Central, east Texas hit with major storm, flash flooding shuts down Houston
The Houston, Texas, area received as much as 20 inches of rain through Monday morning, leading to hundreds of flight cancellations, the closure of city offices and public schools, and power outages affecting tens of thousands.
Flash flood watches are in effect for much of central and eastern Texas, including Houston, Austin, San Antonio, Fort Worth, Tyler-Longview, and eastern parts of the state, according to the Associated Press. Parts of western Louisiana and Arkansas are also included in flash flood watches.
No injuries or deaths have been reported thus far.
With more rain expected throughout Monday, Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner canceled his State of the City speech, announcing that all non-essential city employees should stay home. Turner said seven Houston-area bodies of water had exceeded their banks. Public transit in Houston was canceled for the day, as were classes for 215,000 Houston Independent School District students.
"If you do not have to be out, please stay put. This not the day to be on the roads in the city of Houston," Turner said, according to Reuters.
Rain rates have tapered off inland, but flooding persists. Don't play in flooded streets. Drowning risk remains + chemicals, ants, snakes...— NWSHouston (@NWSHouston) April 18, 2016
The city of Houston reported 115 high water rescues as of early Monday.
About 109,000 customers of CenterPoint Energy were without electricity, according to reports.
In Harris County, Texas, more than a thousand homes were flooded, according to Judge Ed Emmett.
This is a rain event that's significant. Well over 1K homes flooded, 13 of 22 watersheds out of banks. Stay where you are, stay safe.— Official Ed Emmett (@EdEmmett) April 18, 2016
Dozens of roadways in the Houston area were covered in high water, while hundreds of flights out of Bush Intercontinental Airport had been canceled as of Monday morning.