5 p.m. update
The worst the remnants of Tropical Storm Imelda could throw at Brazoria County appear to be over, officials said.
All the water is gone from Brazoria County's roadways and Highway 36 is reopen after being overrun by flooding this morning, Freeport Detective Clay Hutcherson said.
The region remains under a flash flood watch through 7 a.m. Thursday, according to the National Weather Service. There is a 50 percent chance of showers and possibly a passing thunderstorm through tonight, with less than a quarter-inch of rain expected.
The storm dropped more than 18 inches of rain on the San Bernard National Wildlife Refuge and more than 15 inches on Freeport. The Texas Gulf Coast Regional Airport recorded just less than 3 inches of rain since midnight and about 7 inches since 1 a.m. Tuesday.
Brazosport College will reopen Thursday morning and operate on its normal schedule, the school announced Wednesaday afternoon.
Look for more storm coverage in Thursday's print and online editions of The Facts.
10:30 a.m. update
A weather station on Frank Jones’ property in River’s End showed 18.54 inches of rainfall since the start of Monday, he said.
“We’ve had a ton of water out here,” Jones said.
His property is in Ernies Acres on the San Bernard River, off FM 2918, he said.
The River’s End Volunteer Fire Department responded to a down power line, said Jones, who serves as the public information officer of the department.
They are also monitoring water on FM 2918, he said.
“The usual culprits are underwater,” Jones said.
The rainfall has been steady in Sweeny but not as substantial as up the river with 6.8 inches measured since noon Monday, City Secretary Reatta Minshew said. Sweeny's drainage system is doing its job and no roads are closed, she said.
The county airport gauge shows 2.51 inches of rain have fallen there since midnight, according to the National Weather Service.
9 a.m. update
The National Weather Service has extended the flash flood warning that includes southern Brazoria County and Matagorda County until 2:45 p.m.
Continued heavy rain has prompted Highway 36 to be closed from Highway 288 to FM 1495 because of road flooding, according to Freeport Police Detective Clay Hutcherson.
Surfside Beach residents on the vacuum pump system are being urged to conserve water as it is inundated with rainwater, Mayor Larry Davison said.
Training thunderstorms overnight and early this morning brought rainfall totals of 6 to 12 inches with localized amounts of around 16 inches. Additional heavy rain is expected and will continue to cause flooding, the National Weather Service said.
8 a.m. update
City officials around the county are continuing to monitor heavy rainfall as a flash flood warning remains in effect until at least 9 a.m.
Several inches of rain are already covering parts of Velasco Boulevard in Freeport and Bluewater Highway in Surfside Beach. As of about 7 a.m., local rain gauges showed in excess of 6 inches having fallen in about 90 minutes over Freeport.
"It was raining off and on throughout the night, heavy and light," Freeport Sgt. Jose Lopez said. "Around 3 a.m., we closed off Second Street underneath the railroad tracks because it wasn't passable, but once the rain slowed down, it cleared and we opened it back up. Some high water is on Velasco between Fourth Street all through 11th Street."
As daylight approached, Surfside Beach Mayor Larry Davison said he is monitoring water-covered roadways and asked city government workers to stay home.
After notifying residents of backed-up drainage pumps, Angleton police said things were looking up Wednesday morning. The official county rain gauge at the Texas Gulf Coast Regional Airport near Angleton showed it had received only about 2 inches of rain between midnight and 6 a.m.
"We are holding our own," Assistant Police Chief Katherine Davis said. "No reports of homes or businesses flooding. Streets are OK too right now, but we have some heavy rain coming our way. No road closures and the pumps are doing fine."
Brazoria’s biggest problem is an overwhelmed sewer system, leaving toilets unflushable, Mayor Roger Shugart said. Until the rain lets up, conserving water is in residents’ best interests, he said.
Highway 36 has a high water portion in front of the library, Shugart said. It is passable if drivers slow down, he said.
“If they hit it hard, it’s not going to be pretty,” Shugart said.
Clute had not been affected drastically by the rainfall as of 7:18 a.m., Police Chief James Fitch said.
“There has just been a little bit of water on the roadways, but nothing major,” Fitch said.
No city roads had to be closed because of flooding, he said.
Lake Jackson has minor street flooding and scattered power outages, City Manager Bill Yenne said.
A canopy on North Parking Place buckled under the rain and officials were working to secure it at about 7:15 a.m., he said.
A water line separated in the Willow Drive area, causing a loss of pressure, Yenne said.
“Water service has been restored and permanent repairs will be made when conditions allow,” he said.
The traffic signal at Oyster Creek Drive and Highway 332/288 was out temporarily, but should be working again now, Yenne said.
Shortly before 8 a.m., Yenne received a report of water covering the roadway at Oyster Creek Drive and Highway 332/288, he said. Officials are monitoring it and have contacted Texas Department of Transportation, he said.
The city doesn't appear to be having major issues at this time, Mayor Laurie Kincannon said.
"I just checked with the city manager and police chief. All appears well; no issues reported. The city has had lower rainfalls than surrounding areas seem to have had," Kincannon said. "We advise residents to remain vigilant and use caution."
“We’re holding our own, but we’ve got a few problem areas," Marshal William Tidwell said.
There is no water in houses as of 7:30 a.m., but three houses are close, he said. They are hoping for breaks in the rain and have had 11 inches since the start of Monday, Tidwell said.
There are no street closures, but there is a spot with relatively high water on Nelson Street, he said. People are allowed to drive down it very cautiously, he said.
Richwood has some “uncomfortable” places in their roadways, but no official closures yet, Interim City Manager Lindsay Koskiniemi said. The emergency management team is planning to meet soon to gather further information, she said.
County officials expect the storm to move out of the area sometime after 10 a.m. and will continually update residents with the Ready Brazoria Now app for smartphones as well as their social media pages, County Judge Matt Sebesta said.
"The courthouse is open, just going to be dragging a little," Sebesta said. "Like I said, people need to take precaution and drive carefully, use common sense. Expect the storm to be blown out around 10:30 am or so, don't anticipate any road closures right now."
Heavy rain prompted closures of several area schools Wednesday morning, including Brazosport College, Brazosport ISD, Angleton ISD, Danbury ISD, Columbia-Brazoria ISD and Sweeny ISD.
The Center for the Arts & Sciences is closed today due to hazardous road conditions caused by Imelda's heavy rainfall.
The Transportation and Infrastructure Summit planned by the Alliance for economic development has been canceled, as has a proposed ribbon-cutting at the Bleu Roots salon in Angleton.