By now, many of you have heard that the City of Houston is pretty much under water, due to the massive historic flooding from the heavy rains that came pouring late Sunday night into early Monday morning.
It rains heavily in this city at times, and even if this isn’t the first time we have encountered floods, we did not expect it to be this bad.
Many of us, especially those living in Harris County can attest to being woken up multiple times by the loud unending thunderstorms, heavy rain and flood-watch alerts being sent via text in the middle of the night.
Some areas (like mine) may not have been affected by the troubling floods, however, we were out of electricity for over 12 hours.
Onto twitter. Thousands of tweets and pictures about the historic flood took over timelines.
Multiple pictures showing cars that had been covered…and I mean covered…in water, plus a video of an elderly man swimming to a reporter’s safety, as his car submerged into high-water were trending.
Friends and classmates in group-chats were also sending pictures of their houses and neighborhoods that had flooded.
Most businesses were closed, so were schools.
One didn’t have to drive too far to find the action. In every few meters, you would find an abandoned car in a big puddle of water. I drove to a gas station less than a mile away and found two BMW’s, both left in the middle of the street, somewhere around the popular Galleria mall.
Because of the lack of electricity, many Houston residents had limited access to information, and would find out what was going on either by word of mouth, the internet or the tragic sites outside.
Once the power was restored around 6pm, I turned on the television, to see what had happened to my city.
Here’s what happened on Monday
Normally, a rainy day can produce about 3-5 inches of rain. However, on Monday morning, CNN reported that Houston received more than 13 inches of rainfall in just six hours, some areas receiving as much as 16 inches.
ABC News has reported over 240 billion gallons of water in rainfall having fallen in 24 hours.
At least seven people have been reported dead from the high-waters.
Bus and rail services in the city were suspended, so were schools and multiple businesses due to lack of transportation or electricity.
CenterPoint Energy reported restoring power to over 250,000 customers that had lost power due to the heavy rains.
According to Harris County Judge, Ed Emmett, over 1000 homes were flooded.
Texas Governor, Greg Abbot declared “disaster” for counties including, Harris, Fort Bend, Montgomery, Waller and Wharton.
Because Monday was the last day to file for taxes and many could not make it to file, the governor also confirmed having asked the IRS for an extension for Houston-area residents.
Bush International Airport (IAH) cancelled about 800 flights and delayed 150 of them.
Houston Hobby cancelled all departing flights until 4pm.
All major Houston highways were affected; many being shut down in certain parts.
Multiple flood rescues were performed via canoes and small water boats due to the high levels of water that would have damaged cars.
Some desperate residents in need of immediate help rescued their family members in refrigerators and plastic laundry baskets.
In some areas, CNN reported that the rain also brought hail the size of golf balls.
Darolyn Butler, the owner of a stable in Cypress housing about 75 horses told ABC News that about 70 of the horses escaped on Monday when the creek waters rose 25 feet over normal level.
Many of the horses were eventually evacuated to safety, one got stuck in a fence and died, two were seen being swept away in the river and the rest are still unaccounted for.
It’s Tuesday evening as I write this. Schools (mine included) are still closed, thousands that have lost their homes remain housed at shelters, multiple highways are still on lockdown and those of us whose property and cars weren’t damaged remain grounded.
Why is this Really Really Bad
Not only can floods endanger lives, they can also ruin homes, cars and other valuables.
Because Houston has multiple bayous, when big rain storms hit the area, bayous and creeks spread out and cover as much land as they need, to accommodate the water they have. This can lead to, or worsen a flood. Bayous and creeks are also known to harbor snakes, alligators and other wild life that can endanger human lives. Spread of flood water can increase risk of flood related diseases. When the bayous overflow, wildlife flows along with the water.
How you can Help
If you want to get involved or make a donation, click this link to offer some help.
Stay Safe and pray for this great city,