Soaked Residents Say This Storm Took Them By Surprise

Many residents of the south and southeast parts of town are cleaning-up this evening, salvaging what they can from their flooded homes as they begin what has become a familiar drill. As Houston Public Radio's Jack Williams reports, many say this rain hit them even harder than Allison five years ago.

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"It's a mess."

Along Roe Street in southeast Houston just west of the Gulf Freeway, William Tishina is as shocked as anyone in this neighborhood who woke-up today to high water and flooded homes.

"This is like the worse we've ever seen it. When Allison came in, it wasn't even as bad. We have classic cars out here and the whole thing was under water. Inside of the house is ruined. We're going to have to strip it apart and get new sheet rock and who knows what else. We got a lot of personal stuff that we have to get out of there. Just a mess."

Earlier in the day, the water was waist-deep, stranding many of the residents here who had no idea a summer storm would dump as much rain as it did on their street. Mervin Mortan has lived here for the past 45 years and isn't looking forward to another clean-up. He says this is about as bad as he can remember.

"I think Allison was not as bad as this. I don't know how much in inches we got here but Allison was not as bad because we had 6 inches of water in our living room this time and only had about 3 inches in Allison."

Near the South Loop and Broadway, flooding shut-down an major intersection, with cars underwater and traffic at a standstill. Albert Navarro lives about a block away and is checking things out on his bicyle, about the only way to get around with most streets impassable.

"My wife and I came out to explore to see what the situation was and we came out in our rain jackets and we actually waded through here. I mean it was all the way up past the waist."

At some nearby apartments, residents are standing outside, flooded out as they wait for instructions on where they can go to find shelter. Joe Almandarez is the assistant manager at the Los Villas apartments and says he woke-up to heavy rain and a bad situation.

"We had people in the back that were under water that couldn't get out of their apartments. We finally got them help. We got boats, canoes down there to help them out. We had those dune buggies back there to help them out and they brought them out, but they lost everything. They had no insurance."

Residents say they're usually prepared for big rain events, but that this storm caught them by surprise.

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