Underwater Houston Recovers From Unprecedented Floods

Areas of southern Texas are under states of emergency due to unprecedented flooding that ravaged the area over the past several days.  A powerful storm that blew across Texas and into Oklahoma earlier in the week was the first in a series of storms concentrated in areas around Houston.

Torrential rainfall battered the city’s infrastructure, causing mass flooding and the closure of several major roads across the Greater Houston Area.  City officials are blaming the deaths of six people on the storms, and ABC News even linked a casket in the middle of a city road to water runoff after consulting with local investigators.

Flash flood warnings were kept in effect for Houston through Wednesday before the worst of the rainfall passed through the region.  Roadways were littered with abandoned cars, some of which were flipped on end.  Houston Mayor Annise Parker told reporters that at least two of the deaths associated with the storms were a result of drivers who were trapped underwater in their cars.

Interstate 45 is an important state highway that runs directly through Houston.  City officials were forced to close parts of I-45 as a result of flooding earlier in the week, and crews are hard at work to clear the roads of excessive water.

Texas Governor Greg Abbott increased the total number of counties declared as disaster areas to 21 as a result of the torrential rainfall that followed the initial storm on Memorial Day weekend.  Senator Ted Cruz, a leading contender for the 2016 Republican Presidential nomination, also gave a statement about the floods, encouraging federal lawmakers to set aside funding for disaster relief – despite blocking a similar aid request for victims of Hurricane Sandy.

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