Imelda weakens, but tropical depression will likely dump a lot of rain on east Texas

Tropical Storm Imelda lost steam and was downgraded to a tropical depression Tuesday evening, but that doesn’t mean the threat of severe weather is gone.

The National Hurricane Center says Tropical Depression Imelda is still moving north, farther inland over east Texas at 5 mph. Maximum sustained winds have dropped to 30 mph — down from 40 mph — but the National Hurricane Center says heavy rains and flooding are still a risk for portions of eastern Texas.

Several counties are under flash flood watches, affecting the cities of Houston and Galveston, both of which are expected to get between six and eight inches of rain by Thursday evening, the National Weather Service says. Portions of Harris and Galveston counties are also under flood warnings.

The National Hurricane Center says some portions of eastern Texas could get as much as 18 inches of rainfall.

The National Weather Service warns people in these areas not to walk or drive into flooded areas.

“We are very concerned about the potential of life-threatening flash flooding,” an NHC official said yesterday during a storm update on Facebook.

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Dawson covers goings-on across the central region, from breaking to bizarre. She is an MSt candidate at the University of Cambridge and lives in Kansas City.