Live Updates

Serious flooding in Texas

Flooding concerns grow for residents of southeast Texas as Imelda moves inland

What we covered here

  • One fatality reported: A man in his 40s or 50s was pulled from a van found submerged in Houston floodwaters Thursday evening, Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez said. He died after being transported to an area hospital.
  • Extensive flooding: The remnants of Imelda caused serious flash flooding in parts of southeastern Texas on Thursday. There were more than 407 high water rescues conducted by the the Harris County Sheriff’s Office.
  • Record amount of rain: Jefferson County received 43.15 inches of rain, making Imelda the 7th wettest tropical cyclone in US history, according to the National Weather Service.
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Our live coverage of the flooding in Texas has concluded, but you can read more about it here.

407 high-water rescues conducted in Harris County

The Harris County Sheriff’s Office has completed 992 weather-related calls for service, the office said in a tweet Thursday evening.

The calls included 407 high-water rescues, 22 major accidents, and 323 stranded vehicles

Ed Gonzalez, the Harris Country Sheriff, tweeted a photo of his team. “Couldn’t be prouder of my HCSO Texas family for their effort today,” he wrote.

Houston residents who use private wells should boil their water

Houston officials are advising residents with private drinking wells to boil their water after the heavy rains caused a wastewater spill on Thursday.

As of Thursday afternoon, more than 100,000 gallons of wastewater had been released at Eastex Freeway and Parker Road.

Those who receive their water from the city are not impacted by the spill, said the city in a press release.

Anyone within a half mile from the spill site who uses a private drinking water supply well or private water should only use water that has been distilled or boiled.

The release also said those affected residents should have their water tested and disinfected before they stop boiling.

Houston warns residents to stay off roads

A man tries to direct a school bus on a flooded road on September 19, 2019 in Houston, Texas.

Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner is advising people to be careful and stay off the roads tonight.

In a press conference Thursday night, Turner said the water is receding and the storm has passed, but it will take time for the roads to dry out. There has been no rain reported in the last hour, he said.

Emergency crews are working overnight to observe for structural damage due to the flooding, and officials will continue to focus on clearing the freeways and streets.

Photos show flooding at Houston's Buffalo Bayou Park

Yamile Arango, a Colombian journalist living in Texas, shared images showing extensive flooding at Houston’s Buffalo Bayou Park.

The park, which is a popular destination for bike riders and dog walkers, occupies 160 acres in the heart of Houston.

See more photos of the flooded park below:

Arrivals to resume at Houston's George Bush airport Friday morning

Flight operations for arrivals will resume in at George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH) Friday, according to a tweet from IAH Friday night.

Arrivals will resume at 4 a.m. CT.

IAH provided more details on which roads to use when traveling to the airport and which terminal checkpoints will be open in the following tweet:

Number of high-water rescues rise to 369 in Harris County

The Harris County Sheriff’s Office has completed 369 high-water rescues as of 8:30 p.m. ET Thursday, according to a tweet Thursday evening

Dispatchers have fielded 866 weather-related calls so far, the tweet said.

Man dies after being pulled from van submerged in floodwaters

A man who was pulled from a van submerged in Houston floodwaters has died after being transported to a hospital, Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez tweeted Thursday evening.

The man, who was in his 40s or 50s, was one of at least three people removed from the van. 

The driver of the van was traveling westbound on Will Clayton Parkway and approached Eastex Freeway, where the water was about 8 feet high, Gonzalez said. The driver briefly paused before accelerating into the water, the sheriff said. 

The Harris County Sheriff’s Office is still on scene attempting to locate others, Gonzalez said.

Jefferson County has received 43 inches of rain

Texas’ Jefferson County has received 43.15 inches of rain, making Imelda the 7th wettest tropical cyclone in US history, according to the National Weather Service in Houston.

The service warned the totals are preliminary.

If the total stands, Imelda would also be the 4th wettest tropical cyclone to hit Texas, the weather service tweeted.

Deputies pull at least 3 people from a submerged vehicle in Harris County

Deputies removed at least three people from a submerged vehicle in Harris County, a sheriff’s official said.

A man in his 40’s or 50’s has been transported in critical condition after being pulled from the vehicle, Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez said in a series of tweets Thursday evening.

The vehicle was found near Estex Freeway and Will Clayon Parkway, the sheriff said.

Aerial photos show flooding in Jefferson County

The Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office on Thursday released new aerial photos showing flooded streets and neighborhoods.

“I-10 is still closed and rescues are still ongoing. Please don’t get out on the roads! #TurnAroundDontDrown,” the sheriff’s office wrote on Facebook.

Jefferson County is home to Beaumont, which has been hit hard by the storm.

Firefighters rescued 100 people in Spring today

The Spring Fire Department has rescued 100 people today due to the storm.

The crew at Fire Station 74 carried out rescues in the Sandpiper Trails neighborhood in East Spring, the Spring Fire Department wrote on Facebook.

Here’s a look at the rescues:

Sheriff's officials receive 133 high-water rescue calls in Harris County

The Harris County Sheriff’s Office has received 133 high-water rescue calls since noon Thursday.

