Publication Date September 19, 2019

40 inches of rain 'worse than Harvey': Hundreds rescued from floods as Imelda drenches Texas

United States
A postman walks through flooded streets in Galveston, Texas from Tropical Depression Imelda on Sept. 18, 2019. Photo: David J. Phillip, AP

First responders were overwhelmed by 911 calls for high water rescues Thursday as Tropical Depression Imelda drenched East Texas with unrelenting rain measured in feet.

Authorities in Jefferson County, east of Houston, said some localized areas have seen more than 40 inches of rain in the last three days. More was coming.

"The Flash Flood Emergency has been continued and expanded," the National Weather Service office in Houston said. "This is an incredibly dangerous, life-threatening situation."

George Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston ordered a full ground stop, then struggled with arrival delays averaging almost four hours, the FAA reported. Metro Houston shut down public transportation, and Mayor Sylvester Turner announced that "high water assets" were deployed in parts of the city. 


Imelda drenched the Jefferson County town of Hamshire with more than 33.5 inches of rain – including 25 inches of rain in 12 hours – AccuWeather reported.