Torrential rainfall inundated the Houston, Texas area on Monday morning, causing severe damage and destruction throughout the major metropolitan area. Rain came down at rates as high as four inches an hour, flooding waterways at rapid rates and leaving residents trapped in their own homes and vehicles. Texas Gov. Greg Abbott declared a state of emergency in nine counties on Monday, including Austin, Bastrop, Fort Bend, Colorado, Grimes, Harris, Montgomery, Waller and Wharton Counties. Houston officials said Monday’s rainfall produced the largest flooding event since Tropical Storm Allison in 2001. It has already surpassed last May’s historical and devastating floods in the area.
While some parts of Houston are starting to recuperate from the paralyzing flooding, residents are still on edge as a new line of rain and storms moves into the area. The Cypress Creek in northwest Houston keeps rising and still hasn’t crested, and additional rains will exacerbate the situation.
At least seven people have died in weather-related incidents, many of which occurred due to complications in emergency vehicle evacuations. In addition, more than 1,200 high-water rescues were made from Sunday into Monday. At the height of the flooding, roughly 123,000 homes had no power. Schools in Houston announced they would be open Wednesday despite the ongoing severe flooding that continues to cripple parts of the city.
Red Cross Response
The American Red Cross urges everyone in impacted areas to stay safe and access flooding information on RedCross.org.
The Red Cross is coordinating another massive relief operation to help residents throughout the greater Houston area – we are operating shelters, serving meals, distributing relief supplies and comfort items to individuals and families in need. On Tuesday night, more than 260 Texas residents found a safe place to stay in 12 Red Cross and community shelters.
“This is a very dangerous situation. People were forced out of their homes with nothing but the clothes on their backs and we opened 13 shelters