Voluntary evacuations underway as Cindy set to make landfall

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The National Weather Service issued a tropical storm watch Tuesday morning for the Houston region, which includes Harris, Chambers, Liberty and Galveston counties.

Keep going for a look at more projections of the storm's impact. 

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The National Weather Service issued a tropical storm watch Tuesday morning for the Houston region, which includes Harris, Chambers, Liberty and Galveston counties.

Keep going for a look at more projections of

... more
Photo: Nation Weather Service

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The National Weather Service issued a tropical storm watch Tuesday morning for the Houston region, which includes Harris, Chambers, Liberty and Galveston counties.

The National Weather Service issued a tropical storm watch Tuesday morning for the Houston region, which includes Harris, Chambers, Liberty and Galveston counties.

Photo: Nation Weather Service

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The National Weather Service issued a tropical storm watch Tuesday morning for the Houston region, which includes Harris, Chambers, Liberty and Galveston counties.

The National Weather Service issued a tropical storm watch Tuesday morning for the Houston region, which includes Harris, Chambers, Liberty and Galveston counties.

Photo: Nation Weather Service

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The National Weather Service issued a tropical storm watch Tuesday morning for the Houston region, which includes Harris, Chambers, Liberty and Galveston counties.

The National Weather Service issued a tropical storm watch Tuesday morning for the Houston region, which includes Harris, Chambers, Liberty and Galveston counties.

Photo: Nation Weather Service

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This image from the National Weather Service shows the potential path of a tropical system, as predicted Tuesday morning, June 20, 2017. 

This image from the National Weather Service shows the potential path of a tropical system, as predicted Tuesday morning, June 20, 2017. 

Photo: National Weather Service

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This image from the National Weather Service shows tropical-storm-force wind speed probabilities, as predicted Tuesday morning, June 20, 2017. 

This image from the National Weather Service shows tropical-storm-force wind speed probabilities, as predicted Tuesday morning, June 20, 2017. 

Photo: National Weather Service

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Worst Houston high water spots for road flooding
You don't get to live in a place called the Bayou City and not get a little road flooding from time to time (or to be more specific, EVERY TIME IT RAINS!).
These are some of the worst spots in Houston for high water and flooded roadways. less Worst Houston high water spots for road flooding
You don't get to live in a place called the Bayou City and not get a little road flooding from time to time (or to be more specific, EVERY TIME IT RAINS!).
These ... more

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Telge Road near Spring Cypress Road

Raymond Valenta, left, and his mother Koran Kaptchinskie phone for help after their car was stranded in high water on Telge Rd. near Spring Cypress Rd. in northwest Houston, Thursday, July 12, 2012, in Houston. ( Michael Paulsen / Houston Chronicle ) less

Telge Road near Spring Cypress Road

Raymond Valenta, left, and his mother Koran Kaptchinskie phone for help after their car was stranded in high water on Telge Rd. near Spring Cypress Rd. in northwest Houston, ... more
Photo: Michael Paulsen, Houston Chronicle File

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Interstate 45 near Crosstimbers

Vehicles move past a stalled car in the high water along the I-45 northbound feeder near Crosstimbers Thursday, Oct. 31, 2013, in Houston. ( Melissa Phillip / Houston Chronicle )

Interstate 45 near Crosstimbers

Vehicles move past a stalled car in the high water along the I-45 northbound feeder near Crosstimbers Thursday, Oct. 31, 2013, in Houston. ( Melissa Phillip / Houston Chronicle )
Photo: Melissa Phillip, Houston Chronicle File

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White Oak Drive near Beauchamp Street

A car sits in high water along White Oak Drive near Beauchamp Street, Tuesday, May 13, 2014, in Houston. (Cody Duty / Houston Chronicle)

White Oak Drive near Beauchamp Street

A car sits in high water along White Oak Drive near Beauchamp Street, Tuesday, May 13, 2014, in Houston. (Cody Duty / Houston Chronicle)
Photo: Cody Duty, Houston Chronicle File

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Fondren Road and Southwest Freeway

