The Winds of God’s Wrath Floods Houston Area Jeremiah 23

Tropical Storm Beta Floods Houston Area; Standing Water Closes Interstate, Highways

At a Glance

Parts of Interstate 69 and State Highway 288 were closed by flooding.

High water rescue teams responded to dozens of calls for help.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott issued disaster declarations for 29 counties.

Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards declared a state of emergency.

Tropical Storm Beta, which made landfall late Monday, is causing major flooding throughout the Houston area.

Officials urged residents to stay home and avoid driving if possible. Dozens of streets were closed by fast-rising water, including parts of Interstate 69 and Interstate 45 and State Highways 288 and 290.

Beta, which weakened to a tropical depression, was expected to drag along near the Texas Gulf Coast through Wednesday and then over Louisiana and Mississippi on Wednesday night through Friday. Over the past 48 hours, more than a foot of rain has fallen in some areas and more is expected.

Drivers began abandoning cars that stalled in the high water on 288, according to KTRK.

Video from the area showed about a half dozen pickup trucks submerged in water with their doors open.

The heavy rain began falling Monday night and quickly swamped parts of southwest Houston. Diners at one restaurant came out to find their cars underwater, KTRK reported. Employees of businesses in the area waded to an elevated freeway to call for rides home.

By 11 p.m., the Houston Fire Department had completed 20 evacuations from flooded vehicles, Chief Samuel Peña tweeted. The High Water Rescue team worked through the night.

School districts across southeast Texas closed schools and pushed classes online or canceled them altogether.

The storm made landfall about 10 p.m. CDT Monday just north of Port O’Connor, Texas, on the southern end of the Matagorda Peninsula, about 110 miles southwest of Houston.

As the storm headed toward shore, the U.S. Coast Guard rescued a man onboard a disabled 20-foot vessel two miles south of the Port Aransas Jetties, east of Corpus Christi. The man was taken to the Mustang Beach Airport in Port Aransas.

Streets, cars and buildings were flooded in parts of coastal Texas, including Rockport, Corpus Christi, Galveston and the Bolivar Peninsula.

Some subdivisions in Surfside Beach that flooded Sunday night were still under water Tuesday.

“We fared well, better than the night before,” Police Chief Gary Phillips told the Houston Chronicle. “The water is going down and we will be assessing the damage as soon as possible.”

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott issued disaster declarations for 29 counties Monday. Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards also declared a state of emergency, saying those impacted last month by Hurricane Laura should remain especially vigilant.

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