as the storm strengthens and the impacts to our area could be significant as we remain on the east side of the storm," Niki Bender, emergency management coordinator for the City of Galveston, told Xinhua.
"Residents should prepare their homes for tidal flooding from a potential 4- to 5-feet (1.2 to 1.5 m) storm surge, gusting tropical storm force winds, and possible rains in excess of 15 inches (38 cm) through the duration of this system passing through our area," Bender said.
The City of San Antonio's Office of Emergency Management has activated the emergency operation center in preparation for rain and weather conditions that may be caused by Hurricane Harvey.
Local residents in San Antonio, 320 km west of Houston, are encouraged to prepare their household for heavy rain and flooding by having enough water and food for at least three days, any necessary medications and an evacuation plan.