Up to a foot-and-a-half of rain pounded Texas on Saturday, raising fears of widespread flooding in the rain-soaked state even as the remnants of record-setting Hurricane Patricia bore down from Mexico.
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. Bayous started to crest around 3 a.m. on Sunday.
Brian Kyle, lead meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Houston, told the Associated Press that most of the heavy rainfall would occur overnight to noon on Sunday, with amounts ranging from a couple of inches to up to 1 foot offshore.
Rains that have hammered north and central Texas wreaked havoc Friday and Saturday. 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.
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. The incident happened on a trestle near Interstate 45 and Highway 287, about 60 miles south of Dallas. Two crew members aboard the train were brought to safety by a Navarro County swift water rescue team.
More than 18 inches of rain closed Interstate 45 near Corsicana, leaving a 12-mile traffic jam. Officials had been urging residents to simply pull off the highway, find a parking lot and spend the night in their vehicles.
Accuweather senior meteorologist Dan Pydynowski said an area of low pressure developing over the northeastern Gulf of Mexico from the remnants of Patricia would produce heavy rains along a line from College Station south to Houston and Galveston overnight Saturday night that might result in flooding before moving east into Louisiana on Sunday.
Much of the Texas heartland was under a flash flood watch Saturday as the National Weather Service forecast up to a foot of rain in the Austin-San Antonio area. Sections of North Texas, which were already soaked, were expecting up to 7 more inches of rain. Rains lasting throughout the day in Texas on Friday left many major roads and highways flooded.
The rains in Texas have vanquished a drought that struck the state over the summer. Now, state officials worry about widespread flooding.
Officials in Hidalgo County planned to hand out free sandbags to help residents prepare for the expected deluge. Heavy rains, gusty winds and tidal rises of up to 5 feet prompted a coastal flood advisory for the upper Texas Gulf Coast, the Associated Press reported.
The potential for flooding comes five months after torrential spring storms caused more than 30 deaths and left large swaths of the state underwater. That Memorial Day weekend weather system brought an astonishing amount of rainfall, with some isolated areas receiving more than 20 inches. Homes were either damaged or swept away by river water southwest of Austin, about 1,500 homes in the Houston area alone sustained flood damage, and neighborhoods throughout the state were cut off by rising waters.
Little rain had fallen since then.
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.
6 thoughts on “Texas hit with heavy rains, heightened flood threat”
Thank God, the 5.5″ of rain we got, was soft and steady all day Saturday. I won’t be watering plants for a while now, which I don’t mind, and I would imagine the burn ban for our county has been lifted.
One good thing is that it slowed down a few illegals packing dope across the border. For a little while at least.
Possibly the ones who walk, but when I was in Laredo two months ago they were using catapults to shoot bails across to the US side. The local media ran a story on it and called them potapults. Its madness by design on the border..
The only rights we have are the ones we are willing to fight and die for.
Call out the Coast Guard for Texas Border Patrol. WTF, if they’re floating across. Of course, we’ll always have those “wet behind the ears” wetbacks that swim the Rio Grande. It would be nice if they handed those illegal “wetbacks” handcuffs instead of towels.
Been raining on & off all day here.
Wonder how Angel’s doing out there.