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Conditions improving; donations needs updated
The National Weather Service (NWS) Houston office call this morning to regional emergency management shows that Tropical Storm Harvey is now mostly a rain shield of light to moderate rainfall as it moves slowly east over the next 24 hours. The storm is tracking to land on the Louisiana side of the Texas-Louisiana border on Wednesday morning and then northeasterly across Louisiana toward its borders with Arkansas and Mississippi.
In the Texas area, wind gusts of 40-50 miles per hour are being seen along the coast, with gusts more like 20-30 miles per hour inland. NWS does not forecast any strengthening in the storm. Flash flood warnings are almost moving east, with Walker County on the very west of that band. Up to one inch of rain is forecast for most of Walker County through Tuesday night, with up to 4 inches total currently expected through Friday, a welcome revision from yesterday's expectations of up to 15 inches. Tornado risk continues to be minimized as the storm continues its eastward track. Entities across southeast Texas are still monitoring waterways as flows are exceeding those of October 1994 levels, which at that time resulted in significant damage. Major to record flooding is still forecast for rivers.
Remember to use caution if water is seen on streets or at intersections. Most roads that had issues over the weekend have been reopened. However, water conditions can change quickly if rain resumes or flooding expands. Do not take risks if you cannot tell how deep the water is. Call 911 for life-threatening emergencies. Call 936-436-8035 for non-life threatening emergencies or if help is needed to evacuate to a shelter. Huntsville High School (515 FM 2821 East, 77320) is open to shelter anyone from any area.
The Walker County Office of Emergency Management is coordinating volunteers and donations for area relief. Due to the generosity of the community, response has been overwhelming. The greatest needs at the moment are animal crates/kennels, plastic bins with lids, and monetary donations. Call 936-435-8035 to volunteer or for questions. Donations can be delivered to the HISD Transportation Building at 96 Martin Luther King, Jr. Drive until 6 p.m. today. Checks should be made out to one of two funds, either to Walker County Recovery to offer aid immediately or to Walker County Long-Term Recovery for funds to be used over the coming months.