Parts of Houston were at a standstill Wednesday morning as more than five inches of rain fell across the metro area.
The rain began on Tuesday night, with the bulk occurring between 4 a.m. and 8 a.m. Wednesday. Areas on the north side of Interstate 610 got 5.3 inches of rain. However, just a few miles south received 3.3 inches. And even farther south, portions of the metro area only picked up a trace.
Why so much rain in one area? These storms were what meteorologists call “training.” Imagine train cars on a track — following one after the other. These thunderstorms were doing the same thing for hours, leaving some areas with nearly half a foot of rain, while others saw barely anything.
All though some morning commuters made it through the flood waters, some people had to be rescued. Currently there have been no reports of injuries or fatalities.
Vehicles stranded and schools closed
Houston television station KTRK was on the scene when Carlos Castellanos waded into a flooded road to rescue a Metro Houston bus driver, two passengers and two other truck drivers.
Arsha Ali took this video of another commuter ignoring the saying ‘turn around don’t drown.’
“Welcome to lake Rice,” tweeted Shawn Ready, associate head athletic trainer for the Rice University football team, after snapping a photo of the football field submerged under water.
The Rice facilities department later said on twitter that the “Field is back to normal and ready to go.”
While Rice University said that “Flooding on campus has subsided and entrances are open. Please use caution if you choose to come to campus.”
According to CNN affiliate KPRC, more than a dozen area schools were either delayed or closed because of the dangerous weather.
Texas is no stranger to big flooding events.
Last year was a wet one for Southeast Texas.
Extreme rains in March 2016 lead to record flooding on the Sabine River. One month later, the Houston area set a record for rainfall on April 18, with nearly 10 inches of rain at Houston George Bush Intercontinental Airport.
In early June, rivers overflowed their banks as a result of flooding farther upstream. Nine soldiers at Fort Hood were killed after their truck was washed away in the flood.
The Houston area ended 2016 more than 11 inches above average for rainfall, and 2017 is beginning right where it should be, if not a little above normal.