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Tropical Storm Beta – Leaders Warn to Stay Weather Aware

NOAA map showing path of Tropical Storm Beta
Photo: NOAA National Hurricane Center/via the Houston Chronicle

Progressive leaders on the Texas coast are warning their constituents to monitor official weather sources today ahead of the arrival of Tropical Storm Beta. 

The chances of coastal flooding are high on Monday night and into Tuesday. On top of the increased chance of weather related issues, Houston is still dealing with COVID-19.

The last major storm that hit the Texas coast was Hurricane Harvey and the Texas Legislature did little, during the 2019 session, to remedy legislation passed previously making it more difficult for homeowners to claim storm damage on insurance policies.

In 2017, the Texas Legislature passed a bill that amended the insurance code to make Texans’ lawsuits filed against insurance carriers, regarding claims made partly or wholly arising from forces of nature, much more difficult or nearly impossible to adjudicate. The bill was signed into law by the Governor on May 26, 2017. In August of that year, Hurricane Harvey hit the Texas coast and according to the National Hurricane Center of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, cost the area approximately $125 billion in damages

Houston area homeowners are still struggling to get insurers to pay claims or get the money from the state that was allocated for repair reimbursements. According to the City of Houston’s Harvey situation report, as of March 31, 2020, only 44 reimbursement checks have been issued.

Read the full Houston Chronicle story below.

Tropical Storm Beta should dampen Houston area through Wednesday

By Andrea Leinfelder

Published: September 21, 2020 | Updated: Sep. 21, 2020 12:46 p.m.

Slow-moving Tropical Storm Beta could pester Houstonians through Wednesday.

Beta is expected to make landfall near Matagorda Bay by Monday night, but it’s already brought some coastal flooding and tropical storm force winds to the coastal regions of southeast Texas. Some areas of Brazoria County saw four inches of rain Monday morning, according to the National Weather Service’s Houston/Galveston office.

After the storm makes landfall, Beta might stall for a few hours before being nudged east and northeast. The storm’s center should weaken to a tropical depression as it reaches the Houston area and then leave the region by Wednesday afternoon or night, ultimately dissipating over Mississippi on Friday.

Some of the heavier rainfall is expected near Matagorda Bay, where the storm could stall. This region could receive 6 to 10 inches of rain. Coastal counties of southeast Texas should expect 4 to 6 inches of rain, and inland areas could receive 2 to 4 inches. However, there is the chance that some areas could receive up to 15 inches of rain.

“The rainfall forecasts have come down just a little bit for most of our area, but we do still have the risk of flash flooding,” Dan Reilly, warning coordination meteorologist for the National Weather Service’s Houston/Galveston office, said during a presentation.

Even though the winds aren’t too strong, Beta has a large wind field (tropical storm force winds extend up to 175 miles from the storm’s center) that is pushing water inland and causing coastal flooding. There’s a chance that the flooding during Monday morning’s high tide will be the worst of the coastal flooding caused by Beta; however, there will still be some flooding Monday night and Tuesday.

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