Houston Faces Worsening Flooding After Torrential Rains

High waters submerged neighborhoods around Houston on Saturday, with over 300 people rescued from homes, rooftops, and roads engulfed in murky water. The flooding followed heavy rains that prompted school closures and highway shutdowns in southeastern Texas.

Miguel Flores Sr. of northeast Houston’s Kingwood neighborhood found himself preparing to evacuate as floodwaters from the San Jacinto River surged, rising from 1 to 4 feet overnight. Despite having flood insurance, he and his family loaded vehicles with belongings, bracing for the worst in an unprecedented flooding event.

Residents in low-lying areas were urged to evacuate as forecasters predicted more rainfall, exacerbating the already saturated region and heightening the risk of major flooding. Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo warned of a “catastrophic” surge of water, emphasizing the severity of the ongoing threat.

For weeks, relentless rains have saturated Texas and parts of Louisiana, leading to overflowing reservoirs and waterlogged grounds. Liberty County near Splendora saw over 21 inches of rain in five days, contributing to the deluge.

Emergency response agencies conducted numerous rescues across Harris, Montgomery, and Polk counties, with hundreds rescued from homes, vehicles, and floodwaters. Homes along Lake Livingston Dam and the Trinity River in Polk County were inundated, requiring extensive rescue efforts.

Houston, accustomed to flooding, faced another severe weather challenge. Although the city avoided the brunt of the storm, concerns persisted, especially along the San Jacinto River, where rising waters threatened surrounding communities.

Shelters were set up across the region by organizations like the American Red Cross. Despite the challenges, Houstonians remained resilient, supported by a system of bayous and reservoirs designed to mitigate flooding, though strain from rapid urbanization and increasingly intense storms continues to test the city’s infrastructure.

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