The sheriff’s office tweeted that it has also received 310 weather-related calls stemming from Imelda, which has lingered over southeastern Texas since Tuesday.

Authorities also shared this video of a high-water vehicle driving through Aldine:

Horses and man rescued from Texas flood waters

A couple was driving back after dropping their nephew off when they spotted some ranchers and horses struggling to escape flood waters in Spring, Texas.

Edward and Maya Gonzalez pulled over and also saw a man in a red T-shirt swept into the bushes by the current on Cypresswood Drive Thursday. Once the ranchers got the horses out safely, they went back for the man, Edward Gonzalez told CNN.

All of the horses and people escaped the floodwaters safely.

The following video shows part of the rescue:

Health department urges people to stay out of floodwater in Houston

A man walks through the flooded feeder roads off of Highway 69 North on Sept. 19, 2019 in Houston, Texas.

The Houston Health Department is warning people to stay out of floodwaters to avoid health hazards.

Anyone who comes into contact with floodwater should wash the area with soap and water, take care of wounds and seek medical attention if necessary. They should also wash any clothes contaminated with floodwater before reusing them, the agency said in a statement. 

A high-water vehicle is transporting people out of Beaumont

A high-water vehicle was spotted evacuating people from Beaumont, Texas, as remnants of Imelda continue to thrash a southeastern portion of the state.

Police in Beaumont, 85 miles east of Houston, have received hundreds of calls for rescues.

They also urged people not to drive because most roads were flooded.

Several shelters open in Houston to assist flooding evacuees

Several shelters are open to assist flooding evacuees, Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner announced at a news conference.

These shelters are now open for residents:

  • Gallery Furniture Mattress Mack
  • Lakewood Church
  • Northeast Multi Service Center
  • Kingwood Community Center
  • Harvest Time Church

Rice University cancels its classes today due to Imelda

Rice University has canceled all its afternoon classes due to the storm, according to an email.

The email was sent to staff and students. Here’s what it said:

“Rice is currently under a FLASH FLOOD WARNING. All those who are off campus should not travel until the storm water has drained. Please communicate any absences to your faculty advisor, magister or supervisor. We are expecting 4 - 8 additional inches of rain in the next few hours. Those who are on campus should stay on campus until the water recedes”

School dismissals delayed due to road conditions

Dismissal for students of the Aldine Independent School District in unincorporated Harris County will be delayed due to road conditions, according to Mike Keeney, director of External Communications for the district.

Keeney tells CNN the transportation company is out now assessing road conditions and students will continue to shelter in place.

The district received reports of a lightning strike near Aldine High School and a subsequent fire, but those reports were unfounded and there was no fire, Keeney said.

National Guard deployed to Beaumont-Port Arthur

The Texas National Guard will set up operations in the Beaumont-Port Arthur Texas region to support local, state and federal agencies dealing with the remnants of Imelda, according to Brandon Jones, press secretary for the Texas Military Department.

The National Guard’s assets will include high-profile vehicles and UH-60 Blackhawks on standby.

“We stand ready to support Texans in need and we won’t rest until we’ve made every effort to rescue those in harm’s way. Our guardsmen conduct regular and routine training exercises to prepare for situations like Tropical Depression Imelda,” Jones said.

Man spotted floating down flooded Houston road on a noodle

A man was spotted floating down a feeder road for Houston’s I-59 highway with a noodle as the city contends with the remnants of former Tropical Depression Imelda.

“Gotta make the best of it,” the man reportedly said, according to a tweet from ABC 13’s Katherine Marchand Thursday afternoon.

Serious flooding has been seen just north of Houston and to the east, including the city of Beaumont. The storm has been hitting southeastern Texas since Tuesday.

Wall collapses at The Galleria mall in Houston

A wall has collapsed onto a ramp leading into The Galleria mall’s parking garage in Houston, Texas.

CBS Chicago anchor Audrina Bigos, who is in Houston on personal travel, captured this photo of the collapse:

Daycare starts taking on water in North Houston

A rescue truck from the Harris County Sheriff’s Office is on the way to a daycare in North Houston following reports of some flooding.

Academic Academy Daycare is located at 11948 Gloger St. in the Houston community of Aldine.

“Parents be advised, kids are OK, they are safe. Staff there is doing good. Facility has taken in some water, but kiddos & staff are in a room with no water,” the sheriff’s office tweeted Thursday afternoon.

Houston airport asks drivers to "delay" picking up people because of flooding on nearby roads

The George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH) is asking people who were planning to pick up passengers to “delay” their plans due to flooding on the roads approaching the airport.

“Roads approaching the airport are flooded, if you have to pick someone up from the airport right now, delay your drive,” IAH said in a tweet. “The airport is open, we have power and restaurants are open, so your passenger will be OK.”

Earlier Thursday, IAH announced a “full ground stop” at the airport because of the conditions created by Imelda.

Houston's Space Center is closing today due to weather

Space Center Houston announced it is closing at 1 p.m. local time today “to protect the safety of its guests and workers during hazardous weather,” according to a statement.

