Courtesy of Weather Channel weather producer, Matthew Sitkowski, here is a photo of what Houston’s East Loop at Market Street on the I-610 looks like right now. As Sitkowski says, “this image and the forecast of what is still to fall…. This is surreal.” He is right: we added a photo of the same location from February 2016 to show the “before and after.” Here is the result:
Unfortunately, there is no relief in sight, as over 20 inches of rain have already fallen on the Lone Star State. With streets flooded and strewn with power lines and debris, authorities warned the storm’s most destructive powers were just beginning. Rainfall that will continue for days could dump more than five feet of water and inundate many communities, including dangerously flood-prone Houston, the nation’s fourth-largest city. The latest summary of rainfall in the past 24 hours can be found here. Another 20 to 30 inches of rain is expected through to Wednesday.
Meanwhile, a just issued bulletin from the NWS Houston warns that “rivers are on the rise and MAJOR to RECORD flooding is forecast.“
By the time the storm ends, 40 inches of rain (a number which now appears conservative) is expected to fall and an estimated $40 billion worth of damage left behind. Putting the number in context, Hurricane Katrina cost $108 billion, mostly as a result of flooding to New Orleans.
For locals trapped in their house as floodwaters rise, the NWS Houston had some words of advice: “EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT HAS REQUESTED: IF HIGHEST FLOOR OF YOUR HOME BECOMES DANGEROUS…GET ON THE ROOF.”