Spaced City

After the Flood, Rain Continues to Hit Houston

Fans of Tuesday's deluge might be disappointed that Wednesday hasn't yet reached the Noah-and-the-Flood levels yet, but they can rest assured that things still kinda suck.

Early morning thunderstorms Wednesday dumped even more rain onto the already waterlogged roads, leading to another hazardous morning commute. While there were plenty of one- and two-hour delays, we didn't see the mass closures we saw Tuesday—only Tomball ISD, Spring Branch ISD's Ridgecrest Elementary and HISD's Liberty High remained closed today. As authorities continue to survey the damage, we so far know of at least five people who died in the Memorial Day storm. 

Two bodies were discovered yesterday in the flood waters near Brays Bayou. One, authorities say, appears to be that of a man who fell into the bayou when an HFD evacuation boat capsized. Two people are still missing. Authorities pulled two more bodies from vehicles, including that of a man who was found only after his car had been towed to a storage facility. 

And as Brays Bayou jumped its banks early Tuesday morning, water flooded the Southwest Wastewater Treatment Plant on Beechnut. More than 100,000 gallons of untreated waste spilled into the floodwater in and around Brays, authorities say. 

During his visit to Houston Tuesday, Gov. Greg Abbott said flooding in the city is on par with 2001's Tropical Storm Allison. ("Wading for Godot," former Houston Press staff writer Rich Connelly's account of losing his home during Tropical Storm Allison, is a must read.) Mayor Annise Parker was a bit more tempered, saying that while parts of town bounced back quickly other areas were ravaged by floodwater. “The city is slowly getting back to normal, but this is a little bit of a situation of a tale of two cities," she said Tuesday afternoon. "Much of Houston was unaffected by the weather, but the parts that were affected by the weather were very severely hit." 

As rain continued to hit the area Wednesday morning, the National Weather Service warned that parts of Cypress Creek and the San Jacinto River are expected to rise. At the Houston City Council's Tuesday morning meeting, District E Councilman Dave Martin warned that Lake Houston has risen nearly two feet since Monday. “I am looking at water levels that could be alarming and possibly catastrophic for some folks,” he said. “It looks like class 3 rapids we're seeing in Lake Houston.” 

The weather service reports that Hobby and Bush Intercontinental airports have seen over 6 inches of rain in the past 48 hours. But infrared satellite imagery this mornign also showed clouds cooling, which NWS calls “an ominous sign” as increased rain that's already reached as high as 3 inches per hour in San Jacinto and Gimes counties approaches the Houston metro area. 

Flood warnings are still in effect for Harris and Fort Bend counties until further notice. NWS also reports a 50 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms throughout the day, but the sun may peek through later.

For anyone with photos of the damage in your area, send a note to [email protected] And reach out if you've got awesome drone videos, like Bryan Rumbaugh, who uploaded this video of the flooding in Buffalo Bayou Park to YouTube yesterday: 

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Michael Barajas
Contact: Michael Barajas
Contributor Craig Malisow covers crooks, quacks, animal abusers, elected officials, and other assorted people for the Houston Press.
Contact: Craig Malisow