The extreme weather and flooding in Texas turned deadly Thursday when 5 soldiers were killed after a US Army truck got stuck and overturned at a low-water crossing in Fort Hood.
3 more soldiers were rescued near the overturned vehicle and another 6 are still missing Friday. Rescue crews are at the scene.
Record rainfall last month compounded by severe storms over the past several days have caused widespread flooding across the state.
Thursday, heavy rain was falling at a rate of 3 ins per hour, according to the Weather Channel. Texas Gov. Greg Abbott declared a state of emergency for 31 counties in the state.
The Big Q: How much rain has Texas seen?
The Big A: As of 29 May Texas had been inundated with more than 35-T gallons of rain, enough to cover the entire state in almost 8 ins, according to the National Weather Service. More coming…
The saturated ground and swollen creeks, bayous and rivers cannot not absorb the heavy rain, as the incident involving the soldiers demonstrated, the area where the vehicle overturned, regularly experiences flash floods.
The weather is not expected start turning around until late Saturday or Sunday, Myers said, and aftermath would bring Texans a different threat: snakes, ants, and mosquitoes.
The stagnant water will not recede for weeks and the insects are already flying.
This will last for weeks, that means fear of West Nile, and for Zika virus, 2 viruses spread to humans by mosquitoes.
All indicators so far augur for more trouble.
With 7.51 ins of rain in the 1st 2 days of the month, Houston has already surpassed its monthly average rainfall for June, 5.9 ins. That follows the last week of May, which also set records for rainfall in the Houston area.
A flash flood watch are in effect for all of south-central Texas Friday, according to the National Weather Service. The storms could produce rainfall totaling more than 2 ins per hour and 60-plus mph winds.
These rates, in combination with saturated soils, the region will see rapid flash flooding, the weather service said.
Lubbock, Texas has been particularly hard-hit.
Pictures posted on social media show residents struggling to cope with rains that have turned streets into rivers.
Fort Bend County, near Houston, is experiencing flooding it called “unprecedented,” the county’s office of emergency management said.
“The most important thing we’re preparing for now is that we’re in the middle of a historic river flood event, and we’re facing severe rainfall,” said Jeff Braun, emergency management coordinator for Fort Bend County. “We are about to get a large amount of rain, and a lot of it will have nowhere to drain.”
Our prayers go out to the families of the soldiers that perished in the flood and the Texans that are suffering in this deluge.
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