Vehicles make their way through high water along Fondren near the Southwest Freeway, Tuesday, May 13, 2014, in Houston. (Cody Duty / Houston Chronicle)

Fondren Road and Southwest Freeway

Vehicles make their way through high water along Fondren near the Southwest Freeway, Tuesday, May 13, 2014, in Houston. (Cody Duty / Houston Chronicle)
Photo: Cody Duty, Houston Chronicle File

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Clinton Drive and McCarthy Street

High water on Clinton Drive at McCarthy as rain fell on the greater Houston area Thursday, April 11, 2013. ( Johnny Hanson / Houston Chronicle )

Clinton Drive and McCarthy Street

High water on Clinton Drive at McCarthy as rain fell on the greater Houston area Thursday, April 11, 2013. ( Johnny Hanson / Houston Chronicle )
Photo: Johnny Hanson, Houston Chronicle File

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North Freeway near N. Main Street exit

Vehicles make their way through high water along the North Freeway near N. Main, Tuesday, May 13, 2014, in Houston. (Cody Duty / Houston Chronicle)

North Freeway near N. Main Street exit

Vehicles make their way through high water along the North Freeway near N. Main, Tuesday, May 13, 2014, in Houston. (Cody Duty / Houston Chronicle)
Photo: Cody Duty, Houston Chronicle File

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Quitman Street

A car sits in high water along Quitman Street, Friday, Dec. 19, 2014, in Houston. (Cody Duty / Houston Chronicle)

Quitman Street

A car sits in high water along Quitman Street, Friday, Dec. 19, 2014, in Houston. (Cody Duty / Houston Chronicle)
Photo: Cody Duty, Houston Chronicle File

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Little Cypress Creek area (Cypress)

A man rides on the side of a truck in two feet of flood water on Longwood Trace Drive in the Longwood neighborhood as floodwaters from the Little Cypress Creek flowed over its banks Friday, July 13, 2012, in Cypress. less

Little Cypress Creek area (Cypress)

A man rides on the side of a truck in two feet of flood water on Longwood Trace Drive in the Longwood neighborhood as floodwaters from the Little Cypress Creek flowed over its ... more
Photo: Johnny Hanson, Houston Chronicle File

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Polk Street near Cullen Boulevard

A Lexus drove into high water along Polk St. near Cullen Blvd. east of Downtown Houston during the heavy rain this morning on Friday, July 13, 2012, in Houston. 

Polk Street near Cullen Boulevard

A Lexus drove into high water along Polk St. near Cullen Blvd. east of Downtown Houston during the heavy rain this morning on Friday, July 13, 2012, in Houston. 
Photo: Mayra Beltran, Houston Chronicle File

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West 43rd and Oak Forest

Cars drive by a stranded vehicle in the high water at the intersection of West 43rd and Oak Forest after a downpour Monday May 26, 2014.

West 43rd and Oak Forest

Cars drive by a stranded vehicle in the high water at the intersection of West 43rd and Oak Forest after a downpour Monday May 26, 2014.
Photo: Dave Rossman, Houston Chronicle File

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South Mayde Creek area (Katy)

Cutter Urban, an oil and gas worker, helps police direct traffic out of high-water at the intersection of Greenhouse Road and Saums Road on Friday, Sept. 19, 2014, in Katy. The flooding was caused by South Mayde Creek overflowing from its banks. less

South Mayde Creek area (Katy)

Cutter Urban, an oil and gas worker, helps police direct traffic out of high-water at the intersection of Greenhouse Road and Saums Road on Friday, Sept. 19, 2014, in Katy. The ... more
Photo: Mayra Beltran, Houston Chronicle File

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Travis Street and Interstate 45

A METRO officer walks in the flooded Travis St. entrance to I-45 Wednesday, May 28, 2014, in Houston. Authorities turned cars around and prohibited passage through the flooded area.  less

Travis Street and Interstate 45

A METRO officer walks in the flooded Travis St. entrance to I-45 Wednesday, May 28, 2014, in Houston. Authorities turned cars around and prohibited passage through the flooded ... more
Photo: Cody Duty, Houston Chronicle File

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Studewood Street near Washington Avenue

A man pushes his car after it stalled out in high water along Studewood, North of Washington Avenue, Tuesday, Sept. 16, 2014, in Houston.

