Flash Flooding Swamps Parts of Houston; Homes Threatened, Roads Inundated

Jon Erdman
Published: August 8, 2017

Heavy rain triggered widespread flash flooding in parts of the Houston metro area early Tuesday, turning roads into rivers and threatening homes.

Hardest hit was western and northern Harris County, where water flooded vehicles in some subdivisions and impacted some homes and businesses.

The Houston Fire Department reported they undertook 22 high water rescues Tuesday morning, mostly of people trapped in their vehicles. 

Harris County Flood Control District meteorologist Jeff Lindner urged residents from the west suburbs of Katy to Jersey Village to remain off roads during the Tuesday morning rush, until widespread road flooding could subside.

Stretches of Beltway 8, Interstate 45, the West Sam Houston Tollway and the Hardy Toll Road were reported to have high water early Tuesday morning, according to Houston TranStar.

(MORE: Is Houston America's Flood Capital?)

White Oak Bayou just west of downtown Houston rose over 23 feet overnight to almost 2 feet above bankfull, and was forecast to approach levels that could trigger additional flooding of apartments on White Oak Drive. Water was nearing Interstate 10, according to Lindner.

Greens Bayou at U.S. 59 just south of Bush Intercontinental Airport had also topped bankfull by over a foot, flooding streets in the Sequoia Estates subdivision, but was expected to remain below levels at which homes begin flooding.

Just outside the northwest 610 loop, Brickhouse Gully also topped bankful, flooding streets and threatening a few homes. 

Radar estimates and Weather Underground rainfall reports indicated 4 to 7 inches of rain had fallen generally west of U.S. 59 in Harris County. 

(INTERACTIVE: Latest Radar)

Estimated 6-hour rainfall (contours) and flood reports (blue dots) in the Houston metro area in the early morning hours of August 8, 2017.

It appears the same upper-level disturbance - known as a mesoscale convective vortex - spawned from a complex of thunderstorms that triggered flooding in San Antonio Monday morning also served to trigger the heavy rain in Houston just 24 hours later.


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