Rainfall floods highways in Texas, La. - East Valley Tribune: Nation / World

Rainfall floods highways in Texas, La.

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Posted: Monday, June 19, 2006 11:36 am | Updated: 3:46 pm, Fri Oct 7, 2011.

HOUSTON - Texas' governor sent National Guard troops to Houston Monday as torrential rainfall flooded homes and highways in eastern Texas and parts of Louisiana, where more than 100 patients had to be evacuated from a nursing home.

As much as 10.5 inches of rain was reported in the Houston area by the height of the morning rush hour, said Rusty Cornelius, administrative coordinator for Harris County Emergency Management. Almost 6 inches of rain fell in just 75 minutes near Hobby Airport, the National Weather Service reported.

Gov. Rick Perry ordered the Texas Army National Guard to send trucks, helicopters, swift water rescue teams and an incident management team to the flooded area.

No deaths had been reported, but roads across the Houston area, including Interstate 10 and other major arteries, were flooded and vehicles were stalled in the water. Hobby Airport was closed for more than 2 hours Monday morning because employees couldn't get through the flooded roadways to work.

Much of the Houston region remained under a flash flood warning at midday. The storm cell that swamped the city early Monday was moving out, but more rain expected later in the day.

"We probably have another 48 hours of this," said Josh Lichter, a National Weather Service meteorologist in Houston.

In Louisiana, emergency crews evacuated more than 100 patients from Holly Hill Nursing Home, where water was 8 inches deep in some of the halls. Fire departments from Sulfur and Lake Charles and two ambulance companies moved patients to another nursing home in Lake Charles, about 15 miles away, officials said.

The water "came in and it went out when the rain stopped," said Holly Hill owner Elizabeth Fellows.

Some houses in Sulphur, La., were flooded, and residents were urged to stay home, Assistant Police Chief Glenn Berry said. The same area was battered by Hurricane Rita last September.

"There's pretty widespread flooding around the parish. A lot of roads are closed," said Dick Gremillion, the Calcasieu Parish, La., emergency preparedness director.

In Houston, Assistant Fire Chief Omero Longoria told KTRH radio that firefighters had answered about 500 calls to rescue people stranded by deep water. One YMCA building was surrounded by water and people were standing on the roof Monday morning as water in the parking lot inched up on the vehicles' doors.

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