HOUSTON – Four deaths were confirmed Tuesday as Texas Gov. Greg Abbott declared a state of disaster for Harris County following flash flooding that left many areas under water.
The first victim was a man found at Ranchester at Harwin in southwest Houston. A Houston Police Department helicopter recovered the second victim, a 50-year-old woman, from Brays Bayou near the 5400 block of Ardmore Street. The third victim was found inside a vehicle that was towed from the 1700 block of Studewood Street.
The fourth victim was an Asian man found in Brays Bayou at Holcomb Boulevard near the Texas Medical Center. The City of Houston said he is likely the same man that was lost during a water rescue early Tuesday morning when an evacuation boat capsized. An elderly couple, who was also aboard the boat, is still missing, city officials said.
Mayor Annise Parker also declared a state of disaster for the city. She said rainfall over the last several weeks and torrential rainfall Monday night caused the bayous to rise early Tuesday, flooding areas across Houston. The areas most affected include Meyerland, White Oak and Buffalo Bayou.
“What’s happened now is that those bayous are completely full, they’re over there bank so we particularly have a problem near Brays Bayou and where White Oak and Buffalo Bayou come together just north of downtown,” Parker said.
Officials asked people to stay at home until the water recedes. The Houston Independent School District, along with several other school districts, canceled classes and non-essential personnel for Harris County were asked to stay home.
“It’s still a very dangerous situation among the bayous,” Annise Parker said.
The Houston Fire department said it performed more than 500 rescues since midnight.
“We’ve got high water locations where we are continuing to find more vehicles submerged,” said Francisco Sanchez, spokesperson for the Harris County Office of Homeland Security & Emergency Management.
Houston Transtar had 14 high water locations listed as of 6:30 p.m. Click here to get the latest updates.
The city was busy removing stranded cars from area freeways Tuesday afternoon.
Owners of vehicles left stranded on freeways can visit Findmytowedcar.com or call 713-308-8580 to get recovery information.