AUSTIN (KXAN) — - Tropical Storm Harvey has made a u-turn, and is now northwest of Victoria, a city already slammed once, and is headed southeast back toward the coast at only 2 mph.
The storm may actually move back into the Gulf, then turn north toward Houston. All-time record rainfall is possible in the Houston/southeast Texas area, with devastating impacts.
The slow movement of the storm will continue bring near continuous rain to much of the KXAN viewing area east of Interstate 35. Another 5-20 inches of rain could fall, with the lower amounts in the Austin metro counties, and higher totals in areas already severely flooded in Bastrop and Fayette counties.
River Flood Warnings continue for several area creeks and rivers, but the only major flooding is expected on the Colorado River from Bastrop to the coast. A couple dozen homes in Smithville have taken on water after nearly 20 inches fell in the area in the past 48 hours.
People who live along the Colorado River in Fayette County are being urged to be ready for possible evacuations. The river is expected to crest Monday at 49.1 feet.
Due to the unprecedented nature of this meandering, former Category 4 hurricane, there is some uncertainty about the final rainfall amounts after the storm eventually departs next week, but historic rainfall totals are possible, meaning devastating flooding may occur on multiple creeks and rivers over a very large area.
Here’s how much rain we have received in the last 48 hours according to the LCRA Hydromet. Caldwell, Bastrop, Lee, and Fayette counties have seen the most.
While wind gusts of 40-50 mph may continue through much of Sunday, as the storm weakens, the threat to Central Texas shifts from wind damage to flooding.
Tropical Storm Warnings continue for Hays, Bastrop, Caldwell and Fayette counties. A Flash Flood Watch is also in effect for Travis, Williamson, Blanco, Bastrop, Caldwell, Fayette, Milam and Lee counties until Wednesday evening.
Flood Warnings have been issued for Travis County’s Barton Creek and Onion Creek, the Colorado River below Bastrop, Plum Creek and the San Marcos and Blanco Rivers from near San Marcos through Caldwell County, ahead of anticipated river flooding.
The remnants of what was once a Category 4 Hurricane Harvey will linger in until at least Thursday, meaning the same areas will continue to see heavy rainfall as the storm continues to draw moisture from gulf.
It is important for all Central Texas residents to pay very close attention to this unfolding weather event. Lives and property may be lost, and some areas could become uninhabitable in a worst case scenario.
The most important thing to remember is most flood deaths occur in vehicles. Drivers should NEVER attempt to drive into a flooded road. Turn Around, Don’t Drown!
It is wise to pay close attention to the weather forecasts in the coming days. Stay with the First Warning Weather team through the weekend. Central Texas impacts
Heavy rain and flooding with be the biggest concerns through the weekend, depending on the speed and track of the storm’s remnants. A small wobble in the track of the storm will have a significant impact on county-by-county rainfall totals, but anywhere from 1 to 30 inches of rain is possible from west to east across the KXAN viewing area, with the higher amounts east of I-35, and the lighter amounts in the Hill Country.
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