HOUSTON, Texas — “Houston is experiencing an unprecedented rain event,” Harris County Judge Ed Emmett told Breitbart Texas in a Sunday morning interview. The judge, who heads up Harris County’s emergency management response, urged people to stay in their homes.
“We knew this was coming,” Emmett said. “Unfortunately, we are now experiencing exactly what we predicted.”
Harris County emergency management officials quickly closed down underpasses and other roadways that have flooded during previous storms. Unfortunately, rain bands are dumping massive quantities of water in places that have not historically flooded.
“Because this is a rain event, we don’t know where or when particular areas will flood,” Judge Emmett explained. “Right now, our focus is on southeast Harris County. That is where we are moving our resources.”
“We have 4.7 million people spread over 1,800 square miles,” he said. “It would be impossible to know where or who to evacuate in advance. We have to be reactive.”
— Suvro Banerji (@suvCBS) August 27, 2017
Rain gauges in the Clear Creek (far SE Harris County) reported nearly two feet of rain in the past 24 hours. Nearly a foot of that fell in a two-hour period around midnight.
“There is life-threatening, catastrophic flooding happening now in Southeast Harris County,” Harris County Flood Control District spokesman Jeff Lindner told The Weather Channel.
Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo warned residents not to climb into atticks to avoid rising water unless you have a way to break through the roof.
have reports of people getting into attic to escape floodwater do not do so unless you have an ax or means to break through onto your roof
— Chief Art Acevedo (@ArtAcevedo) August 27, 2017
Earlier on Sunday, The Weather Channel reported that as many as five people may have died from the flooding in the Houston area.
Houston resident Chris Beavers sent Breitbart Texas the photo posted at the top of this article. The photo, taken from Houston’s west side near Buffalo Bayou shows about three to four feet of water in his parking lot. “Our concern is for the residents stuck on their second floor,” Beavers said. “We have enough good people who are dry and willing to take them in — if we can get them out.
“Most of the rescues our crews have carried out have been to rescue people from their trapped vehicles,” Emmett told Breitbart Texas. “Our focus now is on life and safety.”
The judge urged people to stay in their homes unless they are in immediate danger. “If you get trapped in flood waters in your car, stay in your vehicle,” Emmett explained. “If water rises inside the car, get on top of the car and wait for rescue.” Emmett warned of the dangerss of walking in flooded streets. “Manhole covers come off in these kinds of floods and people can get sucked down into storm drains.”
Emmett said that, during the night, water quickly rose to the second floor of an apartment complex near Hobby Airport on Houston southeast side. A few blocks away, homes were high and dry.
Most of Harris County experienced rainfall totals in excess of 10 inches over the past 24 hours. Some areas experienced three to four inches per hour for extended periods of time.
Tropical Storm Harvey is staying put near the town of Cuero, about 100 miles southwest of Houston. It is expected to stay there for several days before moving east and north.
Follow complete coverage of Hurricane Harvey on Breitbart Texas.
Bob Price serves as associate editor and senior political news contributor for Breitbart Texas. He is a founding member of the Breitbart Texas team. Follow him on Twitter @BobPriceBBTX, Gab, and Facebook.