At least seven people were killed in widespread flooding after heavy rains fell in Houston in recent days. Six of those seven people were found in their vehicles in flooded areas of Harris County. The death toll is expected to rise as officials struggle to keep up with the hundreds of water rescues and evacuations going on across the Houston area. The city of Houston has become crippled by the widespread flooding that has forced many residents out of their homes and caused massive flood damage to many local businesses.
Over 1000 water rescues were carried out in Harris County this week as officials used boats and high water vehicles to whisk stranded residents away from the swollen creeks and bayous. Houston-area residents and motorists are being urged to remain vigilant over the next few days as more flooding can take place as less-intense rainstorms could cause more problems.
The cause of the widespread flooding in southeastern Texas was a large, complex system of thunderstorms with intense rainfall that formed over the north-central part of the state Sunday night. That system of storms slowly made its way eastward Monday, producing two to four times the average April rainfall for the area in less than 24 hours in many locations.
Over 10 inches of rain came down in about 12 hours in Houston which led to massive flooding as drainage systems simply could not cope. In one northern Houston neighborhood, residents took it upon themselves to carry out water rescues that affected the area on Monday. Water levels quickly rose as high as car tops there, turning parking lots into lakes. Even though residents were urged to wait for rescue officials, many in the area felt the situation was dire enough for them to rescue stranded residents.
Residents of southeastern Texas are being urged to stay alert and to prepare for possible evacuations as more rainfall is in the forecast for Wednesday. While the coming rain is not expected to be as intense as what came down earlier this week, enough rain can fall to cause areas creeks to crest. Things are expected to dry out come Friday as the storm system responsible for this massive flooding will have moved out of the area. For the thousands of people who were affected by the flooding, there is much work to be done to dry out and recover from the damages the flooding has left behind.