Many parts of Texas are recovering from one of the worst natural disasters to hit the southwestern state. Heavy rains on Monday and early Tuesday caused rivers to swell in eastern and central Texas, washing away homes and killing at least 13 people. Floodwaters are receding slowly in Houston, the country's fourth-largest city, and there likely is to be more rain in the coming days.
As the floodwaters slowly drain away, city workers are making efforts to clear out vehicles that were trapped in low spots like this underpass.
Police already have towed away more than 700 vehicles that were abandoned during the flooding.
Traffic is much lighter than normal now in Houston as many people stay at home and wait for conditions to improve.
Pete Henry rode his bicycle around the water-logged city to see what he would find.
“Lots of flooding from time to time, really deep mud, new landscaping that has been ruined, which I hate to see,” he said.
Rainwater usually runs off into the Buffalo Bayou that snakes its way around downtown and empties into a nearby bay. But the heavy rains that fell Monday and Tuesday caused the bayou to overflow.
Casey Adams watched the water rise from her high-rise apartment.
“We were pretty surprised by how quickly it happened, not so much afraid because of the elevation change, we are up pretty high up, but we were just surprised to see that happen,” she said.
Houston Mayor Annise Parker said floodwaters damaged homes in some parts of the city.
“We have a thousand properties that we visually inspected. We believe there may be as many as 4,000 with significant damage,” said Parker.
Afflicted homeowners are getting help from Red Cross volunteers like Amit.
“We can provide some distribution items to help them clean up the water. We can provide temporary shelter for them if needed,” said Amit.
This was the worst flood on record in Houston; not even Hurricane Ike in 2008 unleashed so much water on the city. But even as officials work to clean up the damage, they worry about weather forecasts that predict more rain in the days ahead.