Texas residents prepared for heavy rain and more flooding as the remnants of Tropical Storm Bill moved further inland Wednesday.
The center of the storm was expected to head northward, west of the Interstate 35 corridor. Forecasters said to expect 4 to 5 inches of rain in parts of central Texas that are still recovering from disastrous Memorial Day weekend floods that left 14 dead and two missing along the Blanco River, Fox News reported.
— The Weather Channel (@weatherchannel) June 16, 2015
The National Hurricane Center said Wednesday morning the storm was about 40 miles east of Austin and moving north at 13 mph. Flash flood watches and warnings were in effect for the area, and Gov. Greg Abbot was expected to receive a briefing from state emergency officials Wednesday morning.
In North Texas, Dallas authorities were monitoring road conditions and Arlington residents picked up sandbags offered for free by city officials.
The National Weather Service predicts an average rainfall of 3 to 6 for portions of Texas through Wednesday afternoon, though isolated areas may see up to 12 inches. Arkansas and Oklahoma are also expected to get hit with up to 9 inches of rain in the coming days, and Missouri could see upwards of 7. The incoming weather is expected to further complicate ongoing flood-containment efforts.
“We’re more vulnerable to flooding right now than usual because we just got through the wettest month on record,” Texas state climatologist John Nielsen-Gammon said.
The Memorial Day weekend storms brought widespread flooding to Oklahoma and Texas, killing over 30 people in both states. At one point last month, 11 inches of rain fell in some parts of the Houston area, resulting in flooding and damaged thousands of homes. Other structures were also damaged and forced motorists to abandon at least 2,500 vehicles across Houston.
Rafael Lemaitre, spokesman for the Federal Emergency Management Agency, said FEMA paid close to $38 million this year in Texas flood insurance claims.