Texas Declares State of Emergency In Nine Counties After ‘Historic’ Rainfall
Texas Governor Greg Abbott issued state of emergency in nine counties following widespread rainfall.Advertisement
These counties are Austin, Bastrop, Colorado, Fort Bend, Grimes, Harris, Montgomery, Waller and Wharton.
In Houston, as much as 17.6 inches of rain fell on Monday which national officials said was a “historic” amount. Abbott said more than 1,000 water rescues had been conducted.
Fire Department spokesman Jay Evans, who highlighted that “numerous, numerous rescues” had been made, said, “When you get off the freeways and off the main thoroughfares, you could be in water 10 to 15 feet deep. You do not want to trap yourself in these vehicles.”
“There will be parts of Texas that will continue to see rain over the next few days,” Abbott said. “Please remember the easy phrase: Turn around, don’t drown.” More information regarding road closures can be accessed at drivetexas.org.
Sunday and Monday saw central and south Texas impacted by massive rainfall, with Houston being the most affected as 16 inches of rain fell in a period of 24 hours.
Marcel Gwinn was one of those stuck on an overpass in west Houston for more than 90 minutes. “I was trying to get to work,” he said. “It kills me because my boss just told me that work’s closed for the day.”
Over the next two to three days, there is forecast of more rains, as reported by FOX News. Half an inch of rainfall is expected to fall through Monday night. Schools and colleges were closed due to extreme weather conditions, giving almost 1 million students the day off.
Since Sunday, water levels in parts of Harris County have reached almost 20 inches. Another recording revealed that an area received rainfall 40 feet higher than the previous record, as reported by BBC News. Ten inch rainfalls are common in west and north sections of the Southeast Texas area.
Houston has been prone to, and has experienced, a number of extremely heavy rainfalls leading to flooding in the past. Nevertheless, this event is the worst to have struck the city since Tropical Storm Allison which, in 2001, claimed the lives of 23 people across the state.