Texas Floods – Transport Hit as Rain Moves East

Parts of Texas saw as much as 12 inches of rain fall over the last 3 days. No casualties have been reported as a result of flooding which affected areas of the state from Thursday 22 October 2015.

The worst incident caused by flooding was the derailment of a Union Pacific 64-car freight train, about 55 miles (90 km) south of Dallas, near to the city of Corsicana. The train is thought to have been carrying cement. Train staff were able to escape unscathed.

Flood Rescues

Corsicana and surrounding areas of Navarro County saw some of the heaviest rain. Talking to local media, Navarro County Sheriff Elmer Tanner said that emergency services had made around 80 high water rescues in Navarro County. Corsicana suffered from major flooding in May this year when 10 inches of rain fell in 3 hours.

The City of Houston Emergency Operations Center (EOC) said they carried out 28 flood rescues.

In the past 24 hrs. the Houston Fire Department and Houston Police Department responded to 28 weather-related rescues. The City continues to urge residents to be careful on the roadways, as debris, flooding and disabled vehicles are still causing traffic delays.

Houston EOC also said that Some underpasses and roadways remain impassible in and around the city. Indeed flooding up and down the state has caused numerous road closures. As of earlier today, Drive Texas report that flooding has closed major roads or highways at over 30 locations.

Flood road closures in Texas. Image: Drive Texas
Flood road closures in Texas. Image: Drive Texas

Rain Moving East

The National Weather Service now forecast that the storm system, combined with fall out from Hurricane Patricia, is likely to move eastwards, bringing heavy rainfall into parts of parts of Louisiana, Mississippi and Arkansas, and later along areas of the Gulf Coast.

WMO figures show that New Orleans saw 220 mm (8.66 inches) of rain fall in the last 24 hours. Flooding has already been reported in Mandeville and Houma, Louisiana.

Hurricane Patricia

The heavy rain in Texas was thought to have been caused by a slow moving storm system, but worsened by moisture from Hurricane Patricia, which struck Mexico’s Pacific coast on 23 October.

According to Mexican authorities there were no fatalities or major storm related damage as a result. Fortunately the worst of the storm hit a stretch of sparsely populated coastline. Mexico’s civil defence authorities had also prepared accordingly and much of the population had evacuated. A few hours after making landfall, the storm weakened into a low-pressure system.