EL CAMPO, Texas – More rain was expected early Monday morning across already saturated areas of Southeast Texas, including the town of El Campo (search) where about 250 people were evacuated from their homes in boats and large trucks the day before.
Mayor Randy Collins said that between 50 and 100 homes as well as some businesses were flooded there Sunday.
El Campo resident Ray Hillyer, 62, said he felt helpless as 7 inches of water filled two bedrooms in his home.
"I just watched," Hillyer told the Houston Chronicle for its Monday editions. "What could you do?"
Portions of U.S. Highway 59 were closed after up to 15 inches of rain fell across parts of Wharton and Jackson counties in Southeast Texas on Sunday.
Kent Prochazka, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service's (search) Houston-Galveston office, said early Monday morning that a band of showers stretching from Cotulla, about 80 miles southwest of San Antonio, to past Austin was expected to move east overnight.
He said the storms should then reach the El Campo area after 6 a.m.
"The atmosphere is just extremely moist and unfortunately the ground is saturated," he said.
He said that Wharton County has had 10.99 inches of rain since Saturday morning.
Eighteen people had to be rescued from their homes in Ganado in Jackson County, Mayor Fred Rickaway said. He said water stood about 15 inches deep in one home in the town of 1,917. Ganado emergency workers used fire trucks for most of the rescues in water Rickaway described as a little more than knee-deep.
Parts of the surrounding counties of Colorado and Jackson got 10 to 12 inches of rain.
El Campo Police Chief Jim Elliott said no injuries have been reported. No injuries were reported in Ganado.
Three shelters were opened and two of them filled up, Collins said.
"I've been here 31 years and this is the worst I've ever seen it," Elliott said.
El Campo, with about 11,000 residents, is located 72 miles southwest of Houston.
The city's 911 and administrative lines went down for a few hours because of the rain but all calls that came into the system were rerouted to the Wharton County Sheriff's Department, he said.
Both north and southbound lanes of U.S. 59 at the nearby town of Louise were shut down and traffic was rerouted because Mustang Creek had overflowed its banks and flooded the roadway, Elliott said.
The interstate remained closed early Monday morning, said Donna Hubenak, El Campo police dispatcher. She said overnight that the rain had abated and the flooding was starting to recede.