Torrential Rain Traps Dwight Howard, Rockets Fans in Arena


The Houston Rockets finally ended their drought against the Golden State Warriors. And then the skies opened.

The augurs will interpret the signs from the heavens in various ways. Dwight Howard took a practical approach and decided it meant “stay indoors.”

“There’s no need to try to push it,” the eight-time All Star told The Houston Chronicle. “One of my friends just hit me up and said he’s stuck on the highway now. I don’t think it’s smart for anybody to try to be out on this weather.”

Neither did the franchise. “Attention Rockets fans,” the jumbotron overhanging center court informed, “due to severe weather outside, for your safety we recommend remaining in your seats until the weather passes.”

The warning, and the six-to-ten inches that fell on Houston after a soaking-wet May, forced Howard to remain inside the arena past 2 a.m. with 500 of his closest friends, er, fans. He enjoyed a double-double, and James Harden fueled the Rockets’ blast off by scoring 45, so the surreal experience in the Toyota Center could have been more depressing.

“They’re showing the Weather Channel right now,” Howard told The Houston Chronicle. “They need to put on a movie or something.”

The center in the Toyota Center signed autographs. The spectators-turned-captives ate peanuts and other goodies shared from the arena’s concessions. CBS Houston reports that about 100 fans remained in the building at 5:45 a.m.

The seven-day forecast calls for rain, followed by rain, followed by rain as far as the weatherman can see. The National Weather Service reports:

The Flash Flood Watch area received heavy rains and an extremely heavy rain swath of 4 to 11 inches led to widespread flooding in the Houston metro area extending into Fort Bend County. A cluster of storms over the Fort Bend area early this morning should move east and northeast with rain chances tapering down through the remainder of the watch. A Dangerous flash flood situation is ongoing but heavy rains should come to an end. The flooding will be slower to subside and travel is not recommended in some of the hardest hit areas in Harris County. Scattered showers and thunderstorms may continue to develop and move north into the College Station to Conroe area this morning. Rainfall rates with the storms may be lighter than the extremely heavy rainfall rates with the storms overnight.

The Rockets continue their quest to become the first team in NBA history to come back from a 3-0 deficit in a playoff series on Wednesday night in Oakland. The forecast calls for sun and just a 10 percent chance of rain.

After Monday’s win 128-115 win, the Rockets hope that when it rains it pours.


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