Storms in Texas winding down, cause minimal damage

25 Oct 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Houston Drenched as Hurricane Patricia’s Remnants Move East.

Forecasters said on Sunday that worst of the storms that dumped more than a foot of rain in Southeast Texas are moving on and that warnings of dangerous floods are winding down.Flooding was reported in Houston streets early Sunday after the Texas city was drenched in more than 9 inches of rain brought by the remnants of Hurricane Patricia.

National Weather Service meteorologist Scott Overpeck told the Associated Press that soaking showers around Houston should begin clearing this afternoon. The heavy rain was expected to spread through the Gulf Coast and through the lower Mississippi Valley on Sunday and into Monday, the Weather Channel reported. The Houston area saw heavy rain for much of the afternoon Saturday and early Sunday morning, causing various high-water locations and impassable roads all over the greater Houston area. Forecasters predicted 15-30cm (6-12in) of rain for coastal areas of the US, including south-west Louisiana, by Monday morning, exacerbated by tides up to 1.5 metres high (5ft) and wind gusts of up to 35mph (56km/h).

Bayous started to crest around 3 a.m. on Sunday. “There will be localized flooding in Houston, primarily street flooding,” Houston Mayor Annise Parker warned residents. She added that residents of the city should be “prepared to be patient.” The potential for flooding and devastating property damage in Texas loomed five months after torrential spring storms caused more than 30 deaths and left large swaths of the state underwater.

A homeless man was reported swept into a drainage ditch by flood waters in San Antonio sometime early Saturday morning while trying to rescue a dog, according to KENS-TV. Officials in Houston warned residents to heed road closure barriers — something that didn’t always happen during flooding over the Memorial Day weekend that was blamed for 30 deaths in Texas and Oklahoma. “Everybody is on full alert,” Harris County Judge Ed Emmett told reporters Saturday. “If there was any good to come out of Memorial Day, it’s that this is a serious situation,” he said.

Elsewhere, a Union Pacific freight train was partially submerged north of Corsicana on Saturday morning after apparently being swept off the rails by floodwaters, WFAA-TV reported. Houston Fire Department captain Ruy Lozano told KHOU-TV that the department made at least 28 water rescue type indictments overnight, which is lower than department officials had anticipated.

The man had taken refuge in a tree from the rising waters. “He seemed fine,” District Chief David Swanson said after the rescue. “He was a homeless newcomer to Houston who picked the wrong night and the wrong place to fall asleep under a bridge.” The storm triggered flash flood warnings and tornado watches, a voluntary evacuation call for the Bolivar Peninsula and the closure of underwater roadways in Houston. Firefighters were forced to suspend the search for the man due t rising waters. “After a certain amount of time unfortunately you’ve got to weigh the risk there,” San Antonio Fire Department spokesman Christian Bove said. “At that point it was deemed too unsafe to continue.” Saturday’s rainfall led to the cancellation of about 100 flights at Dallas/Fort Worth international airport, one of the country’s busiest, according to tracking service FlightAware.

More than half of the state’s 254 counties had outdoor burn bans in effect Friday, due to previously dry conditions, the Texas A&M Forest Service reported.

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