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224 people rescued amid Texas flood watch: ‘We’re not out of the woods yet’

Written by on May 5, 2024

Edith Polverini/Getty Images

(HOUSTON, Texas) — More than 20 million people remain under a flood watch in Texas, Oklahoma and Arkansas on Sunday.

Harris County, Texas, Judge Lina Hidalgo said Sunday that 224 people and 153 pets have been rescued amid the flooding. No deaths or injuries have been reported.

“Unfortunately, what we saw was basically what we predicted, which was a lot of flooding,” Hidalgo had said Saturday, noting that in some areas, there has been flooding “all the way up to the power lines.”

The east fork of the San Jacinto River crested at 77.8 feet above sea level and the water is still rising on the west fork, according to Hidalgo.

The judge warned that it was too late for residents to evacuate without calling 911.

“We’re not out of the woods yet and a level of uncertainty remains,” Hidalgo said.

Several rivers in the Houston area are at major flood stage, with the Trinity River, located northeast of Houston, likely swelling to its highest level on record Sunday.

Heavy rain is falling over the Houston area late Sunday afternoon and into the evening. At this point, any rainfall is a problem as the ground is fully saturated and waterways are exacerbated.

The area from Beaumont to College Station, or north and east of Houston, has seen 800% of its normal rainfall over the last week.

Flooding of the Trinity River in Texas, east of Houston, will continue in a major flood stage for at least the next week.

Not only is it forecast to go higher than it was during Hurricane Harvey in 2017, but it is likely to surpass its all-time record from 1945.

The heaviest rain has eased up in southeast Texas on Saturday morning, with the region set to experience a reprieve for the day.

However, on Sunday, a mass of heavy rain is positioned to move back in and is expected to drench that region with an additional 1 to 3 inches of rain. There should also be heavy rain across much of Oklahoma, with cities like Oklahoma City and Tulsa facing 1 to 3 inches as well.

Additionally, that severe weather threat is expected to shift east into the Houston area on Sunday, bringing a flooding rain chance with it as the potential for more severe thunderstorms on Monday in the central plains from Dallas to Sioux Falls is possible.

Across parts of the country, the first scorching heat wave of the year next could happen by the middle of the week as temperatures across much of the south are expected to jump into the 90s and 100s.

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