Storms Swamp Houston

Rainy mess: Heavy storms swamp Houston, causing widespread flooding and at least four deaths

Heavy storms swamp Houston: Widespread flooding, four deaths

flooding in Galleria parking garage
Flooding in Galleria parking garage. Photo by Angela D. Simms
Buffalo Bayou overflow flooding near Brenner's on the Bayou
Buffalo Bayou overflowed its banks at Brenner's on the Bayou. Photo by Shelby Hodge
Dozens of vehicles were flooded on Bellfort Avenue as severe storms moved through the Houston area flooding
Dozens of vehicles were flooded on Bellfort Monday night. Photo courtesy of KHOU
Flooding at Waugh Drive and Allen Parkway
Flooding at Allen Parkway and Waugh Drive. Photo by Grace Coonrod
Submerged cars on Memorial near Shepherd after flooding
Submerged cars on Memorial Drive near Shepherd. Photo by Shelby Hodge
Flooding at Allen Parkway and Waugh Drive
Kayaker takes advantage of the flood waters near Allen Parkway and Waugh Drive. Photo by Grace Coonrod
Buffalo Bayou flooding near Memorial Drive
Buffalo Bayou overflowed its banks on Wescott Drive near Bayou Bend Tuesday morning. Photo by Shelby Hodge
Flooding fashion statement
Flooding fashion statement. Photo by Shelby Hodge
Buffalo Bayou flooding near Memorial Drive
Buffalo Bayou overflowed its banks on Wescott and Memorial Drive Tuesday morning. Photo by Shelby Hodge
Flooding at Allen Parkway and Waugh Drive
Flooding at Allen Parkway and Waugh Drive. Photo by Grace Coonrod
Flooding in Galleria parking garage
Flooding in parking garage entrance to The Galleria. Photo by Angela D. Simms
flooding in Galleria parking garage
Buffalo Bayou overflow flooding near Brenner's on the Bayou
Dozens of vehicles were flooded on Bellfort Avenue as severe storms moved through the Houston area flooding
Flooding at Waugh Drive and Allen Parkway
Submerged cars on Memorial near Shepherd after flooding
Flooding at Allen Parkway and Waugh Drive
Buffalo Bayou flooding near Memorial Drive
Flooding fashion statement
Buffalo Bayou flooding near Memorial Drive
Flooding at Allen Parkway and Waugh Drive
Flooding in Galleria parking garage

UPDATE: City of Houston officials have confirmed at least four deaths from the historic storms that swept through the area. Names have not been released pending notification of families.

The deaths include a male of unknown age discovered at Ranchester at Harwin, a 50-year old female recovered by Houston Police Department helicopter from Braes Bayou near the 5400 block of Ardmore, a person found in a vehicle, which was towed from the 1700 block of Studewood, and an Asian male of unknown age found in Braes Bayou at Holcomb Blvd. 

Officials believe the Asian man lost his life when an evacuation boat capsized.

An elderly couple ages 85 and 87 are still missing.

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Heavy rains blanketed Houston Monday night and early Tuesday morning, causing widespread flooding and making several freeways and streets impassable throughout Harris County. Some areas were swamped with as much as 11 inches of rain in a few hours, forcing several bayous, creeks and tributaries to overflow their banks.

Emergency management officials urged residents to stay home on Tuesday morning and if they must venture out, do not drive into high water. Most schools, including those in the Houston Independent School District, Spring, Aldine, Fort Bend, and Alief, announced closings.

METRO suspended transportation services Tuesday morning — including local and park and ride buses, rail, METROLift and access to HOV/HOT Lanes on the freeways. METRO bus service on many major routes is expected to resume by noon, officials said.

The west and southwest parts of Harris County and Fort Bend Country have been hardest hit. Buffalo and Brays bayous have rain gage readings in excess of 10 inches in west Houston, according to the Harris Country Flood Control District. Other parts of Harris County received 4-6 inches of rain.

Officials continue to monitor rainfall rates and bayou levels at the Harris County Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Management, along with other emergency management partner agencies. 

The area received a reprieve when rains stopped around 5 a.m. Tuesday as waters receded quickly in some areas. But another 1-2 inches of rainfall are expected later in the day.

As of 4 a.m. Tuesday, Flood Control District officials reported the following bayous out of banks:

Buffalo Bayou from Shepherd Drive to downtown Houston
White Oak Bayou at Interstate 10 from Heights Boulevard to downtown
Brays Bayou at Gessner and Beltway 8 in west Houston
Keegans Bayou in southwest Houston
South Mayde Creek in west Harris County near Interstate 10 and Greenhouse Road
Rummel Creek in west Houston near the West Sam Houston Tollway
Brickhouse Gully in northwest Houston near US 290
Cypress Creek from Interstate 45 in north Harris County to the San Jacinto River
Halls Bayou near Jensen Drive in north/northeast Harris County
Armand Bayou in south Harris County

The following are near bankfull:

Hunting Bayou in northeast Houston
Garners Bayou in northeast Harris County
Willow Creek in north Harris County
Little Cypress Creek in northwest Harris County
Little White Oak Bayou in near north Houston
Clear Creek in south Harris County
Beamer Ditch in southeast Harris County
Turkey Creek in southeast Harris County
 

The Flood Control District urges all residents to monitor rainfall and bayou water levels on its Harris County Regional Flood Warning System website (desktop and mobile versions) at www.harriscountyfws.org.

Harris County residents are also urged to report house flooding by completing a Flood Survey as soon as possible at the Harris County Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Management website.