Houston rain, floodwaters prompt rescues as hundreds left stranded

Rainstorms and rising floodwaters in the Houston area have left hundreds of residents stranded and prompted firefighters and other emergency responders to conduct rescues in waist-high water Tuesday, according to reports.

The area is expecting more storms over the next few days, with Houston under a flash-flood warning until Wednesday, the Houston Chronicle reported.

Rainfall totals have averaged 4 to 5 inches in southern portions of Harris County and 6 to 9 inches elsewhere in the area, the county's Homeland Security and Emergency Management wrote in a Twitter message.

Motorists have gotten stuck in the rising waters and responders were evacuating residents from flooded homes. All roads in Sugar Land, about 22 miles southwest of Houston, were impassable, Houston's FOX 26 reported.

"This is worse than what we experienced in Harvey," Sugar Land spokesman Doug Adolph told the Houston Chronicle, referring to the hurricane that devastated the area in 2017. "Our storm drains have been unable to handle the rain in the short amount of time."

"This is worse than what we experienced in Harvey. Our storm drains have been unable to handle the rain in the short amount of time."

— Sugar Land, Texas, spokesman Doug Adolph

In Houston, a class of preschoolers had to be rescued when their classroom flooded, according to the Chronicle.

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Hundreds of students from different schools in the area were also stranded in the flooding Tuesday, Houston's KTRK-TV reported. Around 800 students in the suburb of Cleveland were still at their school Tuesday evening.

In New Caney, in the northern part of Houston, a man rescued a woman and her baby with a shopping cart after a Walmart parking lot flooded, KTRK-TV reported. The Houston Fire Department also reported rescuing a pregnant woman in labor.

The Houston fire department tweeted that it conducted 250 high-water rescues in just one part of the city, while Houston's police chief said everyone should stay off the roadways, according to the Weather Channel.

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When Hurricane Harvey made landfall in August 2017, an estimated 13 million people were affected – with 88 people killed and 135,000 homes damaged or destroyed. It was the most costly hurricane in U.S. history after 2005's Hurricane Katrina, according to World Vision.