Drenching rain, which brought flash floods to much of eastern and southern Texas on Sunday and Monday, deluged Houston, killing four and leading to scores of water rescues.
Harris County Judge Ed Emmett said two people died in a vehicle that ignored barricades at a freeway underpass. He said traffic cameras recorded the vehicle going around the blockade and head into the water. The vehicle didn’t make it through.
Two deaths reported earlier Monday included one man found inside a truck that that drove into high water on a freeway service road.
Harris County Precinct Sgt. Herbert Martinez says crews monitoring the high water on the road saw the man in the 18-wheeler truck drive directly into the water. He says it’s possible the driver may have suffered some kind of medical emergency.
Another man, identified only as a contractor working for the city’s airport system, also was found dead in a submerged vehicle not far from Houston Intercontinental Airport.
Monday was one of the rainiest single days ever recorded in Houston, with nearly 10 inches of rain reported at the city’s official weather observing location at the airport as of mid-afternoon.
Hundreds of homes and many major roads were flooded out in the Houston area, forcing schools, governments and businesses to close and causing power outages for thousands of residents.
Many areas reported over a foot of rain. One spot near Houston unofficially recorded as much as 20 inches.
Nearly 900 water rescues were performed in the city of Houston alone, and 1,222 total in the metro area, according to Harris County officials.
The National Weather Service called it a “historic rainfall event” for the region.
Source: USA Today | Doyle Rice