Life in the Swamp

Houston, Under Water Again

City officials are calling the flooding "a historic event."

By Roxanna Asgarian April 18, 2016

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White Oak Bayou at Pinemont

Update Tuesday April 19, 2016 9:30 a.m.: The Chronicle reports that at least five people drowned as a result of the storm.

Less than a year after the Memorial Day floods caused thousands of homes to flood and killed eight, the Bayou City's again seeing major flooding and dangerous conditions. Strong overnight thunderstorms with heavy rains have led to floods that have drawn comparisons to Tropical Storm Allison.

In parts of north and northwest Harris County, as much as 17 inches of rain has been reported, and the rain is expected to continue through Monday and into Tuesday morning. Some forecasters are suggesting the city could see another round of heavy rains move through the city later today.

No deaths have yet been reported, but officials are urging residents to stay home—classes have been cancelled, city buildings have closed and public transit has been halted. George Bush International Airport grounded all flights this morning, while delays and cancellations have been reported at Hobby Airport. A flash flood warning remains in effect until 1 p.m.

Local ABC13 reporter Steve Campion was minutes away from reporting live on the floods on Studemont Street when he saw a man trapped in his car. Campion helped get the man to safety as the man's car began to sink (click the link; the rescue was caught on camera).

White Oak, Buffalo, Brays, Greens and Halls bayous are out of their banks, and the Chronicle lists some high-water streets you might want to avoid. Harris County Judge Ed Emmett told the paper that more than a thousand homes have reported flooding, including homes that have never flooded before. "Just because your home has never had water in it," Emmett told the paper, "don't take that as an absolute that it won't occur this time because in certain parts of the county, this is a record flood event."

Mayor Sylvester Turner said at a morning press conference that he himself had struggled to get to work due to flooding in his neighborhood. He encouraged residents to stay at home. "Neighbors, check on neighbors," he said, adding, "be sure to check on our seniors as well."

Rains should ease up by Tuesday morning, but stay home and stay dry, folks.

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