Severe weather pummels Texas, bringing "life-threatening" inundation conditions to the Houston area

Authorities warn that “life-threatening” flooding conditions have descended upon the Houston area as severe weather batters portions of Texas.

Thursday, a flood watch is in effect for the southeastern regions of Texas and Louisiana. As of Thursday, in some regions of southeastern Texas, as much as 8 inches of precipitation has already fallen, numerous flash flood watches are also in effect. It is anticipated that further downpours will persist in these regions until Friday.

Governor Greg Abbott declared a state of emergency due to the impending prospect of severe weather and flooding.

This picture, which comes from a video shared on social media, shows cars driving through floodwaters in the Houston, Texas, area on May 2, 2024.
@StormChasterHTX
This picture, which comes from a video shared on social media, shows cars driving through floodwaters in the Houston, Texas, area on May 2, 2024. @StormChaserHTX

“As flooding conditions and severe weather continue in multiple regions across Texas, I expanded the disaster declaration to add 59 counties to ensure Texans and their communities receive the assistance and support they need to stay safe,” according to a statement issued by the governor. “In high-risk regions, it is critical that Texans maintain weather awareness, abide by the directives of state and local authorities, and refrain from travelling during hazardous flood conditions.” The State of Texas maintains collaboration with emergency management and local authorities in order to effectively utilise any supplementary resources required for the protection and sustenance of the Texan populace.

Harris County officials additionally declared a calamity on Thursday and mandated the evacuation of residents residing in close proximity to the banks of the East Fork of the San Jacinto River. This is in light of the persistent flooding and intense precipitation that is occurring to the north of the region.

Thursday during a press briefing, Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo stated, “We want you to leave this area.” “This is a life-threatening situation.”

By Friday, the river is projected to be 77 feet above mean sea level. Hidalgo predicted that the water level would be several feet lower than it was during Hurricane Harvey in 2017. She stated that the river is typically 45 to 50 feet above sea level.

Two to three days will likely pass for those who are unable to evacuate their residences, she warned.

Read More: The climate crisis is on track to displace one-third of humanity from its most hospitable habitat.

In this screenshot from a social media video, a driver who got stuck gets out of their car on a flooded road near Houston, Texas, on May 2, 2024.
@StormChaserHTX
In this screenshot from a social media video, a driver who got stuck gets out of their car on a flooded road near Houston, Texas, on May 2, 2024. @StormChaserHTX

The river basins of central and eastern Texas are anticipated to experience “extreme” flooding through the following week, according to the governor’s office. “Historic” discharges by lake and reservoir operators in response to the heavy rainfall are expected to exacerbate the flooding conditions.

Highways in the region have been closed due to flooding. Overnight, state responders assisted in “multiple” high-water rescues in central and southeast Texas, according to Abbott’s office, which also urged residents to monitor forecasts and adhere to the instructions of local emergency officials.

People are also being affected by power cuts caused by the bad weather. CenterPoint Energy’s outage tracker showed that more than 20,000 users in the Houston area were without power Thursday evening.

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