Barges break loose and strike a bridge near Houston after Imelda forces 400 water rescues and strands 300 drivers

The weakening remnants of Imelda will make their way Friday into northern Texas, Arkansas and Louisiana as misery lingers in Houston, even as floodwaters sta...

Posted: Sep 20, 2019 6:52 AM
Updated: Sep 20, 2019 8:45 AM

The weakening remnants of Imelda will make their way Friday into northern Texas, Arkansas and Louisiana as misery lingers in Houston, even as floodwaters start to recede.

Flooding on Thursday left some Houston neighborhoods swimming in several feet of water, forcing authorities to perform more than 400 high-water rescues, the Harris County Sheriff's Office said. There were 323 stranded vehicles and 22 major accidents, the office added.

The chaos continued early Friday, when officials got a report that nine barges had broken away from their moorings on the San Jacinto River, the US Coast Guard said.

At least one barge struck the westbound bridge along Interstate 10, Texas Department of Transportation spokesman Danny Perez said.

Officials are assessing the eastbound bridge for damage, with a full assessment planned when water level recede, Perez said.

Both bridges were closed to traffic Friday morning, and vessel movement beneath them remained suspended following strong currents Thursday evening, Perez said.

At least one loose barge is carrying an unknown hazardous substance, Perez said.

There have been at least two storm-related deaths, officials said. A man in his 40s of 50s was pulled Thursday evening from a van submerged in floodwater, Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez said. The man died after being taken to a hospital.

And in Jefferson County, 19-year-old Hunter Morrison died when he was electrocuted, then drowned, while trying to move his horse, according to a statement from his family posted at the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office's Facebook page.

Imelda -- the seventh wettest tropical cyclone in US history, per the National Weather Service -- dumped more than 15 inches of rain across Harris County. Some areas in neighboring Jefferson County saw a whopping 43 inches of rain.

Parts of southeast Texas and southwest Louisiana remain under flash flood watches, the National Weather Service said Friday morning.

Parts of Arkansas will also see periods of heavy rain throughout Friday, with rainfall totals reaching up to 4 inches in some areas, CNN meteorologist Haley Brink said.

Neighbors rescue neighbors

More than 200 vehicles had been towed in Houston by Thursday night, as floodwaters began to recede, Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo said.

Residents began ditching their cars after heavy flooding made the roadways impassable.

In Beaumont, a city in Jefferson County, neighborhoods turned into lakes and roads looked more like streams. Two overnight shelters were opened, CNN affiliate KPRC reported.

Some neighbors helped each other, with one resident telling the station, 'We're just trying to take care of our people.'

Floodwater poured Thursday morning into Beaumont TV station KBMT, forcing the news staff to move to Houston sister station KHOU to broadcast.

Officials urged residents to get to safety.

'If you are still in an area with standing water, seek higher ground and shelter in place,' Beaumont police said. 'Be patients and only call 911 for emergencies.'

Texas Gov. Gregg Abbott declared a state of disaster Thursday for 13 counties.

Comparing Imelda to Harvey

Many southeast Texas residents say the storm was similar --- and some said worse -- than Hurricane Harvey. The Category 4 monster made landfall two years ago in Texas and Louisiana.

That storm broke the US record for rainfall from a single storm, dumping more than 60 inches about 90 miles east of Houston. Harvey left the state in devastation with up to $75 billion in damages.

'I'm tired of it,' Kingwood-area resident Sharai Poteet told CNN affiliate KTRK.

Poteet spent more than $50,000 repairing her home after Harvey, she said, after that storm dropped 27 trillion gallons of water on Texas and Louisiana.

'I don't understand why we don't have any drainage out here anymore,' she said this week.

Misty Walton's apartment in Vidor, Texas, was inundated with water as remnants from Imelda moved through state.

'Harvey was bad, and this is bad, too,' Walton said. 'People are not even done rebuilding here, and it's happening again.'

Her apartment and two cars in the driveway were flooded, she said.

'I don't know what we're going to do,' Walton said. 'But like always, we pull together, and we find a way.'

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 195179

Reported Deaths: 2585
CountyCasesDeaths
Multnomah38618593
Washington25757233
Marion22140307
Clackamas17633214
Lane13089149
Jackson10938139
Deschutes912274
Umatilla823684
Linn498168
Klamath448664
Yamhill448376
Polk377953
Malheur352763
Josephine336471
Douglas329171
Benton311720
Jefferson221537
Coos207735
Columbia175729
Union145123
Lincoln138521
Wasco138128
Hood River119631
Crook113122
Morrow111116
Clatsop9948
Baker95914
Tillamook6523
Curry64610
Grant5226
Lake4557
Harney3488
Wallowa1855
Gilliam631
Sherman581
Wheeler321
Unassigned00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 3768087

Reported Deaths: 62656
CountyCasesDeaths
Los Angeles123727324101
Riverside2997934594
San Bernardino2971654721
San Diego2789903737
Orange2711945030
Santa Clara1190062096
Kern1092721376
Sacramento1049581691
Fresno1019171688
Alameda880271667
Ventura810331016
San Joaquin733101394
Contra Costa68942806
Stanislaus622491061
Tulare49830840
Monterey43662383
San Mateo42041570
San Francisco36771545
Santa Barbara34378456
Solano32974252
Merced31919461
Sonoma30057321
Imperial28485728
Kings23013246
Placer22679292
San Luis Obispo21331260
Madera16474242
Santa Cruz16264207
Marin14072227
Yolo13922210
Shasta12175226
Butte12076192
El Dorado10193113
Napa988382
Sutter9441113
Yuba628547
San Benito606863
Lassen570624
Tehama559063
Nevada475175
Tuolumne413967
Mendocino410849
Humboldt407242
Amador366547
Lake348343
Glenn239825
Siskiyou225525
Colusa223616
Calaveras213654
Inyo142838
Del Norte13988
Mono12844
Plumas7186
Modoc5014
Mariposa4507
Trinity4025
Sierra1120
Alpine880
Unassigned450
Medford
Clear
53° wxIcon
Hi: 86° Lo: 49°
Feels Like: 53°
Brookings
Cloudy
48° wxIcon
Hi: 82° Lo: 50°
Feels Like: 48°
Crater Lake
Clear
53° wxIcon
Hi: 65° Lo: 39°
Feels Like: 53°
Grants Pass
Partly Cloudy
53° wxIcon
Hi: 87° Lo: 53°
Feels Like: 53°
Klamath Falls
Clear
51° wxIcon
Hi: 77° Lo: 51°
Feels Like: 51°
Sunny and warm Sunday
KDRV Radar
KDRV Fire Danger
KDRV Weather Cam

Community Events

Latest Video

Image

Saturday, May 15 evening weather

Image

Saturday, May 15 morning weather

Image

Friday, May 14th Evening Weather

Image

Friday, May 14 morning weather

Image

Day two of manslaughter trial in fatal Medford road rage case

Image

Special bond fuels Abramson and Armantrout's CCC title run

Image

Thursday, May 13th Evening Weather

Image

HealthWatch: Signs and symptoms of a stroke

Image

HealthWatch: The importance of donating blood

Image

Pet of the Week: Cohen and Whiskers