Storm Aftermath

Storm aftermath: 1,400 homes damaged in Houston as clean-up begins, death toll rises

Storm aftermath: 1,400 homes damaged in Houston as clean-up begins

Debris in Houston Braes Heights home after flooding May 2015
Debris covers the floor after waters receded from a Braes Heights home. Courtesy photo

The number of reported deaths from Monday night's historic — and freakish — storm has increased to 5 people. City of Houston officials added a 66-year-old white male to the list. He was found at 1400 W. Loop South, and is believed to have died of a heart attack after assisting a stranded motorist.

The official cause of death is pending an autopsy by the Harris County Institute of Forensic Sciences.

UPDATE: Officials added a sixth fatality to the list midday Wednesday. A recovery crew from the Texas Department of Transportation spotted a car at the entrance ramp near US-59 and the the West Loop  (4900 Westpark) and brought in additional water pumps to drain the area. They discovered a 31-year-old Hispanic male near his vehicle.

There are also two missing persons unaccounted for at this time, officials said.

 Residents are encouraged to document their damage by taking photos before cleaning up to help with insurance claims and other assistance. 

An estimated 1,400 structures in the city limits suffered damage from the storm, officials added. The City of Houston Department of Neighborhoods in partnership with the Office of Emergency Management is conducting an initial assessment to determine the total number of affected structures. The process is necessary in order to help the city and the state of Texas make a case for a federal disaster declaration, according to a press release.

Residents are urged to call Houston 311 to report flooding in order for damage assessment teams to accurately understand the extent of damage. 311 is experiencing long wait times, so residents are asked to download the Houston 311 app on their mobile phones or visit houston311.org to submit a flooding report.

Residents are encouraged to document their damage by taking photos before cleaning up to help with insurance claims and other assistance.

Despite Wednesday's light rains, most roads in the Houston area are open. Houston residents can visit houstontranstar.org for information to find out the latest traffic conditions citywide.

The Southwest Wastewater Treatment Plant at 4211 Beechnut Avenue was damaged when Brays Bayou overflowed its banks, causing more than 100,000 gallons of untreated waste water to spill into the floodwaters in and around the bayou.

The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) was notified of the spill. In compliance with the TCEQ, the Department of Public Works and Engineering has provided public notice, available at houstontx.gov/emergency.