Harvey’s Historic Flooding Closes JSC

Harvey’s Historic Flooding Closes JSC

NASA’s Johnson Space Center (JSC) near Houston, TX is being hit hard by rains from Tropical Storm Harvey.   The Center is closed to all but mission essential personnel.

Many parts of Texas are suffering from the effects of Harvey, which made landfall as a Category 4 Hurricane and caused considerable destruction in Rockport, TX.   The winds then eased, but the system stalled and continues to produce intense rain in southern Texas and western Louisiana.

JSC is located between Houston and Galveston, just east of League City.

Snip from Google Maps

Rain bands continue to sweep through the area dumping two feet — yes, two feet — of rain already with more expected through Thursday.

Via Twitter, JSC (@NASA_Johnson) is directing readers to a special emergency operations Twitter feed (@jscsos) for updates.

That Twitter feed reported at 9:24 am Central Time (CT) Sunday morning that JSC had received 22.23 inches of rain, and at 12:51 pm CT “heavy rain hammering us again.”

An associated website, jscsos.com, posted a statement that a Flash Flood Warning remains in effect through Wednesday evening.  “The Center will be closed tomorrow [Monday] to all but Mission Essential Personnel.  Senior management will evaluate on a day-to-day basis.”  At 1:50 pm CT, another post increased the rain total to 24.84 inches, of which 15.80 inches had fallen since midnight.

NASA Johnson Space Center. Credit: NASA/James Blair

JSC occupies 1,620 acres of land southeast of Houston in the Clear Lake area.  It has a budget of $4.4 billion per year with a total workforce of almost 11,000 people (approximately 3,000 civil servants and 8,000 contractors).  

It is home to the NASA astronaut corps and to Mission Control from which NASA operates the International Space Station. Many facilities and simulators are there that support the human spaceflight program as well as other NASA activities.

NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope (JWST), for example, was shipped to JSC earlier this year to undergo tests in a special thermal vacuum chamber originally built to test Apollo spacecraft.

SpacePolicyOnline.com will update this story as events transpire.


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