Texas Flash Flood Update After Severe Thunderstorm Warnings Across State

Texas braced for flash floods on Wednesday after the National Weather Service issued severe thunderstorm and tornado warnings for the state.

Central and south-central Texas would be worst affected, according to the federal agency. North Texas was also on flood watch, it added. The weather service warned of 2 to 6 inches of rain, as well as isolated rainfall of 6 to 8 inches in some areas. It said flooding was possible in urban and poor-drainage locations, as well as creeks, streams and rivers.

The National Weather Service issued severe thunderstorm warnings for Southern Colorado County, Wharton County, Jackson County, Southwestern Fort Bend County, Matagorda and Western Brazoria County until 4.15 a.m. CDT.

Another warning was issued for the counties of Bee, Duval, Jim Wells, Live Oak, McMullen and San Patricio.

The agency said the locations impacted included Western Rosenberg, Bay City, Port Lavaca, El Campo, Wharton, Edna, Palacios, South Texas Nuclear Plant, East Bernard, Ganado, Beasley, Kendleton, La Ward, Pierce, Van Vleck, Boling-Iago, Lolita, Blessing, Markham and Cordele.

Mitchell and Scurry counties also had thunderstorm warnings.

The weather service warned of "ping-pong-ball-size hail and 60mph wind gusts," adding that people outdoors could be injured, and roofs, windows and vehicles could be damaged.

It advised people to move into an interior room on the lowest floor of their building for their own protection. The agency warned that lighting was one of "nature's leading killers" and urged people to move indoors immediately if they heard thunder.

The forecaster said Interstate 37 between mile markers 36 and 83, U.S. Highway 281 between markers 618 and 656, and U.S. Highway 59 between markers 698 and 752, could be hit by flash floods.

This warning was in place until 1.45 a.m. CDT, the National Weather Service said.

Earlier on Wednesday, it issued two marine warnings for the south coast near Houston and San Antonio, as well as one 16 nautical miles south-east of Pilottown, Louisiana, close to New Orleans, moving north.

Heavy rains have battered parts of Central Texas since Monday evening, causing flash floods and lighting.

On Tuesday, Governor Greg Abbott ordered the Texas State Operations Center to operate 24 hours a day through Friday.

"As severe weather continues to threaten communities across the state, Texans need to stay vigilant against significant flash flooding that is expected to accompany these storms," Abbott said.

The Texas departments of Public Safety, Parks & Wildlife, Transportation, Military, Forest Service and the Public Utility Commission are among the state agencies responding to the extreme weather.

Texas floods in 2020
Tidal flooding from Hurricane Laura covers a street in Galveston, Texas, on August 27, 2020. The National Weather Service has issued warnings of flash floods and thunderstorms. Ellie Cherry/Getty