Today appears to be the apex of cumulative rainfall for Texas. However, the downstream watershed continues to create massive community flooding and forcing ongoing rescue efforts in a widening circle East of Houston Texas. Some shelters are now being flooded.
(REUTERS) “The worst is not yet over for southeast Texas as far as the rain is concerned,” Governor Greg Abbott said, referring to the area that includes Beaumont and Port Arthur.
He warned residents of the storm-hit areas to expect flood waters to linger for up to a week and said that the area affected by the storm was larger than that hit by 2005’s Hurricane Katrina, which killed more than 1,800 people in New Orleans, and 2012’s Super-storm Sandy, which killed 132 around New York and New Jersey.
The population of Houston’s metropolitan area alone is about 6.5 million, far greater than New Orleans’ at the time of Katrina. Abbott asked that the federal government agree to spend more on rebuilding Texas’ Gulf Coast than it did after the earlier storms.
Floodwaters inundated part of Port Arthur’s Bob Bowers Civic Center, forcing the residents who had sought shelter there into the bleachers, according to photos posted to social media.
A shelter in Lake Charles was bracing for about 1,500 people rescued from floods by the U.S. Coast Guard, said Angela Jouett, who is running the shelter. A line of buses arrived in the early afternoon and began to unload people who had fled the storm.
Among them was Jacelyn Alexander, 41, who woke up at 4 a.m. when the person who lived in the apartment below hers in Orange, Texas, knocked on her door to warn her the building was flooding. She flagged a rescue boat and escaped.
“I can’t move. I’m wet and tired. I’m trying to find my family,” said Alexander, who said she had last spoken on the phone with her parents early in the morning when her father told her he had declined a rescue.
[…] Texas officials said close to 49,000 homes had suffered flood damage, with more than 1,000 destroyed. Some 195,000 people have begun the process of seeking federal help, the Federal Emergency Management Agency said. (read more)