At least seven people have lost their lives following heavy rainfall that caused massive flooding in parts of Texas. The record-breaking floods have ruined scores of homes, taken out many roads and has made life miserable for scores of residents of southeastern Texas. In some areas, three inches of rain poured down per hour, making travel impossible. As of early Wednesday morning, flash flood watches and warnings remain in effect across southeast Texas and from the Texas/Oklahoma border into mid Oklahoma.
Houston has been hit hard by the devastating flooding as every part of that city is affected by floodwaters. The National Weather Service has a flash flood warning in effect for Houston that will remain so through the morning hours on Wednesday. The NWS is warning locals not to travel in and around flooded areas because most people who die in flash flooding are in their vehicles at the time. A NWS spokesman stated that an estimated 240 billion gallons of rain have fallen on the Houston area as of Monday afternoon and said this flooding is the worst the city has seen since the 2001 flooding caused by Tropical Storm Allison that left dozens dead and caused over $5 billion in damages.
All Houston city buildings were forced to shut down on Monday, while residents of the city were told to stay home from work and school due to the dangerous flooding conditions. Nearly 700 flights were canceled at Bush International Airport this week with more than 1100 delays. In Harris County alone, over 1000 homes were reported to have flood damage as of Monday and that number is expected to rise substantially as more rain is expected.
The NWS said late Tuesday that Houston has been inundated with over 12 inches of rain and that more is on the way. The country’s fourth largest city is struggling to deal with all the flood damage, multiple major highway shutdowns and water rescues. An estimated 1200 people have been rescued in the Houston area from the paralyzing flooding that has the city reeling. Officials are very worried about the Cypress Creek in northwest Houston that continues to rise and which still has not crested. With more rain being forecast for Wednesday, Houston area residents near the creek are being told to prepare to evacuate as the creek may crest at some point Wednesday.