Texas Floods – 2 Dead, 3 Missing in South East Texas After 420mm of Rain in 24 Hours

Record rain of 420 mm in 24 hours triggered floods in south east Texas on Thursday, 26 May 2016. Officials say that at least two people were killed and three others are missing.

Both fatalities occurred in Washington County. One person is thought to have died when a mobile home became engulfed in flood water late on 26 May 2016. The second fatality occurred early Friday 27 May after a vehicle was swept away by flood water. It is thought that the victim had a heart attack.

One man is missing in Brenham, Washington County, after his vehicle was found near a flooded highway on Friday 27 May. Around 50 water rescues have been carried out by Washington County emergency crews.

Two people are missing after their vehicle was swept away by flood water in Travis County. In a statement yesterday, 27 May, Travis County said:

The Sheriff’s office is searching for two people who are missing from a flooded roadway in southeast Travis County. …a caller reported seeing a person surrounded by floodwaters and hanging onto a pole. The caller said the person and the pick-up truck were swept away by the water and there may have been other people in the vehicle. The Austin Fire Department is also assisting in the search.

Around 100 homes were damaged by floods in Bastrop County, where a boil water advisory was issued for some locations.

Rainfall

The National Weather Service (NWS) say that a record 16.62 inches (42 cm) of rain fell in 24 hours in Brenham, Washington County, south east Texas, on 26 May 2016. This total beats the previous daily amount of 10.38 inches, set on 17 October 1994.

Further rain fell on 27 May, bringing the 48 hour total to 19.14 inches (48.6cm) in Brenham. During the same period, Todd Mission in Waller County recorded 17.16 inches, Huntsville in Walker County 9.27 inches. Magnolia Montgomery County.13.11 inches and Dayton Liberty County.12.28 inches. Several locations in Houston and Harris counties, areas that suffered major flooding in April this year, recorded over 7 inches.

NWS Houston say that the recent heavy rain has increased river levels in the area, threatening further flooding.

River levels in South East Texas. Image: NWS Houston
River levels in South East Texas. Image: NWS Houston

In particular levels of the Brazos River at Richmond could reach extreme heights, and are forecast to reach over 53 feet around 31 May 2016, breaking the previous record high of 50.3 feet.

Brazos river at Richmond, Texas. Image: NOAA
Brazos river at Richmond, Texas. Image: NOAA

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Flood summary

Last updated: July 13, 2016
Event
Texas, USA, May to June 2016
Date
May 26, 2016
Type
Inland flood, River flood
Cause
Extreme rainfall, Long-term rainfall
15 people have now been reported to have died in flooding that has affected parts of Texas since 26 May 2016.

Locations

Brenham, Washington County, Texas

Magnitude

Rainfall level
420 mm in 24 hours
Brenham
River level
16.7 metres
Brazos River, Richmond

Damages

Fatalities
15 people
Texas