Louisiana feels brunt of Hurricane Patricia remnants as Texas clears

26 Oct 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

After soaking, sighs of relief across Texas.

AUSTIN — Drenching storms that the remnants of Hurricane Patricia dragged into Texas finally cleared Sunday without leaving behind the death or devastation of torrential rain and floods that hit the state earlier in the year. But relentless showers were fortunately the only comparison to Memorial Day storms that killed more than 30 people in Texas and Oklahoma and stranded 2,500 cars around Houston.

One man who had been missing in San Antonio after authorities said he was swept into a flooded drainage ditch was found alive and was being treated at a hospital, Fire Chief Charles Hood said. “We’re going to stand down the emergency management operations and call it a day,” said Galveston County Judge Mark Henry, who had issued a voluntary evacuation covering roughly 4,000 homes. But the arrival of the most powerful hurricane on record in the Western Hemisphere caused remarkably little destruction, and what was left of Patricia by the time the weakened storm straggled into parched Texas was greeted with both relief and unease.

A deluge in late May overwhelmed saturated areas and caused deadly flooding, and 9 inches of rain dumped in parts of Houston this weekend was the most since those spring storms. “We had much drier grounds that could handle more of the rainfall and soak it in,” National Weather Service Meteorologist Scott Overpeck said. “We had drought conditions we were dealing with.” Lessons learned from the May floods also seemed to keep more drivers out of danger, authorities said. Only roughly two dozen cars were towed from flooded roads in Houston and emergency crews responded to only a handful of rescues, said Francisco Sanchez, a spokesman for Harris County’s emergency management division. Clearing skies also allowed a Formula One championship in Austin to proceed after the rain washed out weekend qualifying laps and threatened a race that brings fans from around the globe. On Saturday, a Union Pacific freight train derailed before dawn near Corsicana because a creek overflowed and washed away the tracks, said Jeff DeGraff, a railroad spokesman. And while the rain had mostly cleared out of North Texas by Saturday, Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport had already recorded 7.54 inches for the month.

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