Tropical Depression Imelda Drops More Than 3 Feet of Rain on Texas
Tropical Depression Imelda made landfall in Texas on Thursday, bringing heavy rains and dangerous conditions with it. As of Friday afternoon, the storm was responsible for at least two deaths, USA Today reported. One of those deaths included a 19-year-old man who reportedly drowned while attempting to move his horse to safety.
According to the National Weather Service, more than 40 inches of rain fell on Jefferson County over just the last few days. That rainfall total puts Imelda in the top 10 wettest tropical cyclones in U.S. history, USA Today added.
Officials noted, residents of Jefferson County may not see the floodwaters recede for several days, however, the county is working hard to clear roadways to ensure people’s safety.
"It's as bad as I've ever seen it. Right now, I'm in an absolute deluge of rain," Chambers County Sheriff Brian Hawthorne told NBC. "Right now, as a Texas sheriff, the only thing that I really want is for people to pray that it will quit raining.”
George Bush Intercontinental Airport, located in Houston, also ordered a full ground stop during the storm, causing more than 900 flights to be canceled or delayed, CBS reported. Metro Houston also shut down public transportation. Because of the difficulty in getting in and around the city, officials warned residents not to leave homes or drive at all.
"The 911 operations center has experienced a heavy call load with over 250 high water rescues and 270 evacuation requests," the local police tweeted, USA Today explained. "If there is an immediate threat to life safety, call 911."
The National Weather Service explained, flash flood watches and flood warnings continue for Houston and east to Lake Charles, Louisiana throughout Friday. As ABC noted, flooding could continue as the ground is already saturated with water, making flash flooding possible with just an inch more rain. Those with travel plans to affected areas in Texas over the next few days are encouraged to check in with their airline and accommodation to find out what options are available for re-booking.