Parts of Texas and Oklahoma braced for another potential round of serious flooding as Tropical Storm Bill hurtled toward the Gulf Coast on Tuesday with heavy rain and winds reaching 50 miles per hour. The storm, which was expected to make landfall around 10 a.m. local time and reach Dallas by Wednesday afternoon, comes just two weeks after rain drenched several Texas and Oklahoma cities and caused flooding that killed at least 31 people in the two states.
Officials in Houston said they expected “widespread rainfall” of 6 to 8 inches, with some areas exceeding 10 inches. "This will obviously lead to a dangerous flood situation,” the weather service office said in a statement, according to CNN. Officials warned that the storm, which formed Monday night over the Gulf of Mexico, could be “catastrophic.”
The storm was centered about 105 miles southwest of Galveston, Texas, Tuesday morning. Meteorologists say it will bring torrential rain and flash flooding to parts of Arkansas, Missouri, Oklahoma and Texas.
Five to 7 inches of rain were expected in Dallas, which could bring flooding similar to what the area saw in late May. Among the biggest concerns is that not enough time has passed for the ground to dry out, meaning it won’t take long for water to breach the already soaked earth and begin collecting on roads.
"While high winds and even tornadoes are possible, already wet grounds mean that even a moderate amount of rain will likely cause street flooding," warned Harris County Emergency Management, according to Fox 6 Now. "Bayous and rivers could go out of banks quickly, creating a serious threat to life and property."
Houston schools closed as a precaution Tuesday morning as officials expect the rain to make driving dangerous. Classes ended in May but many campuses have ongoing summer sessions, according to the Associated Press.
Officials in Denver hoped their flood control measures could manage Tropical Storm Bill. "That's what we're hoping, that we have enough capacity to handle it when it hits,” Jerry Cotter of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers told ABC’s WFAA-8. "We haven't made much headway emptying out these flood-control pools." Many of the city’s flood control reservoirs were still being emptied after May’s flooding.
Social media users took to Twitter to post photos of the already rising waters near the Texas Gulf Coast.
— The Curious Dean (@kellysimonsdm) June 16, 2015
— Alice Barr (@AliceBarrKHOU) June 16, 2015
— James Matthew (@jamesmatthu) June 16, 2015
— John Wayne Ferguson (@JohnWFerguson) June 16, 2015
— Mihir Zaveri (@mihirzaveri) June 16, 2015
— Mashable (@mashable) June 16, 2015