Flights Cancelled, Airport Flooded, Roads Submerged: Houston Weather Update Ahead of 'Howdy Modi'

News18.com

Tropical Depression Imelda inundated southeast Texas on Thursday, lashing some areas with torrential rain causing devastating flooding, leaving at least two dead and thousands of residents stranded. Rescuers in boats pulled hundreds from flooded cars.

In view of the situation, Texas Governor Greg Abbott has declared a state of emergency for 13 counties in southeastern Texas. "This happened very quickly. It just demonstrates that in this day and time, climate change is real. We no longer have to be concerned just with a hurricane. We have to be concerned with almost any sort of weather system that can quickly evolve into a major storm and produce a great deal of rain," Abbott said.

The deluge comes ahead of the mega "Howdy Modi" event where Prime Minister Narendra Modi will address over 50,000 Indian-Americans.

The storm, which had been churning over Houston on Wednesday, led to the cancellation of a number of flights to the city due to flash floods and the airport was initially at a full ground stop. However, the Houston Bush Airport authorities later confirmed that the airport is now open, but flights are delayed.

However, the airport further informed that flight arrivals will resume tomorrow and Terminal B checkpoint will be closed. Besides, roads approaching the Houston airport are flooded.

However, the volunteers of the "Howdy Modi" event are upbeat and confident that all the attendees at the sprawling NRG stadium in Houston will have an experience they will cherish all their lives. Leading volunteer Achalesh Amar told PTI that over 1,500 volunteers have been working round the clock to make the event a grand success.

Houston airport authorities said, “The airport is open, concessions are open but roads surrounding the airport are flooding. Flights are delayed."

They also issued a long list of advisories on Twitter for its fliers. “Current road conditions, street flooding reported Will Clayton in/out bound from McKay Road to Lee Road and high water WCP outbound at SF and SC Bridges. JFK inbound outbound heavy ponding and high water reported,” they said.

However, the parking lots operated by the Houston Bush airport have not been flooded, which includes the garages and Eco park.

In the southwest part of Texas, residents were reporting water as deep as five feet and volunteers in boats were pushing their way into neighborhoods to rescue stranded people.

Meanwhile, the Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport received diverted flights due to impacts of Imelda.

Imelda, the first named storm to hit the region since Harvey in 2017, rapidly flooded parts of Texas on Thursday following which drivers in Beaumont were stuck in their cars as the flooding around them reached as high as their door handles.

The National Weather Service said the rainfall was winding down in areas that had been hit the hardest, but some parts of Fort Bend, Harris and Galveston counties were seeing additional 2 to 3 inches of rainfall every hour.