Fort Bend County remains under a Hurricane Wind Warning as Hurricane Ike comes ashore. Currently, Ike is about 265 miles southeast of Galveston, Texas. Maximum sustained winds are now 105 miles per hour (mph). Ike is moving west-northwest near 13 mph.
As early as 1:00 p.m. on Friday, Fort Bend can expect to receive gale force winds of 39 mph or greater, with tropical storm winds of 58 mph or higher in the southernmost sections of the county by 7:00 p.m. After midnight, hurricane force winds will begin to enter Fort Bend County with winds above 74 mph moving through the county from south to north. Hurricane force winds will grow in intensity with sustained winds of 85 mph with gusts to 100 mph. These numbers are all based on the current track of the storm which shows an anticipated turn to the north soon after landfall.
Hurricane Ike is such a large storm that it is anticipated that hurricane force and tropical storm winds may cover Fort Bend for many hours, from 7:00 p.m. on Friday until 8:30 a.m. on Saturday. The County will continue to provide updated information on the County’s AM 1670 radio station.
Fort Bend County residents should prepare their properties for the potential of damaging winds. Secure or remove any loose items surrounding your property which could be blown around by sustained tropical storm or hurricane force winds causing property damage and possible injury.
Most mobile homes will experience moderate to substantial damage. Even more substantial home structures may experience damage to shingles, siding and gutters. There will be extensive damage to vegetation, including damage to many healthy trees where large branches could snap and small to medium size trees could be uprooted.
We also anticipate multiple power lines to be blown down. Local power outages will affect entire neighborhoods.
A Flood Watch is in effect due to the heavy rains that will accompany the passage of the storm through the County. Widespread rainfall of 5 to 10 inches with isolated totals of 10 to 15 inches will be possible Friday through Saturday. Significant street flooding can be expected in areas of heaviest rainfall.
The threat for tornadoes will gradually increase later Friday afternoon and continue through Saturday evening as the rain bands associated with Ike move across the county. Based on the current forecast track, the greatest threat of tornadoes will be along the Interstate 45 area. For safety reasons, you should have a plan in place to seek shelter in an interior room of a building or home on the lowest floor away from windows as needed.
** Please visit http://www.fortbendcountynews.info for more information pertaining to local events and updates.**