Houston Area Experiences Massive Flooding
Residents of the Houston area are continuing to brace for heavy flooding as heavy thunderstorms pound the region, causing major floods and leaving many trapped.
Sylvester Turner, mayor of the nation’s fourth-largest city, told residents to stay home to fend off a weather system he called “stubborn.” More rain was projected over the next two to three days.
Rain gauges in parts of Harris County, which includes most of Houston, showed water levels approaching 20 inches since late Sunday night.
The Harris County Flood Control District reported 13 bayous and creeks out of their banks. Turner said seven bayous within Houston were topped.
No deaths or injuries were immediately reported.
Several shelters were established for people forced from their homes. At least 100 people taken from apartment complexes in the north part of the city were being sheltered at a shopping mall.
“There areas of the city that have not flooded for a long period of time that have flooded,” Turner said.
Harris County Judge Ed Emmett, the county’s chief administrator, said more than 1,000 homes were flooded.
“This is a rain even that’s very significant, no question about it,” he said. “Many of those homes haven’t flooded before.”
The National Weather Service has issued flash flood warnings for at least ten counties in Southeastern Texas and is warning people to get to higher ground. Highwater locations are reported at dozens of sites. School districts and colleges across the region have cancelled classes.
Update: Due to inclement weather, Prairie View A&M University will be closed today (April 18) with classes scheduled to resume tomorrow.
— Prairie View A&M (@PVAMU) April 18, 2016
The rains have been coming in since Sunday evening. Areas north of Houston have reported as much as 17 inches of rain since then. The weather conditions are so extreme that some are comparing it to a tropical storm.
“This is a major rain event,” Harris County Judge Ed Emmett told the Chronicle. “I hate to use the word ‘Allison’ but it’s got all the similar features.”