Tropical Storm Beta brings widespread flooding to Texas coast, Houston

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MATAGORDA BAY, Texas (KXAN) — Tropical Storm Beta made landfall Monday night, but the system already sent rain to Central Texas and will continue to do so over the next couple days.

KXAN has a team of reporters and photographers stationed around Matagorda Bay outside Victoria monitoring Beta’s slow-going trek along the Texas coast. According to the National Hurricane Center, the storm is expected to take a turn eastward and travel up the coast toward Louisiana and move further inland in the southern U.S.

Data from the hurricane center says the storm has slowed down even more, from 6 mph to 3 mph traveling northwest, with sustained winds of 40 mph.

The storm could dump an additional inch of rain in the Austin area Monday and Tuesday, and on the eastern side of the storm, rainfall totals are approaching a foot and are still climbing.

The storm has caused surges and flooding along the coast, and even into parts of Houston where rescue crews have pulled at least 20 people to safety from cars stuck in flood waters.

5 p.m.

Our KXAN crew looked at the effects of flooding on Harris County and around Matagorda Bay.

11:55 a.m.

Viewer Steven Merrick, at an area east of Jamaica Beach in Galveston, reports high waters and damage to walk overs.

11:17 a.m.

Out of Houston: Mayor Sylvester Turner says over 100 cars have been stranded in flood waters.

Additionally:

  • Barricades have been erected at over 70 locations in the city
  • No reports of structural flooding at this point

Turner said residents should not treat the water as a “recreational event” after reports of children playing in flood waters.

Meanwhile, Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo said in the Tuesday morning press conference that HPD is completely mobilized with 16 high water trucks staffed. The trucks, Acevedo says, are primarily in the southeast, southwest and south parts of Houston.

Eight of the 16 boats are fully staffed.

Since this morning, Acevedo says there have been 27 rescues — in addition to the four performed overnight.

Twenty-four cars were also towed because of flooding and that number is expected to increase.

Residents are warned not to go around barricades.

7 a.m.

Video from the Houston area showed people trying to drive through flood waters, ultimately failing, and requiring crews to come rescue them in flash flood waters. The video is courtesy of KPRC in Houston.

10:45 p.m., Monday

Jim Spencer talked with KXAN’s Maggie Glynn about Tropical Storm Beta officially making landfall on the Texas coast Monday night. Our crew had to leave the area around Matagorda Bay due to storm surges and the flooding resulting from them.

10:15 p.m., Monday

As of about 9:50 p.m., the National Hurricane Center said the center of Beta is nearing the Texas coast. Heavy rains are hitting that area.

7:40 p.m., Monday

KXAN crews had to leave Matagorda Bay as storm surge flooded roadways.

The National Hurricane Center said Beta is inching closer to the coast. Heavy rain is coming down over the Central Texas coast.

5 p.m., Monday

Scholes International Airport at Galveston reported around 11:30 a.m. that roadways at the airport were flooded.

The National Hurricane Center said Beta’s latest track shows the slow-moving storm potentially lingering over the coast of Central Texas into Wednesday.

2:20 p.m., Monday

As of 1 p.m., the National Hurricane Center said Beta is getting closer to the Central Texas coast. Rain bands with tropical storm-force wind gusts are moving onshore to those coastal areas.

The First Warning Weather Team says Beta will make landfall Monday night near Matagorda Bay.

8:50 a.m., Monday

Flood waters are continuing to rise near Matagorda Bay as rain and surges start to intensify.

7:50 a.m., Monday

Photojournalist Todd Bailey sent us these photos of flood waters already creeping into Matagorda Bay as Beta approaches. Hopefully the crab was able to get back home.

Flooding near Matagorda Beach on Monday morning washed this crab up to the highway. (KXAN photo/Todd Bailey)
Flood waters wash over a road near Matagorda Beach as Tropical Storm Beta approaches the Texas coast. (KXAN photo/Todd Bailey)
A shot of the highway near Matagorda Beach around 7:50 a.m. as flood waters continue to rise. (KXAN photo/Todd Bailey)

5:15 a.m., Monday

KXAN reporter Wes Rapaport stood in shallow flood waters near the bay as rain and swells from Beta pushed water toward a highway.

10:35 p.m., Sunday

KXAN reporter Maggie Glynn’s reported that Gov. Greg Abbott urged Texans living on the coast where Beta is heading toward to “remain vigilant and closely monitor weather conditions” as the storm approaches.

On Sunday night, the National Weather Service in Houston tweeted a video of the end of the 61st Street Pier in Galveston breaking off and floating away.

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