REUTERS - Record rainfall and severe flooding have hit parts of southeast Texas, forcing evacuations and killing at least one person, authorities said on Friday.
A record 16.6 inches (42 cm) of rain fell in Brenham, about 80 miles (130 km) west of Houston, on Thursday, according to the National Weather Service, which posted flash flood watches in some parts of southeast Texas for Friday.
Locally heavy rainfall could persist on Friday with the risk of strong to severe storms, the NWS said on its website.
One person died overnight in a drowning incident in the eastern part of Washington County, located about half-way between Austin and Houston, said Angela Hahn, a spokeswoman for the city of Brenham. A second death reported earlier Friday in eastern Washington County was determined to be caused by a heart attack, Hahn said.
“We’ve had flooding in places we’ve never had flooding before,” she said.
Over the past two days heavy rains in the central United States have caused floods that have covered roadways and forced multiple evacuations. Tornados have uprooted trees and damaged homes in parts of Texas and Kansas, according to media reports.
Since Thursday, there have been about 45 water rescues of people in Washington County, Hahn said. Emergency crews would assess the damage and look for any other victims, she said.
Public schools in Brenham were closed on Friday, according to the school district.
Reporting by Marcus Howard in New York; Editing by Frances Kerry