The Center plans to resume normal operations tomorrow, according to the statement. It is typically open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekdays, according to its official website.

The Cajun Navy is on its way to Texas

Rescuer John Bridges with the Cajun Navy rides a boat on a trailer in Lumberton, North Carolina, in 2018 in the wake of Hurricane Florence.

The Cajun Navy left Louisiana this morning and is heading to Beaumont, Texas, to help rescue people during the flooding.

The volunteer group has helped during a number of hurricanes and natural disasters, including Hurricane Harvey, which hit Texas in 2017, and massive flooding in New Orleans in 2016.

Postal facility's roof collapses in Houston, fire officials say

Three people suffered minor injuries after the roof of a postal facility in Houston collapsed this morning, according to the city’s fire department.

The Houston Fire Department said the collapse occurred in the building’s mail distribution area.

“The building was occupied at the time but everyone made it out,” the fire department tweeted.

Her Texas apartment is flooding: "Harvey was bad and this is bad too"

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

Walton said her apartment and two cars in the driveway were flooded.

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

Walton said rescue teams are at work in the area with the Cajun Navy.

“I don’t know what we’re going to do I don’t know what all of us were going to do but like always we pull together and we find a way,” she said.

George Bush Intercontinental Airport got half a foot of rain in two hours

As of noon ET (11 a.m. CT), George Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston has received 6.42 inches of rain in two hours. The airport averages 4.07 inches of rain for the entire month of September.

Their September monthly record is 13.37 inches set back in 1913.

Texas governor declares state of disaster in 13 counties

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has declared a state of disaster in 13 counties impacted by remnants of Imelda.

“The State of Texas is working closely with local officials and emergency personnel to provide the resources they need to keep Texans safe from Tropical Storm Imelda,” Abbott said in a statement.

The affected counties are: Brazoria, Chambers, Galveston, Hardin, Harris, Jasper, Jefferson, Liberty, Matagorda, Montgomery, Newton, Orange and San Jacinto.

Parts of Hardin County, Texas, are under mandatory evacuation orders

Texas’ Hardin County has issued a mandatory evacuation order for Countrywood Estates, Pinewood Estates and Town of Rose Hill Acres.

The order covers “all areas currently flooded and flood-prone areas.”

The county, which is located north of Beaumont, Texas, is being impacted by heavy rains from the remnants of Imelda.

This is what the rain from Imelda sounds like

Mark Simmons took video from his front porch of the deluge of rain being dropped by the remnants of Imelda.

This is what it sounds like:

Local TV station evacuates because of flooding

Beaumont-based local news outlet 12News was forced after its station flooded, according to the news organization’s website.

The post also notes that they are now broadcasting from KHOU 11 in Houston. All of its employees are safe.

Life-threatening flash flooding is happening in parts of southeastern Texas

Flash flooding is happening in parts of southeastern Texas, the National Weather Service said in its latest update on Imelda Thursday morning.

Flash flood emergencies are in effect for parts of southeastern Texas, eastern Texas and western Louisiana.

This Texas levee "could break at any moment," officials say

Residents of the Gilbert Lake Estates in Jefferson County, Texas, need to evacuate right now, the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office warned.

The office said that the levee at Green Pond Gulley “could break at any moment.”

The Sheriff’s office said there are not many rescue boats in the area, and asked people who do have boats to help evacuate neighbors.

The levee holds 4,600 to 5,600 acres of water, according to the sheriff’s office.

Here’s the full statement:

These 4 Texas counties want residents to shelter in place

Local emergency offices are asking residents of Harris, Montgomery, Liberty and Chambers Counties to shelter in place in response to the flood emergencies caused by Imelda,

National Weather Service Houston/Galveston sent out the message on its official Twitter account.

No planes are flying in or out of Houston's airport

George Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston is at a full ground stop because of the rainfall and severe weather in the area.

Right now, flooding is most serious north and east of Houston, including the city of Beaumont, where police said they’ve received hundreds of calls for rescues and were begging people not to drive because most roads were flooded.

What it looks like from the window of a flooded Beaumont hotel

Matt Star is staying at the Courtyard Marriott in Beaumont, Texas. He told CNN he was going to get some sleep while there was still power after working the night shift — but he was woken up by hotel staff members.

“A hotel staff member just knocked on my door and told me not to flush the toilet. She also said that the stairway closest to my room at the end of the hall was the least flooded,” he said.  

Star took this video from his room this morning:

The Coast Guard is helping in the Houston area

The US Coast Guard has deployed representatives to the Emergency Operations centers of Jefferson County, Harris County and the city of Houston in response to Imelda, according to Petty Officer Johanna Strickland, spokesperson for the US Coast Guard Sector Houston-Galveston.

The Coast Guard also has three shallow water boats along with teams stationed in Orange County. These units were deployed from Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and more assets are on the way from other units, Strickland told CNN.

The command center for the Houston-Galveston sector is currently receiving calls for assistance and their helicopters are standing by for assistance as needed, Strickland said.