'It was like Galveston': Heavy rains causes floods, strands drivers across Houston area

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Several neighborhoods saw flooding and many drivers were stranded as the Houston area was pounded by rain Thursday into Friday. 

Here’s a look at how the weather played out across the region.


Storm drains were bubbling and several spots in the downtown area are impassable after the heavy rains caused the Buffalo Bayou to overflow.

Commerce Street between Travis and Milam had two large overflowing storm drains as a result of a then rising Buffalo Bayou.

Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo shared a tweet saying the off-ramp for Houston Avenue at Memorial Drive from I-45 North to Pearce was shut down throughout the morning because of flooding from Buffalo Bayou. 

Acevedo also advised drivers not to go out if they do not have to.

KPRC2 reporter Rose-Ann Aragon said the situation near Buffalo Bayou has drastically improved but there are still several closures in the area due to the high water.

Water in the area also caused the Travis Street on-ramp to I-45 north to be closed. City crews also blocked off the Milam street exit off of I-10 later Friday morning.

One man trying to get to work advised drivers not to rush.

“Watch out for the flood zones and keep your eyes on the road,” he said.

East/Southeast Harris County

Several areas in southwest Houston also dealt with floods caused by the heavy rains.

Meteorologist Jeff Lindner, with the Harris County Flood Control District and Director of HCFCD flood operations, shared a tweet showing some of the floods in the Sagemont subdivision.

Lindner said the water may be close to entering some of the homes.

Authorities across the Houston area have had to perform several water rescues, including one person whose car was overturned and submerged in a flooded ditch near Almeda and Martine Luther King Boulevard. 

The Houston fire department shared a tweet with some photos showing the rescue saying they don’t know how long the car had been submerged, but they were able to pull the person out alive.

KPRC2 reporter Amy Davis spoke to Lindner who said it’s best to stay home if you don’t have to get out and travel.

“We still have some high water locations on some of the roadways across the area,” Lindner said. “Our typical locations … are having some issues, but for the most part, the bayous and creeks did very well overnight. They’re very high, so make sure you stay away from the bayous, but for the most part, we did not have any significant amounts of structure flooding from bayous overflowing.”

North/Northeast Harris County

Lindner shared another tweet showing flooding along Huntington Bayou just north of I-10, which could impact homes along Autumn Drive.

KPRC2 reporter Vincent Crivelli was in the Mt. Houston area where several drivers abandoned their vehicles due to flood waters. 

Many drivers near the intersection of Highway 249 and I-45 were stranded at a nearby gas station due to high water on the feeder road. 

A man named Jason said he’d been stuck at the gas station since 8 p.m. Thursday.

“This is nothing compared to what it was last night,” Jason said about the flooding on the feeder. “(The water) was almost up inside the (convenience) store. Eighteen-wheelers were going by and it was like Galveston. The waves were just crashing.”

Jason said he has seen other vehicles go by, but he doesn’t want to risk it. 

“It’s too bad. I can’t even get out,” Jason said. “I see cars going by, but I don’t want to take a chance in my little car.”

Fort Bend County

People in Fort Bend County got golf-ball sized hail.

A constable for Precinct 3 in Fort Bend County shared a tweet showing several large balls of hail, some measuring nearly 2 inches in diameter.

The area also some flooding and downed trees reported in the area causing multiple road closures, according to the Fort Bend County Sheriff’s Office.

Watching the waterways

There are several rivers, bayous and creeks that have either overflowed their banks or are nearing the top. 

Among those are major waterways including Armand Bayou, Clear Creek, Huntington Bayou, San Jacinto River and Spring Creek. 

For a full list go to the Harris County Flood Control District Website.

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