Two people have died and numerous others have been trapped in their homes as boats struggled to reach them among the destruction that former tropical depression Imelda brought to Texas and Louisiana this week.
A 19-year-man, Hunter Morrison, drowned and was electrocuted while trying to move his horse in a lightning storm, the Jefferson County, Texas Sheriff’s office announced in a statement.
Another man in his 40s or 50s drowned while trying to drive a van through 8-foot-deep floodwaters in the Houston area, The Associated Press reported.
Stormwaters began to recede from most of the Houston area Thursday evening, according to Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner, the AP reported. Law enforcement officials had to work into the night to clear freeways of vehicles that were left behind as Texans scrambled to reach safety.
However, Harris County officials warned that portions of their 4.7 million residents might not see high floodwaters recede until the weekend.
Turner compared the flooding to Hurricane Harvey in 2017, which hit Houston with more than 50 inches of rain and widespread destruction.
Officials in Harris County, Texas, which includes Houston, said there were at least 1,700 high-water rescues and evacuations to get people to shelter, according to the AP. Portions of southwest Louisiana also faced destruction from the storm.
Ruby Trahan Robinson, 63, told the AP that the waters “rolled in like a river.” Robinson uses a wheelchair and has a portable oxygen tank, and she sought shelter at the city hall building in China, Texas.
“The water kept rising. It kept rising. I couldn’t believe it,” Robinson told the AP.