Texas floods: Rescue efforts underway as forecasters predict more rain

HOUSTON (AP) — More storms are moving in An already saturated Houston area Sunday, whence the flood heavy rain It led to the rescue of hundreds of people from houses, rooftops and roads.

“Rain will continue throughout the day and some storms may produce heavy rain,” National Weather Service meteorologist Haley Adams said.

For the past week, Areas near Lake Livingston, northeast of Houston, received 20 inches (50 centimeters) of rain, while areas in northeastern Harris County received 12 inches (30 centimeters). , the nation’s third-largest county that includes Houston.

The Channelview Fire Department and Sheriffs prepare to evacuate the area due to severe flooding, Saturday, May 4, 2024, in Channelview, Texas. (AP via Raquel Natalicchio/Houston Chronicle)

A woman, who only gave her name as Lisamarie, checks on an elderly resident inside her RV after neighbors were evacuated due to severe flooding, Saturday, May 4, 2024, in Channelview, Texas.  (AP via Raquel Natalicchio/Houston Chronicle)

A woman, who only gave her name as Lisamarie, checks on an elderly resident inside her RV after neighbors were evacuated due to severe flooding, Saturday, May 4, 2024, in Channelview, Texas. (AP via Raquel Natalicchio/Houston Chronicle)

Adams said the storms through Sunday could bring up to 3 inches of rain, with up to 8 inches in some areas.

“It’s going to continue to rise this way,” said Miguel Flores Jr., who lives in the northeast Houston neighborhood of Kingwood. “We don’t know how much more. We are preparing for the worst.

Houston officials reported no deaths or injuries as swathes of land from Houston to rural East Texas were swamped.

Flood forces evacuations

Most weekends Flores’ father, Miguel Flores Sr., mows his large 2.5-acre (1 hectare) backyard behind his home in Kingwood. But on Saturday, he and his family loaded several vehicles with clothes, small appliances and other items.

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Water from the San Jacinto River had already engulfed his backyard, rising steadily from about 1 foot (30 centimeters) in the yard Friday to about 4 feet (1.2 meters) the next day.

Texas Parks and Wildlife Department game wardens use a boat to rescue residents from flood waters in Liberty County, Texas, Saturday, May 4, 2024.  (AP Photo/Lekan Oyekanmi)

Texas Parks and Wildlife Department game wardens use a boat to rescue residents from flood waters in Liberty County, Texas, Saturday, May 4, 2024. (AP Photo/Lekan Oyekanmi)

As the storms forced several high-water rescues, including some from the roofs of flooded homes, officials doubled down on emergency instructions to evacuate residents in low-lying areas, warning that the worst was yet to come.

Greg Moss, 68, was standing in a golf cart Saturday afternoon as several feet of water covered the road to his home in Channelview, a community in eastern Harris County near the San Jacinto River.

Moss packed most of his belongings and left before the road flooded on Saturday.

“I’ll be stuck for four days,” Moss said. “So now at least I can go eat something.”

He moved his belongings and vehicle to a neighbor’s house, where he would stay until the water receded. Moss said he wasn’t worried his home would flood because it was located on high ground.

Houston is prone to flooding

The Channelview Fire Department and Sheriffs prepare to evacuate the area due to severe flooding, Saturday, May 4, 2024, in Channelview, Texas.  (AP via Raquel Natalicchio/Houston Chronicle)

The Channelview Fire Department and Sheriffs prepare to evacuate the area due to severe flooding, Saturday, May 4, 2024, in Channelview, Texas. (AP via Raquel Natalicchio/Houston Chronicle)

The bridge over Lake Houston on the West Lake Houston Parkway from Kingwood to Atascocita is seen after it was closed due to high water on both sides of the highway, Saturday, May 4, 2024, in Kingwood, Texas.  (AP via Jason Vogtman/Houston Chronicle)

The bridge over Lake Houston on the West Lake Houston Parkway from Kingwood to Atascocita is seen after it was closed due to high water on both sides of the highway, Saturday, May 4, 2024, in Kingwood, Texas. (AP via Jason Vogtman/Houston Chronicle)

Houston is one of the most flooded metro areas in the country. The city of more than 2 million people has long experience dealing with devastating weather.

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Hurricane Harvey Dumped in 2017 Historic rain As a result, thousands of houses were flooded More than 60,000 people were rescued by government rescue workers throughout Harris County.

The greater Houston area is about 10,000 square miles (25,900 square kilometers), a footprint slightly larger than New Jersey. It spans about 1,700 miles (2,700 kilometers) of canals, creeks, and drains into the Gulf of Mexico, and is about 50 miles (80 kilometers) southeast of downtown.

A system of bays and reservoirs was built to drain heavy rain, but the engineering initially designed nearly 100 years ago has struggled to withstand the city’s growth and large storms.

Husband and wife Aaron Brown, 45, and Jamie Brown, 41, were two of several residents who drove or walked near a flooded intersection near the San Jacinto River to watch the rising water. Nearby restaurants and gas stations began to flood.

Miguel Flores Sr. stands in his flooded backyard outside his home in the northeast Houston neighborhood of Kingwood on Saturday, May 4, 2024.  Officials said the region received four months of rain in about a week.  (AP Photo/Juan Lozano)

Miguel Flores Sr. stands in his flooded backyard outside his home in the northeast Houston neighborhood of Kingwood on Saturday, May 4, 2024. Officials said the region received four months of rain in about a week. (AP Photo/Juan Lozano)

What is expected next?

National Weather Service meteorologist Adams said rain will taper off in the region by evening. But next, residents recovering from flooding will have heat and humidity to contend with.

He said the region could see heat index values ​​in the triple digits this week, with a combination of rain and lingering humidity and temperatures above 90 F (32 C).

“We want people to be careful about rising temperatures and heat exhaustion, heat stress,” he said.

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Associated Press reporter Jamie Stenkle in Dallas contributed to this report.

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Juan A. Follow Lozano on X, formerly Twitter: https://twitter.com/juanlozano70

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