Environment

Abbott Declares Disaster for 31 Texas Counties – But Wait, There's More: Storms All Day

Yesterday, Texas rang in the first day of Atlantic hurricane season with a disaster declaration from Governor Greg Abbott in a whopping 31 counties, including Fort Bend, Brazos, Brazoria and Montgomery, among others — and today it only gets worse.

In preparation for today's line of storms, hundreds in Fort Bend County evacuated their homes along the Brazos River. In Richmond, the Brazos rose to 54.3 feet, shattering its previous 1994 record of 50.3. (It is considered flooded at 45 feet). Harris County meteorologist Jeff Lindner reported that flood waters were passing through Richmond's Brazos River gauge at 45.7 million gallons per minute. As of Wednesday, Fort Bend County officials reported performing more than 120 high-water rescues, many of which were in the towns of Simonton, Thompsons and Rosenberg

So, in the words of the City of Sugar Land: "Again, we strongly encourage everyone to PLEASE STAY AWAY FROM THE BRAZOS RIVER," as officials tweeted. (Seriously: If your destination is anywhere across the Brazos River, probably best to just not even try. We did yesterday, when it was just drizzling, and were essentially road blocked at every turn.)

Today, storms are expected to bring another three to five inches of rain to Houston and its surrounding regions, and a flash flood watch remains in effect through Friday, according to the National Weather Service. Which is pretty bad news especially for the isolated areas that saw four to five inches of rain in a little under two hours yesterday afternoon, specifically at I-45 and Spring Creek, which was already 13 feet over its crest on May 28, and I-45 and Cypress Creek. The National Weather Service reported that more than an inch of rain fell on Spring in just 15 minutes.


Check out some photos captured around the area below. For the record, the Fort Bend County Sheriff's Office rescued the poor dog you'll see, and the family who left more than a dozen horses stranded on their front porch in Simonton hired a private helicopter to drop off some food for them.
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Meagan Flynn is a staff writer at the Houston Press who, despite covering criminal justice and other political squabbles in Harris County, drinks only one small cup of coffee per day.
Contact: Meagan Flynn