Houston area sees relief, rescues after Imelda leaves 4 dead

More than 1000 rescues, evacuations as Tropical Storm Imelda soaks Texas

Historic Flash Flooding ongoing in Southeast Texas from Imelda

Stephen Gilbert, left, and his father-in-law sit in front of their flooded property on Friday, Sept. 20, 2019, in the Mauriceville, Texas, area.

At least four people are dead following this week's massive flooding in the Houston area, where some neighborhoods were deluged with nearly 16 feet of water after Tropical Storm Imelda dumped up to 40 inches of rain on the region. There were 323 stranded vehicles and 22 major accidents, it said.

Several barges broke loose and stacked up on the Interstate 10 highway bridge, causing possible damage.

Heavy rains had abated by Thursday evening, although flash flood watches remained in effect through Friday morning and rescuers were still working to reach stranded motorists and those trapped in homes late into the night as floodwaters were slow to drain off.

The barges contained soybean oil, lube oil, naphtha and monoethylene glycol, the Coast Guard said. Crystal Holmes, a spokeswoman for the department, said the death occurred during a lightning storm.

A man in his 40s or 50s drowned when he tried to drive a van through 8-foot-deep floodwaters near Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston during the Thursday afternoon rush hour, Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez said. The man died after being taken to a hospital.

Foster is the fourth man to have drowned after Imelda inundated the region this week.

The National Weather Service said radar estimates suggested that Jefferson County was deluged with more than 40 inches of rain in a span of just 72 hours.

"We got a lot more accomplished yesterday a lot quicker just because we had been through the Harvey experience", he said.

A fifth death has been linked to the devastating east Texas floods produced by Tropical Storm Imelda, one of the wettest tropical cyclones in us history.

Most of the Houston-area roads that became water-logged after heavy rainfall Thursday, and resulting in more than 1,650 vehicles being abandoned and later towed, were mostly dry yesterday. A levee in that county threatened to break, forcing a neighborhood to evacuate.

Imelda's remnants on Thursday led to the deaths of two men.

Tuesday Martin, one of the residents in Huffman who was rescued, couldn't help but think of Harvey when Imelda's flood waters rushed into her home.

Officials urged residents to get to safety.

That resulted in parents venturing out into water-swollen streets to pick up their kids, and at two elementary schools, firefighters used high-water rescue vehicles to shuttle students out of flooded parking lots. "Be patients and only call 911 for emergencies".

I, GREG ABBOTT, Governor of the State of Texas, do hereby certify that the severe weather and flooding event that began on September 17, 2019, has caused widespread and severe property damage and threatens loss of life in Brazoria, Chambers, Galveston, Hardin, Harris, Jasper, Jefferson, Liberty, Matagorda, Montgomery, Newton, Orange, and San Jacinto counties. Scientists say climate change is responsible for more intense and more frequent extreme weather such as storms, droughts, floods and fires, but without extensive study they can not directly link a single weather event to the changing climate. That storm dumped more than 5 feet (1.5 metres) of water near the Louisiana border, and two years later, it looked in some places like Harvey was playing out all over again.

More than 900 flights were cancelled or delayed in Houston on Thursday.

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