Imelda leaves 4 dead in Texas, others stranded and trapped

Houston, September 21

Emergency crews in the Houston area took advantage of receding floodwaters to begin to assess the damage from one of the wettest tropical cyclones in US history, a storm that led to the deaths of four men and displaced hundreds of people from their homes.

The aftermath from Tropical Storm Imelda, which drew comparisons to Hurricane Harvey two years ago, was blamed for major travel headaches as motorists slogged through water-swollen streets and air travellers faced flight delays and cancellations.

Nine barges broke free of their moorings, and Interstate 10 over the San Jacinto river was closed in both directions when two of the barges struck the bridges early on Friday. Nearly 123,000 vehicles normally cross the bridges each day, according to the Texas Department of Transportation.

The heaviest rain had ended by Thursday night in southeast Texas, but forecasters warned that parts of northeast Texas, Arkansas, Oklahoma and Louisiana could see flash flooding as Imelda’s remnants shifted to the north.

Officials in Harris County, which includes Houston, said there had been a combination of at least 1,700 high-water rescues and evacuations to get people to shelter as the longevity and intensity of the rain quickly came to surprise even those who had been bracing for floods. The storm also flooded parts of southwestern Louisiana. AP