Thursday, January 19, 2017

Floodwaters wreak havoc on Houston roadways after some metro areas received more than five inches of rain

Thursday, January 19, 2017 03:13AM
HOUSTON (KTRK) -- Emergency crews made dozens of high-water rescues as thunderstorms flooded streets in the Houston area on Wednesday morning.

Flash flood warnings were in effect for much of the Houston region, where torrential rains prompted officials to close some schools and delay opening of many others on Wednesday.

PHOTOS: Floodwaters wreak havoc on Houston roadways

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Public transportation was delayed or suspended for several hours in the area. Click here for a full list of closings and delays.

Flood waters swallowed
Highway 288 during the morning rush hour on Thursday.

State Highway 288 was hit particularly hard, and some motorists were stranded for up to five hours as they waited for floodwaters to recede.

VIDEO: Traffic lets up on SH-288

By late afternoon, traffic on SH 288 had let up significantly following. Some motorists were stranded on the roadway for five hours as they waited for floodwaters to recede.

In southwest Houston, a good Samaritan jumped into action and rescued a driver and two passengers of a METRO bus and two other drivers stuck in rising water.

Exclusive video shows Carlos Castellanos walking through high water approaching the METRO bus. The bus driver starts to climb through the driver's side of the window as Castellanos tries to help her out.

METRO bus driver rescued by good Samaritan

Forecasters say some metro areas received more than five inches of rain overnight. Rainfall earlier in the week left the ground saturated and created prime conditions for street flooding.

Houston fire officials say they've received more than 65 calls for high-water rescues, primarily from motorists stranded along flooded roadways.

Emergency management officials in the city of 2.2 million residents asked people to avoid travel on Wednesday.

VIDEO: Floodwaters cover I-45 northbound at N. Main

Street flooding on I-45 NB at N. Main.

Heavy rain and lightning also hit in the region extending from San Antonio to Austin, while North Texas was experiencing scattered showers.