Indoor Air Quality Alert: East Texas Flash Flood Warnings

What is the location of the flooding?

As of Thursday morning May 2, 2024, there is flooding in parts of East Texas and both flood watches and flash flood warnings across much of East Texas and Louisiana (1).

Thunderstorms and heavy rain prompted the U.S. National Weather Service to issue a flood watch across eastern Texas and western Louisiana along and south of I-20, with flood advisories affecting river communities in the region.

A flash flood warning is in place for numerous counties and communities north of Houston.

Which cities or areas are affected by the flooding?

Texas cities and counties under the flash flood warning include:

  • Beaumont
  • Houston
  • Waco
  • Brazos, Falls, Freestone, Grimes, Hardin, Harris, Leon, Liberty, Limestone, McLennan, Montgomery, Polk, Trinity, Tyler, Robertson, San Jacinto, and Walker Counties

The flood watches are in effect for much of East Texas and Louisiana including:

Are there any road closures or alerts in place?

Several Houston area school districts closed schools on Thursday (2), including Huntsville, New Waverly, Shephard, and Willis Independent School Districts. Sam Houston State University has also closed.

There are road closures in parts of the Brazos Valley, affecting roads in Walker, Leon, Montgomery, and Grimes Counties (3)(4).


How can I protect myself from mold after flooding?

It’s important to take steps to prevent mold after a flood.

  • Before entering a flooded area, make sure it is safe and free from electrical hazards or structural damage.
  • Use protective gear: wear gloves, goggles, and a KN95/FFP2 mask to minimize exposure to mold spores.
  • If there is still standing water, remove it as quickly as possible. Use pumps, wet-dry vacuums, or buckets to extract the water.
  • Open windows and doors to facilitate air circulation and use fans, dehumidifiers, and HVAC systems to help dry the space. This step is crucial within the first 24-48 hours after flooding to prevent mold growth.
  • Remove and discard any items that have been severely damaged by floodwater and cannot be thoroughly cleaned and dried. This includes carpets, upholstered furniture, mattresses, and any other porous materials.
  • Thoroughly clean all hard surfaces with a detergent or cleaner suitable for mold remediation. Use a solution of 1.5 cups of bleach mixed with one gallon of water to disinfect nonporous surfaces. Never mix bleach with ammonia or other cleaning products, as the fumes are toxic.
  • Maintain an indoor relative humidity (RH) of 35-50%. High humidity promotes mold growth, so consider using dehumidifiers in damp areas.
  • Run a high-performance air purifier for mold, both during and after the mold removal work.
  • If the flooding and mold damage are extensive, consider contacting professionals specializing in mold remediation to ensure proper cleanup and restoration.

Remember, mold can pose health risks, so it's important to take these steps promptly and thoroughly. If you experience persistent mold-related health issues or have concerns about extensive mold growth, consult with a medical professional or a mold remediation specialist.

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