Texas Orders Mandatory Evacuations After Intense Rain and Flooding

Parts of Texas have been ordered to evacuate due to heavy rain causing flooding. Residents in Harris County, where Houston is located, have been told to be prepared to stay in place for several days.

Harris County Judge Linda Hidalgo, who is in charge of the county government, announced a disaster on Thursday.

People living along the East Fork of the San Jacinto River were told they had to leave their homes, and they were encouraged to do so before it got dark.

“Tonight and throughout the weekend, we won’t experience Hurricane Harvey, but we will still face significant effects,” stated Hidalgo.

“Right now, people in the affected area should either get ready to stay where they are for the next 2-3 days or leave,” she said.

The American Red Cross of the Texas Gulf Coast has opened shelters to provide assistance. The National Weather Service has issued a warning to drivers, especially at night, to be cautious.

The state Transportation Department announced that a section of U.S. Highway 59 in Polk was closed on Thursday due to flooding. The message advised drivers to “turn around, don’t drown.”

The National Weather Service said that parts of Harris County had received over 7 inches of rain by 11 a.m. on Thursday. There was a flood watch for Houston until 7 p.m. on Friday.

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The heavy rain stopped on Thursday afternoon, but there was still a risk of flooding because the water was draining slowly, according to the weather service. There was a flood warning for certain areas in northern Houston, including the Kingwood area, until 7 a.m. on Friday.

There is a video from NBC affiliate KPRC of Houston that shows cars that were left behind after driving off flooded roads, as well as other cars that are stuck in the high water. There have been no deaths in the area.

Houston Mayor John Whitmire stated that the amount of water being released from Lake Conroe, which is located north of the city, is similar to the levels observed during Hurricane Harvey. Hurricane Harvey was a severe storm that lasted for several days and resulted in devastating floods in 2017.

“We need to be vigilant.” “Full alert,” Whitmire said. In Livingston, which is located in Polk County about 60 miles northeast of Houston, the weather service reported that over 9 inches of rain had fallen by 11 a.m. on Thursday.

Johnathan Brown told KPRC that he, his pregnant wife, and their 5-year-old had to leave their home on Thursday morning because so much water came in that their refrigerator started floating.

Brown said that once everyone was safe and his wife was at the hospital, he became very emotional and couldn’t hold back his tears. “We are expecting a baby, and we recently lost all of our belongings,” he said to the station.

The weather service has stated that although the heavy rain in Houston has stopped or reduced, there is still a possibility of more heavy rain overnight or on Friday. The forecast predicts that there could be an additional 1 to 2 inches of rain, with some areas receiving up to 4 inches in isolated amounts. The weather service said that any new rain could either slow down the receding of water or make flooding worse.

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