HOUSTON (AP) — Imelda is threatening to dump up to 18 inches (46 centimeters) of rain in parts of Southeast Texas and southwestern Louisiana as the tropical depression moves inland over the next few days.
Jeff Lindner, a meteorologist and director of flood operations for the Harris County Flood Control District in Houston, said the main threat from Imelda remained the potential for heavy rainfall and flooding.
"We have a few things in our favor. The ground is dry. It's been dry for a while here as we've come through summer," Lindner said. "The initial parts of this rainfall will go toward saturating the ground."
Ken Graham, director of the National Hurricane Center, said the Houston area and parts of the upper Texas coast and East Texas could get significant rainfall through Thursday as the storm moves north. Imelda's rain bands were also stretching into Louisiana.
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The National Hurricane Center said early Wednesday that Imelda had weakened to a tropical depression and was located about 25 miles (40 kilometers) north-northwest of Houston.
Imelda is the first named storm to impact the Houston area since Hurricane Harvey , according to the National Weather Service. Harvey dumped nearly 50 inches (130 centimeters) of rain on parts of the flood prone city in August 2017, flooding more than 150,000 homes in the Houston area and causing an estimated $125 billion in damage in Texas.
Meanwhile Tuesday, the National Hurricane Center said Hurricane Humberto in the Atlantic Ocean is posing a stronger threat to Bermuda , though it was about 285 miles (455 kilometers) away. Tropical Storm Jerry became the 10th named storm of the Atlantic hurricane season, though it remained far from land Wednesday. Meteorologists also said newly formed Tropical Storm Lorena in the Pacific Ocean could produce heavy rains and flooding in Mexico by Thursday.