Studewood Street near Washington Avenue

A man pushes his car after it stalled out in high water along Studewood, North of Washington Avenue, Tuesday, Sept. 16, 2014, in Houston.
Photo: Cody Duty, Houston Chronicle File

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Interstate 10 entrance from Louisiana Street in downtown

A police car blocks off the Interstate 10 west on ramp where Louisiana Street intersects with I-10 due to high water due to heavy rains Friday, Dec. 19, 2014, in Houston.  less

Interstate 10 entrance from Louisiana Street in downtown

A police car blocks off the Interstate 10 west on ramp where Louisiana Street intersects with I-10 due to high water due to heavy rains Friday, Dec. 19, ... more
Photo: James Nielsen, Houston Chronicle File

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Farm-to-Market 1488 (Conroe)

Traffic makes its way through high water north of Farm-to-Market 1488 Wednesday, Jan. 25, 2012, in Conroe. 

Farm-to-Market 1488 (Conroe)

Traffic makes its way through high water north of Farm-to-Market 1488 Wednesday, Jan. 25, 2012, in Conroe. 
Photo: Cody Duty, Houston Chronicle File

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Interstate 45 and Travis Street

The Interstate 45 north on ramp where Travis street intersects with I-45 is closed by high water due to heavy rains Friday, Dec. 19, 2014, in Houston. 

Interstate 45 and Travis Street

The Interstate 45 north on ramp where Travis street intersects with I-45 is closed by high water due to heavy rains Friday, Dec. 19, 2014, in Houston. 
Photo: James Nielsen, Houston Chronicle File

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Commerce Street downtown

Water gushes from a manhole on Commerce street high water due to heavy rains Friday, Dec. 19, 2014, in Houston. 

Commerce Street downtown

Water gushes from a manhole on Commerce street high water due to heavy rains Friday, Dec. 19, 2014, in Houston. 
Photo: James Nielsen, Houston Chronicle File

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Highway 288 near Holly Hall Street

Highway 288 near Holly Hall Street

Photo: Google Maps

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Fannin Street in Midtown

Fannin Street in Midtown

Photo: Google Maps

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Memorial Drive passing under Shepherd Drive

Memorial Drive passing under Shepherd Drive

Photo: Google Maps

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Walker Street near BBVA Compass Stadium downtown

Walker Street near BBVA Compass Stadium downtown

Photo: Google Maps

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Interstate 45 exits near University of Houston Campus

Interstate 45 exits near University of Houston Campus

Photo: Google Maps

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Milam exit of Interstate 45 south near downtown

Milam exit of Interstate 45 south near downtown

Photo: Google Maps

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Main Street near the Medical Center

Main Street near the Medical Center

Photo: Google Maps

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9200 block Lake Park

9200 block Lake Park

Photo: Google Maps

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5300 block Willow Glen

5300 block Willow Glen

Photo: Google Maps

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2200 block Des Jardines

2200 block Des Jardines

Photo: Google Maps

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Shepherd's Ridge

Shepherd's Ridge

Photo: Google Maps

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About 150 flooding incidents were reported on Houston streets between January-March 2015.

About 150 flooding incidents were reported on Houston streets between January-March 2015.

Photo: Google Maps

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A disorganized weather system stirring in the Gulf of Mexico over the weekend has transformed into a tropical storm forecast to make landfall overnight Wednesday along the Texas-Louisiana border, bringing heavy rainfall, strong winds and potential flooding.

Emergency management crews in Galveston and Harris counties braced for Cindy, as the storm was officially named early Tuesday after its path and wind strength slowly mounted, posing a threat to a wide swathe of the Gulf Coast.

At 10 p.m. Tuesday, the National Weather Service said Cindy had sustained winds of 60 mph, with tropical force winds expected by Wednesday evening along the coast. The storm "has jogged to the north a tad this evening" but was resuming a northwest track.

Most of the storm's notable impact is expected to hit east of Houston, but first responders and meteorologists say that could change if the storm continues moving westward.

