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Remnants Of Hurricane Patricia Exit Greater Houston With Minimal Flooding, Damage

The wet weather has tapered off as the system moves off to the east.

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Courtesy National Weather Service

UPDATE 7 A.M. Monday:

As much as 10 inches of rain fell from Oct. 24-Oct. 25 in some areas as remnants of Hurricane Patricia moved out of the area, according to the National Weather Service.

Monday brings breezy, cloudy and cooler weather with highs in the low 70s and a 30 percent chance of rain. Northwest winds will gust at 15 to 25 MPH early in the morning, before moving north and decreasing to 10 to 15 MPH in the afternoon, the NWS reported.  On Monday night lows are expected to dip into the 50s.

High water locations decreased to three as of Monday morning, according to Houston TranStar. 

City of Houston officials said a cleanup effort was underway Sunday night after sewage spilled in multiple locations following heavy rains across the city.

The incident was reported at 9 p.m. Sunday. The spill locations were near the University of Houston, Downtown at Travis, 610 at Cambridge, US 59 at Parker, Interstate 45 North at Wrightwood and 610 at Interstate 45 South.    

More than 120,000 gallons were reported spilled at the 610 at I-45 S location.

City officials said Halls Bayou, Buffalo Bayou, Brays Bayou and Sims Bayou are potentially affected by the spill. 

 

UPDATE 10:50 A.M.: Both Harris County and the City of Houston have closed their emergency operations center as what remains of once Hurricane Patricia exits the region.

As of 8:00 a.m. Sunday, the Houston Fire Department and Houston Police Department responded to 28 weather-related rescues. Also, 24 vehicles have been towed in Houston due to high water. There are no immediate reports of deaths or serious injuries related to the tropical weather system.

Some underpasses and roadways remain impassible, and law enforcement and other officials continue to work to keep drivers out of those areas. Affected areas include Memorial Drive from Bagby to Shepherd Drive, plus various freeway exits in and around downtown Houston.

Officials continue to ask residents to be careful on the roadways, as debris, flooding and disabled vehicles are still causing traffic delays.

Public works crews will be clearing trees and debris on roadways as they are reported. Residents who see flooding, debris, or trees in the roadway or on sidewalks can report them to Houston 311 by calling 3-1-1 (713-837-0311), via internet at houston311.org, or through the Houston 311 mobile app. If your vehicle was stranded during the storm, you can find its location at www.findmytowedcar.com.

For those who live outside of the City of Houston, they are encouraged to check with their local government agencies.

 

PREVIOUSLY: The remains of once powerful Hurricane Patricia dropped between 4 to 9-inches of rain across Greater Houston, leading to some serious disruptions along the region’s roads, but none of the major damage seen during the Memorial Day weekend flooding.

Emergency officials report wide-spread street flooding which has led to some road closures, like Allen Parkway west of Downtown Houston. But officials say they have received minimal reports of flooding inside of homes or buildings. One tree did fall into a home in the Dickinson area – no one was hurt. One area of concern Sunday is in Downtown Houston, as Buffalo Bayou has overflowed its banks, leading to street closures in the urban center, especially near the area of Milam and Commerce.

Earlier, the U.S. 59 freeway was closed Saturday night due to flooding, but it has since reopened. And I-10 near Downtown Houston was closed early Sunday morning also due to high water, but traffic is now moving again.

A flash flood warning for the region expired at 4 a.m. Sunday. A flash flood watch remains in effect through Sunday morning across Greater Houston, along with some more localized watches and warnings.

Firefighters have had to rescue some drivers from cars that drove into high water areas or into bayous. But officials say the numbers are much lower than the flooding during the Memorial Day weekend, which led to hundreds of cars being swamped by rising waters and even to some deaths.

The rain entered the region on Saturday afternoon and fell at a steady rate until early Sunday morning, when it started to taper off. Many of the regions bayous either reached their peaks or crested early Sunday morning, which led to street flooding near the waterways. But as the sun started rising, the bayous were receding, officials said.

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Houston police monitor traffic conditions as the remnants of Hurricane Patricia move across the region/Photo courtesy Jeff Lindner

Houston Mayor Annise Parker said people should be “prepared to be patient.”

“There will be localized flooding in Houston, primarily street flooding,” Parker said Saturday.

The wet weather has led to the cancellation of numerous events scheduled for Sunday, including the Houston Half Marathon and 10k and services at Lakewood Church. If you were planning on attending an event on Sunday, officials recommend calling ahead to see if it’s been canceled.

Both Hobby Airport and Bush Intercontinental Airport are open, but experiencing delays. Officials recommend calling the airline before leaving to the airport to check for any cancellations.

Along the coast in Galveston County, a voluntary evacuation was issued for the low-lying Bolivar Peninsula, including the unincorporated areas of Port Bolivar, Crystal Beach, High Island and Gilchrist. There are no immediate reports of serious damage.

Galveston County spokeswoman Brittany Rainville said officials don’t think many people chose to evacuate. The roughly 4,000 people who live on the peninsula are used to flooding and usually stay, she said.

Elsewhere in Texas, a Union Pacific freight train derailed before dawn Saturday near Corsicana, about 50 miles south of Dallas, because a creek overflowed and washed away the tracks, said Jeff DeGraff, a railroad spokesman. The two crew members swam to safety and nobody was hurt, he said.

One locomotive and several rail cars loaded with gravel went into the water and were partly submerged, DeGraff said.

In San Antonio, a man walking his dog before dawn Saturday was swept into a flooded drainage ditch and disappeared, fire officials said. The dog is safe.

And I-45 had been closed in Corsicana —between Houston and Dallas — for much of Saturday due to flooding. It has since reopened.

Rain remains in the forecast as the tropical weather system moves to the east away from Greater Houston. Most of the wet weather is expected to be out of the region in time for the Monday morning commute.

Hurricane Patricia left surprisingly little damage in its wake in Mexico as it quickly dissipated into a low-pressure system that posed little threat beyond heavy rain.

The hurricane’s most powerful punch landed on a sparsely populated stretch of Mexico’s Pacific Coast before the system crashed into mountains that sapped its potentially catastrophic force. The popular beach city of Puerto Vallarta and the port of Manzanillo were spared the brunt of the violent weather.

Patricia was the most powerful hurricane on record in the Western Hemisphere and made landfall Friday along Mexico’s Pacific Coast as a Category 5 storm.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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