Heavy rains ease around Houston but flooding persists after hundreds of rescues and evacuations

HOUSTON (AP) — Floodwaters closed some Texas schools Monday after days of heavy rain pounded the Houston area and led to hundreds of rescues, including people stranded on rooftops.

A 4-year-old boy died after being swept away by rushing water after the car he was in became stuck, authorities said.

Even as forecasters expected storms to begin to subside in Southeast Texas, high water continued to close some roads and left residents facing lengthy cleanups in neighborhoods where rising River levels led to weekend evacuation orders.

Houston is one of the most flood-prone metropolitan areas in the country. In 2017, Hurricane Harvey brought historic rainfall that flooded thousands of homes and led to more than 60,000 rescues.

In a soggy Houston neighborhood, Channelview school officials canceled classes and said a survey of their employees found many had experienced circumstances that would prevent them from coming to work.

“These people have suffered a lot, my friends,” Trinity County Sheriff Woody Wallace said Sunday during a Facebook livestream as he boated through a flooded rural neighborhood. Partially submerged cars and street signs loomed above the water around him.

Areas near Lake Livingston, located northeast of Houston, received more than 23 inches of rain in the past week, said National Weather Service meteorologist Jimmy Fowler.

In Johnson County, south of Fort Worth, a 4-year-old boy died when he was swept away after the vehicle he was in became stuck in fast-moving waters near the community of Lillian just before 2 a.m. Sunday, an official said. . The Tarrant County medical examiner’s office said the cause of death for the child, who would have been 5 years old later this month, was drowning.

The child and two adults were trying to reach dry ground when they were swept away. The adults were rescued around 5 a.m. and taken to a hospital, while the child was found dead around 7:20 a.m. in the water, Johnson County Emergency Management Director Jamie wrote Moore, in an article on social networks.

The storms brought 9 inches (23 centimeters) of rain in six to eight hours to parts from central Texas to the Dallas-Fort Worth area, said Matt Stalley, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service.

Since last week, storms have forced many flood rescues in the Houston area, including from the roofs of flooded homes.

Greg Moss, 68, remained in his recreational vehicle Sunday after leaving his home in the Channelview community in eastern Harris County near the San Jacinto River. The day before, he had packed many of his belongings and left before the road to his home flooded.

“I’d be stuck for four days,” Moss said. “So now at least I can go get something to eat.”

Moss moved his belongings and vehicle to a neighbor’s house, where he planned to stay until the waters receded. The floodwaters had already receded a few feet and he was not worried his house would be flooded because it is located on higher ground, Moss said Sunday.


This story corrects the age of the young boy who died to 4 years old instead of 5 years old.


Stengle reported from Dallas and Associated Press reporter Juan A. Lozano contributed to this report.


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Jamie Stengle and Lekan Oyekanmi, Associated Press