Water-soaked Houston braces for more serious flooding from heavy rains
Severe storms brought rain, hail and flooding to part of Houston. Rain so heavy that it was spraying out of manholes.
The Houston fire department, which fielded more than 75 water-related calls late Thursday, urged motorists Friday to stay off the roads to avoid more flash flooding from a storm system lingering in the western Gulf of Mexico.
“There’s no sense in putting yourself, first responders, firefighters or anybody in danger needlessly,” Houston fire chief Samuel Peña said in update on Twitter.
“The ground is saturated,” he said. “It is perfect conditions for flash flooding. We encourage you to stay home.”
Among the scores of calls of stranded motorists was a report of a vehicle upside down in a a water-filled ditch. Teams were able to extract a lone occupant, who was alive but unconscious.
The rains stem from a cold front in the western Gulf that is setting up a multi-day period of heavy, excessive rainfall, the National Weather Service says.
Engine 55, Ladder 55, District 46, Ambulance 55, Medic 24 and Rescue 42 responded to a vehicle upside down and submerged in a flooded ditch for unknown time, found one occupant trapped but still alive and effected a successful extrication. pic.twitter.com/RqEA0PWNjP
“Soils are already saturated across the region, which includes the Houston metro area, and additional rains will only exacerbate flooding concerns,” the weather service said
The forecasters said the greatest concern is from east and southeast Texas into parts of Louisiana and Mississippi.
Farther west along the coast, The Galveston/Scholes Field Airport received nearly 3 inches of rain in one hour Thursday night, with 2.14 inches of rain falling in a span of just 32 minutes, AccuWeather reports.
To the east, the severe storm generated possible tornadoes in Huntsville, Alabama, and McComb, Mississippi.
Houston has repeatedly faced flooding in recent years because the city has insufficient drainage and experienced rapid development that reduced wetlands.