Tropical Storm Bill: Houston Gets Lucky

Officials here were preparing for another deluge as a disturbance in the Gulf that would ultimately be named Tropical Storm Bill approached the Texas coast Monday. Initial forecasts predicted rainfall totals on par with, or perhaps even worse than, the Memorial Day flood that soaked the Houston area and claimed at least seven lives. 

But seems Houston dodged a bullet with TS Bill. Despite widespread school closures Tuesday in preparation for a devastating storm, Bill made landfall some 130 miles south over Matagorda Island Tuesday just before noon, starting on a path north tracking just west of Harris County. While rainy, the storm felt rather sedate in Houston as bands of rain circled over the Houston metro area.

"This is a rain event," Mayor Parker told reporters, according to the Houston Chronicle. "It was what we consider a normal rain event, and unfortunately Houston tends to have periods of torrential rain." The Harris County Flood Warning System shows that in the past 48 hours, most of the area saw between 1 and 3 inches of rain. Area schools were all set to reopen for summer school and teacher training as Tuesday morning was shaping up to be a routine wet commute for most people. 

Still, as is the case following any sustained rainfall here, high water could snarl some area roadways, and TranStar is showing at least nine roadways with high water levels. And while, unlike our neighbors to the west, we've certainly escaped the worst, officials are still warning the moisture-filled "tail" of the storm could whip around over Houston sometime today to dump more rain. 

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