Two days after forecasters warned east Texas residents of heavy rains and flooding, Tropical Depression Imelda delivered.
“Torrential rains” are falling over Texas, stranding drivers and causing hospitals, homes and businesses to be evacuated, CNN reported.
“What I’m sitting in right now makes Harvey look like a little thunderstorm,” Chambers County Sheriff Brian Hawthorne said, according to KTRK. “It’s dire out here. I’m fearful for this community right now.”
Hurricane Harvey caused billions of dollars in damage in 2017 when heavy rains caused widespread flooding in the Houston area.
Hamshire, just east of Houston, has seen 28 inches of rain since Tuesday, with reports of rain falling at a rate of 5 inches an hour in some parts of the state, ABC reported.
Texas Storm Chasers called Wednesday evening “horrific” as they say Imelda dropped 20 inches of rain on Beaumont, northeast of Galveston, bringing the area’s two-day total to nearly 30 inches.
The “slow moving” storm is expected to stay along the Texas coast until Friday, dropping another four to 10 inches of rain, the National Weather Service said in a tweet. A flash flood emergency was issued for the area until 9:30 a.m. Thursday.
But flooding isn’t the only issue.
Area residents are also keeping close watch on potential tornadoes. One touched down in Chambers County early Wednesday evening, KHOU reported, and storm chasers captured video of a twister near Highlands.
Albert Elizondo told CNN he watched a tornado near Baytown lift a hundred-gallon propane tank and “launch” it into a house.