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