Rains Subside, But More Flooding Expected

With more rain in the forecast well into next week — Harris County's bayous and waterways are reaching their capacity. Local elected officials are warning residents to take the rainfall seriously.

Parts of Harris County, especially in the northwest region, got more than 14 inches of rain in the past week.

For the most part it has been a slow, soaking rain, rather than fierce storms and torrential downpours. But the relative mildness of the weather can be misleading.

Harris County Commissioner Steve Radack says the runoff from the rain is expected to flood a major artery, Highway 6 between I-10 and Clay Road, by Sunday.

“That’s what the U.S. Corps of Engineers is telling TxDOT. You know, obviously Highway 6 is a state highway, but it will have a huge impact on our county roads in the area. And so we are in for, obviously going all the way in to next week, in for some huge problems as far as congestion is concerned.”

The problem right now is that although the rain is tapering off, water is still draining from streets and yards into creeks and bayous.

This is Harris County Emergency Management Spokesman Francisco Sanchez.

“Unfortunately, right now we have saturated ground and any more rain that we get today and possibly into the weekend is going to pose some problems. If you look at just Northwest Harris County, even if the rain stopped right now, the sun came up and we didn’t have to deal with more precipitation, it’ll be at least until tomorrow before the bayou starts to recede at Cypress Creek and tomorrow before some of those roadways become passable again.”

And that’s where the problem lies. Because the rains have slowed, a lot of drivers expect the roads to be back to normal right now.

Houston Mayor Annise Parker says most people are familiar with areas of town where, during a heavy rain, water backs up.

“Usually what we tell people to do is pull over, take a break, 30 minutes, 45 minutes, that water will drain away and you’ll be fine. But because we’ve had so much rain over the last few days and it will continue, the water doesn’t have any place else to go. So this is not going to be a short term situation, so people should, before they leave the house if they have to leave the house, they should check out the information that’s available to them.”

Parker encourages drivers to go to or to get information about road closures, flooded areas and rainfall measures across Harris County.


Laurie Johnson

Laurie Johnson


Laurie is a native Houstonian who started her career at Houston Public Media in 2002. Laurie has covered a wide variety of topics for HPM, including the crash of the Space Shuttle Columbia, Hurricanes Katrina and Ike, and numerous elections. She is a frequent contributor to NPR and has been...

More Information