"It's reasonable to be concerned about the effects from tropical storm Cindy because it's bringing a large surge of tropical moisture into the Gulf Coast, but clearly the heaviest rains are going to be well to the east," said Space City Weather editor Eric Berger.

Shortly after the system morphed into a tropical storm and started shifting slightly west, the National Hurricane Center upgraded its watches to warnings for coastal communities in Cindy's path.

Harris, Chambers, Galveston, Liberty counties, Galveston Bay and adjacent coastal waters were all under tropical storm warnings. And Tuesday evening Galveston County Judge Mark Henry issued a voluntary evacuation for the Bolivar Peninsula.

The system is expected to approach the coast overnight Wednesday before moving inland over southeastern Texas on Thursday. National Weather Service meteorologist Dan Reilly said he expects Cindy to produce rain accumulations of 3 to 6 inches through Thursday in the Houston area, with minor river flooding for areas east of Interstate 45. Sustained wind speeds could reach 30 to 45 mph with gusts up to 57 mph.

(Story continues below ...)

But there's also still a chance the storm could intensity before hitting land.

"Up until now the storm has been asymmetrical in that all the rains and most of the winds have been on the east side," Berger explained. "Even if the storm were to make landfall in Houston, all the bad stuff would be off to the east."

But some of the storm modelling Tuesday predicts that the system could shift to a more traditional tropical storm.

"If the moisture on the east side of the storm wraps around, it could affect the Houston area," Berger said.

But while there is still uncertainty as to Cindy's path, Galveston officials say residents should gird for the possibility of heavy rain, strong wind and tidal flooding.

MORE TROUBLE: tropical storm Bret moves across the Caribbean

"We would urge residents to continue to monitor this storm," said Niki Bender, the Emergency management coordinator for the city of Galveston. "Residents should prepare their homes for tidal flooding, strong gusting winds, power outages and heavy rains."

Bender said the city's emergency operations center was in an advanced stage of readiness.

The Red Cross is also prepping for an emergency situations, with four shelters on standby and vehicles ready to supply residents with emergency items.

Houston's Office of Emergency management is paying close attention to possible westward shifts toward the city.

"Our community needs to be ready year-around for emergencies," said Rick Flanagan, Houston's Emergency management coordinator. "Residents should make preparations in case we experience high water, strong winds or power outages."

Though Cindy is expected to make landfall soon, island-goers in Galveston appeared unfazed Tuesday.

"It ain't nothing like Ike," said Alex Torres, 22, referring to Hurricane Ike, the last storm to cause significant damage to the region.

"Today's my first day hearing about it," said Ronald George, 23, standing next to Torres on a porch just two blocks from the seawall. "Should we be preparing?"

READ ALSO: Gulf storms likely to hit Texas coast by Wednesday

Perched in a wooden tower along the beach, lifeguard Emma Hill, 17, also seemed unconcerned.

She expects guards to continue reporting to work during the storm, even if it means watching the water from a car behind the seawall.

"If it's storming, we'll still be out here," Hill said. "Unless it gets extreme."

Though a red flag was raised on the beach, indicating "a heavy surf" and "dangerous currents," Hill said the waves were average, "definitely nothing unusual."

But that likely will change as Cindy draws closer. Tracking the storm, however, has been tricky.
Late Tuesday afternoon, Cindy remained stationary for several hours in the Gulf, before meandering back toward the coast later that night.

Outside of Texas, weather service officials expect to see 6 to 9 inches with isolated maximum amounts of 12 inches over southeastern Louisiana, southern Mississippi, southern Alabama, and the Florida Panhandle through Thursday.

That sort of relentless rain could cause life-threatening flash flooding along the eastern Gulf Coast.

"But I would not say that's for the Houston area," Berger stressed, adding that it could "well be a bust" in the Bayou City.

"Right now I would guess that it's a street flooding event, but honestly the forecast is pretty dynamic."

Margaret Kadifa contributed to this report.

Source : http://www.chron.com/news/houston-weather/hurricanes/article/Tropical-storm-watches-warnings-issued-for-11232545.php

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