Tropical Storm Bill, the second named storm to hit the US in the 2015 Atlantic hurricane season, will probably cause flooding in Texas, warns AIR Worldwide.
The catastrophe risk modeler issued the warning yesterday after the storm made landfall at Matagorda Island, Texas, between Houston and Corpus Christi.
Bill is the second storm after Tropical Storm Ana, which made landfall on the East Coast in May.
As of early this morning, track maps indicate that Bill is headed for additional areas in Texas, as well as Oklahoma, Arkansas, and Missouri.
“Flash flood threats will be greatest in Texas Tuesday through Thursday morning, expanding to Oklahoma, western Arkansas, and southwest Missouri from Wednesday through early Friday,” said AIR Worldwide.
AIR Worldwide noted that at risk areas experienced record rainfall and flooding in early May of this year, potentially increasing their likelihood of flooding due to high water levels and ground saturation.
Significant rainfalls are accumulating over part of Texas and a 2.5 foot storm surge is already being measured, noted the cat risk modelling firm.
“Damage reports thus far have been limited and mostly related to flooding. At least a foot of water covered areas along FM 2031 south of Matagorda, and Highway 87 was closed early Tuesday morning from Gilchrist to Highway 124 on the east edge of the Bolivar Peninsula due to debris on the road,” said AIR Worldwide.
“Galveston County emergency management reported yards were flooded in parts of Hitchcock and Bayou Vista, across the bay from Galveston Island. The water level at Port Lavaca, Texas, was more than 3 feet above normal early Tuesday afternoon. Residents have been asked to evacuate from low-lying coastal areas, and schools in the Houston region are closed. The most serious impact from Bill is expected to be torrential rain and additional flash flooding/river flooding in parts of Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, and Missouri,” added the firm.
According to AIR, although Bill has made landfall, impacts will continue as the system dissipates and its remnants continue inland and northward this week. Average rainfall for portions of Texas will be 3–6 inches, but there could be as much as 12 inches in some areas near Austin.
“Widespread 3–5 inch rain totals can be expected, with locally much higher amounts likely where rain bands remain stationary or train over the same areas. Rain rates of 2–4 inches per hour at times are possible. Storm surge of 2–4 feet in Texas and 1–2 feet in Louisiana is also anticipated,” said the catastrophe modeller.
“AIR is continuing to monitor the situation and will provide additional information as warranted,” added the firm.