The most common type of all natural hazards is flooding. Being prepared is a vital step toward protecting both lives and personal property. The following suggestions will help you develop your personal plan for floods.

Before a Flood

Understand Flash Flood Watch & Warning Terms

  • Flash Flood Watch: Flooding is possible
  • Flash Flood Warning: Flooding is occurring or is imminent
  • Determine if your property is in a flood-prone area
  • Purchase a tone-alert radio
  • Assemble a disaster supply kit to include a radio with extra batteries, flashlights, first aid kit, and food
  • Know how to shut off your utilities
  • Consider purchasing flood insurance

During Heavy Rain

  • Listen to radio and TV stations for the most current information
  • Know what streams, bayous, drainage channels, and creeks are prone to flood in your immediate area. Secure your home before you evacuate
  • Avoid going near flood areas. The water depth is unknown
  • Do not drive into flooded streets. Water depth is unknown and the condition of the roadway is not certain
  • Know how and when to evacuate from your immediate area before its too late

After a Flood

  • Stay away from flood waters
  • Be aware of areas where flood waters have receded
  • Keep away from areas where power poles are down or where destruction of properties has occurred
  • Be alert to personal health and safety issues regarding your family's welfare
  • Continue monitoring your radio for the latest information
  • Contact your insurance agent as soon as possible

The Galveston Bay and Freeport areas constitute one of the most vulnerable sections of the Texas gulf coast to hurricane damage, because so many people live near the shore and at low elevations. Land subsidence in recent years has added to the seriousness of the situation.

According to the National Weather Service, more then 500,000 people living within 10 miles of Galveston Bay, and in Brazoria County, may be subjected to tidal flooding during a major hurricane. Considering that National Weather Service records show that 9 out of every 10 deaths in hurricanes are caused by drowning in tidal waters, the threat to these residents is obvious.

Emergency authorities urge all persons who may be subjected to tidal flooding during a major hurricane to relocate inland or to higher ground.

Low-Lying Evacuation Roads

Listed here are some of the major evacuation routes leading out of the coastal areas that are less than 8 feet above Mean Sea Level (MSL). Most of the coastal and bay shore areas are 5 feet or lower. This means that almost all evacuation routes will be cut off when tides reach the 5 feet level.

Note: The tide levels forecasted by the National Weather Service do not take into account flooding of streams and adjacent areas due to heavy rains that often precede and occur with hurricanes. Only saltwater flooding is considered. Therefore, it is conceivable that many roadways, even those with higher elevations than the ones mentioned, could become impassable much earlier than predicted.

Please keep in mind that evacuation information is subject to change/error due to highly localized severe weather conditions, poor drainage, traffic congestion, highway construction, etc. stay tuned to the local emergency broadcasting station (EBS) in your area or National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) weather radio.

Texas City-La Marque Area

This area is protected by the storm levee which should afford protection for all except extremely high tides. Sensitive elevations are:

  • Loop 197 between Highway 3 and 146 and the Texas City levee; 3 feet above MSL
  • Texas Avenue (Farm to Market Road (FM) 1765) between 29th Street and Highway 146; 5 feet above MSL
  • Palmer Highway (FM 1764) between 29th Street and Highway 146; 3 feet above MSL
  • Highway 146 between Texas City and Dickinson Bayou at Moses Lake; 4 feet above MSL

San Leon-Dickinson Area

Sensitive elevations are:

  • FM 517 South between the San Leon Chamber of Commerce Building and Highway 146; 6 feet above MSL
  • FM 517 South between Highway 146 and Dickinson at Gum Bayou; 6 feet above MSL
  • FM 517 North between Galveston Bay and Highway 146 at Bacliff; 8 feet above MSL

Galveston Island & Bolivar Peninsula

Five-feet tides could virtually isolate Galveston Island from the Mainland. Sensitive elevations are:

  • 8 feet tides between 61st Street and the causeway; (Interstate 45 (I-45))
  • 6 feet tides between the causeway and the Wye for the northbound lane; (I-45)
  • 8 feet tides between the causeway and the Wye for the southbound lane; (I-45)
  • 4 feet tides will isolate West Galveston Island from Galveston
  • 5 feet tides will isolate Bolivar Peninsula from Galveston
  • Normally, the Ferry ceases operations when tides reach 5 feet
  • 3 feet tides will isolate Bolivar Peninsula from High Island and the northeast
  • Highway 87 near Gilchrist and just north of High Island has an elevation of 3 feet above MSL
  • 3 feet tides will begin to put water over Highway 6 between I-45 and Hitchcock
  • 4 feet tides will affect highway 146 between I-45 and the Texas City Levee
  • The San Luis Pass bridge is normally closed when tides reach 3 feet since the road on the Brazoria County side becomes flooded and impassable

Kemah-Seabrook-NASA Area

Sensitive elevations are:

  • Highway 146 in Kemah from FM 2094 and the Clear Creek bridge; 4 feet above MSL
  • FM 2094 between Highway 146 and League City; 6 feet above MSL
  • Todville Road between Hammer Street and Highway 146; 3 feet above MSL
  • Red Bluff Road between Highway 146 and Bay Area Boulevard; 4 feet above MSL
  • Bayport Road (old Highway 146) between Todville Road and La Porte; 4 feet above MSL