A new round of severe thunderstorms drenched southeast Texas on Thursday morning, forcing Texas Gov. Greg Abbott to declared a state of disaster across 31 counties.
Heavy rain was falling at a rate of up to 3 inches per hour, said weather.com meteorologist Jonathan Erdman, leading to more flash flooding.
“Some parts of Texas have received between 150 and 200 percent of their normal rainfall since the start of the year,” AccuWeather Meteorologist Brett Rathbun said.
Five Fort Hood soldiers are dead and four are still missing, the latest victims of an onslaught of flooding in Texas that shows no sign of letting up.
The soldiers’ tactical vehicle overturned at a low-water crossing near Owl Creek at the Central Texas Army base, the public affairs office said. The bodies of three soldiers were recovered downstream; three more were rescued near the vehicle and brought to a hospital in stable condition.
In Fort Bend County, just southeast of Houston, the Brazos River has risen to a record level of 54.81 feet as of Thursday morning, according to the National Weather Service, breaking the previous record level of 50.30 feet, set on Oct. 21, 1994. Major flood stage for the river is 50 feet. Local residents were forced to evacuate and officials performed dozens of water rescues in the region.
In Rosenberg, Texas, which sits along the river, 150 homes were evacuated on Monday. The mandatory evacuation zone was expanded on Wednesday morning as the river continued to rise.
Some of the worst flooding has occurred from central Texas to the Gulf Coast. Close to 13 inches of rain fell in just 12 hours near Saratoga, Texas, according to radar estimates. Saratoga is located about 60 miles northeast of Houston.
Most of the state of Texas and Oklahoma, and parts of Louisiana, are currently under Flash Flood Watches and Warnings, affecting 25 million people.
More rain storms are predicted, meaning water levels could remain high for up to three weeks. However, relief from the persistent rainfall is likely across most locations by next week.
Please keep the good people of Texas, and surrounding areas, in your prayers, as they deal with these disasters.
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