Two people died in the wake of tropical storm Imelda, others left stranded and trapped

Texas News

A police vehicle is partially submerged as Tropical Depression Imelda causes widespread flooding near Beaumont on Thursday, Sept. 19, 2019. USA TODAY NETWORK

Two deaths are linked to Tropical Storm Imelda, which flooded the Houston area Thursday and left hundreds stranded and in need of rescue, officials say.

Thursday’s downpour reached up to 30 inches in some areas, said a National Weather Service representative, and drew comparison to Hurricane Harvey, which dumped more than 50 inches of water on parts of the Houston area and southeast Texas two years ago. The City of Houston received record rainfall with 9.18 inches of rain, according to a report by the National Weather Service.

Hunter Morrison, 19, died after being electrocuted and drowning while trying to move his horse, according to a Facebook post by a family member, shared by the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office.

Hours later Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez reported, in a tweet, that a man was removed from a submerged van and taken to a hospital where he was pronounced dead. The man was driving toward the Eastex Freeway when he paused briefly and then accelerated in the water, which was about eight feet high. Authorities found no other occupants in the vehicle once it was removed from the water.

Update on Will Clayton/Eastex Freeway: we extracted the van and found no additional occupants. pic.twitter.com/sf3HTSrnfq— Ed Gonzalez (@SheriffEd_HCSO) September 20, 2019

Floodwater started to recede in most of the Houston area by Friday morning, said a National Weather Service representative.

In Harris County there were at least 1,700 high water rescues and evacuations, reports the Associated Press. Trapped by the floodwater, many people reported leaving their vehicles on area roads and freeways. More than 200 vehicles were towed in Houston as of Thursday night, said Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo in a tweet.

About 120 people are currently housed in six storm shelters within Houston, reports The Houston Chronicle.

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