National Weather Service

The National Weather Service has issued a flash flood watch for the Houston region through 7 a.m. Thursday. (Photo from weather.gov)

Houston and Harris County officials are urging residents to exercise caution and prepare for flooding later this week as rainfall is expected throughout much of the weekend.

The National Weather Service issued a flash flood watch for the Houston region that will remain in effect through 7 a.m. Thursday. Rainfall rates of 2-3 inches per hour are possible during that time period, which could lead to flash flooding, particularly in low-lying areas or those with poor drainage.

Total rainfall by Thursday morning is expected to average between 4 and 8 inches, according to the National Weather Service, with isolated totals possibly exceeding 10 inches. So street flooding and structure flooding is possible.

"This is a potentially life-threatening situation," the Harris County Office of Homeland Security & Emergency Management said in a Tuesday news release. "Residents should be prepared to act on short notice in the event the most severe impacts occur."

The City of Houston Office of Emergency Management said on its website Tuesday that residents should avoid roadways during periods of intense or prolonged rainfall. The city also urged Houstonians to be cautious around flood-prone underpasses and to heed warning signs and intersection barricades.

The city's map of flood-prone locations includes the stretch of North Shepherd Drive just north of West 34th Street in Garden Oaks as well as multiple locations in the Heights area, including underpasses near White Oak Bayou and the intersection of Old Katy Road, Hempstead Road and Washington Avenue just north of I-10.

For more information, visit weather.gov/hgx/, readyharris.org and https://houstonemergency.org/steer-clear-of-flood-prone-roadways-during-periods-of-heavy-rainfall/.

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