Water released from Lake Houston ahead of severe storms, flooding still possible

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As rain and thunderstorms are expected to pummel the Houston area, city officials are lowering the level of Lake Houston ahead of the expected downpours.

Houston Public Works officials have opened the floodgates, allowing for the lake to recede from 42.5 feet above sea level to 41.5 feet. Authorities urge property owners on the lake to secure their property along the shoreline as the lake is lowered.

The precaution comes ahead of severe storms expected to sweep through Houston in the coming days. Meteorologists with the National Weather Service say their primary concern is locally heavy rainfall, which could contribute to street and river flooding.

A secondary concern is damaging winds and hail associated with the storm system.

Starting Tuesday, isolated thunderstorms could pop up, bringing between a half-inch to one inch of rain in areas primarily west of Interstate 45, NWS says. Localized areas could receive up to three inches of rain Tuesday.

Storms associated with stronger disturbance should hit the area starting Wednesday, NWS says.

Starting Thursday, a front is expected to stall over Southeast Texas, bringing the area’s biggest chance for rainfall and street flooding, meteorologist predict. That could bring several Houston-area rivers and streams to flood stage, although none are expected to flood severely, according to NWS.

The rivers and streams expected to flood are:

  • Brazos River, near Rosharon
  • Brazos River, near Richmond
  • Trinity River, near Moss Bluff
  • Trinity River, near Liberty
  • Trinity River, near Romayor
  • Lake Creek, near The Woodlands

Thunderstorm chances vary between 40 and 60 percent for the Houston area starting Tuesday through Sunday. Temperatures are predicted to range between the low 70s and mid to upper 80s, NWS says.

Jay R. Jordan covers breaking news in the Houston area. Read him on our breaking news site, Chron.com, and our subscriber site, HoustonChronicle.com | Follow him on Twitter at @JayRJordan | Email him at jay.jordan@chron.com | Text CHRON to 77453 to receive breaking news alerts by text message