Thousands Lose Power, Transit Shut as Rains Inundate Houston

Updated on

More than 100,000 customers lost power and Houston’s airports canceled hundreds of flights as a line of thunderstorms dropped more than 15 inches rain across parts of southeastern Texas. Houston and Harris County officials encouraged residents to stay in their homes.

“For northwest Harris County, this is going to be a historic event,” Francisco Sanchez, the county’s homeland security and emergency management liaison, said by phone Monday. “For some of those neighborhoods, it will be a couple of days before they can get that water out of the way.”

Houston’s buses and light-rail service were suspended, and most area school districts closed their doors. More than half of Harris County’s 22 bayous and creeks, which help with flood control, were out of their banks, County Judge Ed Emmett said on Twitter. Emmett sent a disaster declaration request to the state, which is expected to send it on to the federal government, Sanchez said.

No deaths or injuries were reported. Sanchez said safety officials are concerned that a second set of storms may arrive late Monday and add more water to already-saturated ground.

  • The National Weather Service declared a flash-flood emergency until 1 p.m. local time.
  • George Bush Intercontinental Airport lifted a full ground stop shortly after noon. The airport reported 537 cancellations and 145 delays.
  • CenterPoint Energy Inc., the region’s electric transmission and distribution company, reported 60,168 customers without power at 12:55 a.m., down from more than 100,000.
  • Emergency workers conducted more than 150 high-water rescues, Emmett said.
  • High water was reported on all major roadways.
(Updates with comment from emergency official in second paragraph.)
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