When you find yourself in a heavy or prolonged rainfall event, or there is a significant rainfall event occurring in the vicinity of your location, flooding is possible. It is important to assess your situation and determine whether you should shelter in place or evacuate. The most critical steps to take during a significant rainfall event include being aware of what’s happening on local rivers and in watersheds by
- Using the TWDB Flood Viewer to get an overview of conditions in your area,
- Visiting National weather hazards map for weather watches, warnings, and advisories,
- Visiting the River Forecast Center for status and predictions on flood levels, and
- Visiting TexMesonet for the latest on rainfall amounts.
In addition to taking the key steps listed above, read the additional advice and details below to make sound decisions while an event is taking place.
Know Your Situation
During a flood it is important to know what is going on outside of your home so that you can adapt to changing weather conditions.
In some areas of the state, localized flood information is available. These local data sources typically provide detailed information regarding low-water crossings and current weather conditions as well as other types of information that can be helpful during a flood event.
The following areas of the state offer a local flood information data source:
- Austin and surrounding communities
- Lower Colorado River Authority (Central Texas to a limited portion of the Gulf Coast)
- Upper Brushy Creek
- Harris County
Note: The above list is not exhaustive. Check with local officials to determine if a localized flood data source is available for your area. If a local flood data resource that is not listed here is available, please contact us at email@example.com so that we can continue to grow this resource list.
If more localized information is not available for your area, try one of the following information sources:
- The Texas Natural Resources Information System has developed the TWDB Flood Viewer application to display flood-related information for the state of Texas. The application displays flood gage data, current weather conditions, precipitation forecasts, lake conditions including flood pool levels, and TXDOT road closures.
- The TexMesonet, developed by the Texas Water Development Board, is a source for statewide real-time weather data. The site integrates quality-controlled observations from local, regional, and national networks to provide a single point of access to information on the amount and distribution of rainfall and other weather parameters of interest.
- Intellicast is an online weather information resource. You can select the state of Texas and your city to get local information on weather alerts, current weather conditions, and localized forecast information.
- The National Weather Service's national weather hazards map shows active weather watches, warnings, and advisories for the United States. This website is automatically refreshed every five minutes. By clicking on your county, you will be taken to the National Weather Service's Regional Forecast Center website for your area. At the top of the regional website, any current watch, warning, or advisory information will be indicated in red. You can click on this warning banner to get more information, see the current radar forecast conditions for your area, or click on one of several tabs to get more information on severe weather conditions, flash flood information, rainfall potential, and other weather topics.
- The U.S. Geological Survey provides streamflow conditions for various locations throughout the state. Click on a location to get more specific details regarding conditions at that site. Be sure to check when the data for that gage was last updated by checking the time stamp. Gage information on this site is typically updated hourly.
- Weather underground is an online resource that provides local, real-time weather information. You can enter your zip code or city name to get information on current conditions in your area, and links offer full forecast information as well as severe weather warnings.
- The West Gulf River Forecast Center, maintained by the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration and the National Weather Service, has current status and forecast information for flood gages. You can zoom to your local area to see the status of individual gages, and you can click on each gage to get more detailed information about current and forecasted conditions. The site also allows you to plot observed precipitation as well as forecast precipitation for your area. Note that flood predictions are updated at most every four hours.
- Be aware of the limitations of your data source. Some data sources are only updated once every few hours, and conditions during a flood event may change much more rapidly. Check the timestamps on forecast, observation, and gage information to assess how current and relevant the data are.
Stay or Go
As you assess your situation, you will need to determine whether to shelter in place or evacuate.
Shelter in Place
Have your National Weather Service Radio plugged in and listen for updates. Start checking information available regarding your evacuation routes to make sure that roads are passable. Continue monitoring the situation around you until the threat of danger has passed.
If you determine that you need to evacuate, choose a clear evacuation route. It is important to know road closure information and avoid low-water crossings. Detailed information on road closures in Travis and surrounding counties can be found at atxfloods.org.
Note: If your community has a similar website, please submit the link to firstname.lastname@example.org so that we can continue to grow this resource list.
After you have determined a safe route:
- shut off the electricity at the circuit breaker,
- shut off your water and gas,
- lock all doors and windows,
- grab your 'Go Bag', and
- Take one car – it will reduce the risk of getting separated and will cut down on traffic.
- Turn Around, Don't Drown! If there is water on the road, do not attempt to drive through it. Roughly 60 percent of flood-related deaths in Texas occur in vehicles, many as a direct result of attempting to cross flooded low-water crossings. Do not drive around barricades; they are there for your protection. If water starts to surround your car, get out. If your vehicle stalls while evacuating, abandon it.
- Get to high ground. If possible, get to your local emergency shelter.
- Never walk or swim through flowing water. Water six inches deep can knock you off your feet if it is moving swiftly. If flowing water is above your ankles, turn around and go another way.
For questions about Flood, please email us at email@example.com.
Disclaimer: The intent of the TexasFlood.org is to provide basic flood information before, during, and after a flood event. The data on this website represents the best available information provided to the Texas Water Development Board (TWDB) by its data contributors. The information on this viewer may not be displayed in real-time and should not be considered an “exact” representation of conditions in your area. Neither the State of Texas nor the TWDB assumes any legal liability or responsibility or makes any guarantees or warranties as to the accuracy, completeness or suitability of the information for any particular purpose.