At least two are dead in Southeast Texas due to flooding from Tropical Storm Imelda. The torrential downpour of rain in the region has completely overwhelmed infrastructure, isolated communities and filled countless homes with water.
The governor has declared a state of emergency in 13 counties.
Why is this Happening?
Tropical Storm Imelda formed over the Gulf of Mexico before moving Northwest to impact the Southeastern shore of Texas. The Lone Star State is no stranger to flooding and tropical storms: Hurricane Harvey did something similar in the region in 2017.
However, the monumental rainfall has caused historic flooding, and emergency services are overwhelmed.
Who has been Confirmed Dead?
The first two reported deaths in the natural disaster have been recorded in Southeast Texas. The first was a man named Hunter Morrison, who was electrocuted by a downed power line while wading in floodwaters. Morrison was trying to help his father rescue one of their horses from a flooding portion of their property in Beaumont.
The second reported death was of a man who was pulled from a submerged vehicle on Interstate 69, in Humble, Texas. The man was given CPR and transported to a hospital, where he was later pronounced dead. Three other people were rescued from the vehicle, and a search for other occupants continues.
Ongoing Rescue Efforts
Hundreds were rescued from rising floodwaters on Thursday in Texas, and the rescue effort is expected to continue into Friday. Thousands of homes are filling with water as the flooding continues. Early reports show that over 57,000 homes and businesses are without power, and the rescue effort is made more complex by the numerous flooded roadways.
In the town of Winnie in Southeast Texas, 911 operators have confirmed that emergency services are “overwhelmed,” as they’ve received over 1,000 requests for rescue from the floodwaters. “What I’m sitting in right now makes Harvey look like a little thunderstorm,” said sheriff Brian Hawthorne.
Several levees in the region, including Green Pond Gulley Levee in Jefferson County, are threatening to break, leading to emergency evacuations of those areas.
What Should You Do?
If you’re trapped by rising floodwaters, don’t panic. Call 911 for rescue and ask them what your next move should be. Never try to swim through floodwaters. Do not take shelter in an attic.
Secure family and pets, but don’t trouble yourself with personal belongings. Things can be replaced; lives can’t.