Friday, September 20, 2019

Extreme Flooding From Tropical Depression Imelda In Texas

SIX named storms including two hurricanes are swirling around the US including Imelda which struck

Tropical depression Imelda has claimed the life of a fourth person in Texas as Hurricane Lorena looked set to threaten Mexican beach resorts and four other storms swirled around the Atlantic and Eastern Pacific basins.   
The body Malcolm Foster, 47, was found in his 2008 Toyota Prius after waters receded from a flooded canal in Beaumont on Friday. 
Another man's body was also discovered, Harris County Sheriff's Office confirmed Friday. The unidentified man was last seen walking during the severe rainfall, just north of Houston. His body was found in a ditch drowned from storm-related flooding. An autopsy will be performed to confirm the cause of death. 
On Thursday, nineteen-year-old Hunter Morrison was electrocuted and drowned while he tried to move his horse to safety during a lightning storm, according to a post from Jefferson County Sheriff's Office.
And a man in his 40s or 50s, who has yet to be named, drowned when he tried to drive a van through eight-foot-deep floodwaters near Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston, during the Thursday afternoon rush hour.
The combined activity of Imelda, Lorena, Humberto, Jerry, Kiko and Mario in both the Atlantic and Eastern Pacific basins are believed to have tied the modern day record for storms, which was set in 1992, according to the National Hurricane Center (NHC). 

'Anyone want a tropical storm? They are forming like roaches out there,' tweeted Eric Blake, one of the NHC forecasters. 
'It's not something that you see all the time, but not unheard of, either,' added Weather Channel meteorologist Danielle Banks.
Imelda has already dumped more than 40 inches of rain in some parts of Texas since Monday and the downpour may continue through Friday in parts of eastern Texas and western Louisiana. 
Lorena is currently a Category 1 hurricane and remains around 60 miles east southeast of Cabo San Lucas on the tip of the Baja California Sur peninsula. It currently has maximum sustained wind speeds measuring up to 75mph. 
On its current route heavy rainfall is expected and some people have fled to shelters. 
Texas Governor Greg Abbott declared a state of emergency in 13 counties in his state - a measure that allowed them to access state resources. 
So far Imelda's path of destruction has led to the deaths of four men, two discovered on Friday. 
In the aftermath of the storm, rescue crews with boats were scrambling to reach stranded families trapped in their homes, drivers stuck in their cars and others. 
Police then worked late into the night to clear roads of vehicles that had stalled or been abandoned because of flooding, Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo said. 

Images RSOE Alertmap.

Swaths of southeast Texas were underwater Thursday after Tropical Depression Imelda caused catastrophic flooding. Scores of residents had to be carried through the floodwaters and motorists needed to be rescued from submerged vehicles. Children were forced to shelter in place at schools in Houston. Texas Gov. Greg Abbott declared a state of disaster in 13 counties Thursday, saying the severe weather "has caused widespread and severe property damage and threatens the loss of life." "Major, catastrophic flooding is occurring across much of southeast Texas," the National Weather Service says. With more intense rain in the forecast, the agency says, some areas could see rain totals of 30 to 40 inches through Friday. Houston's school district has come under fire for its decision to hold classes as normal on Thursday, particularly after video emerged showing at least one school, Durham Elementary, was experiencing flooding. In that video, children are seen walking on benches, trying to navigate their way past inches of water covering the ground in a covered walkway. In the early afternoon, the district announced that its students and staff were sheltering in place, following emergency protocols.

At 3 p.m. local time, the school district said via Twitter, "Transportation Services will operate as normal. As buses arrive early, students will be placed on the bus for early commutes to avoid traffic delays." But it added, "However, due to road conditions, some buses might be delayed when dropping students at their drop-off location." The storm forced Houston's George Bush Intercontinental Airport to order a full ground stop around 9:30 a.m. local time Thursday. In an update, the airport says some roads leading to the airport are flooded and that flights were delayed. "The airport is open, we have power and restaurants are open, so your passenger will be OK," the facility said via Twitter. In a combination proving to be disastrous, Imelda is creeping along as it drops massive amounts of rain onto eastern Texas and western Louisiana. The warnings of new threats come a day after floodwaters from Imelda already covered streets in Galveston and other coastal areas. Torrential rains ravaged the town of Winnie, between Houston and Beaumont, filling roadways with water Thursday morning. The communities of Aldine, Kingwood, and Conroe also were hit by floods. Four inches of rain fell on Cedar Bayou in just an hour, the Harris County Flood Control District reports. The Cajun Navy says its volunteers are currently using "surface drive" boats to carry out water rescues in Vidor, Beaumont, and other areas. The Louisiana-based nonprofit rescue group's president, Shawn Boudreaux, tells NPR that he is currently working with emergency workers in New Caney, north of Houston.

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