By Michael Pearson, CNN
More than a foot of rain in some places flooded low-lying areas across the Houston region on Monday, forcing officials to suspend bus and rail service, close schools and government offices and urge residents to stay home amid what officials said were extremely dangerous conditions.
“This is a life-threatening emergency,” the city said on an emergency website. “Houston residents should avoid travel at all costs today.”
No injuries or deaths have been reported, Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner told reporters Monday.
At least 150 water rescues have been completed in Harris County alone, according to Harris County Judge Ed Emmett.
“I think we’re going to see more and more” of those as water levels rise, Emmett told reporters.
— Marco Revuelta (@marcorevuelta) April 18, 2016
As of mid-morning, more than 100,000 homes and businesses in the region were without electricity, according to CenterPoint Energy.
Some areas had received as much as 16 inches of rain by Monday morning, according to the flood control district.
The heavy rains forced seven of the city’s many bayous out of their banks and created flooding in parts of the city that had not flooded for many years, Turner said.
Nine hospitals in the region were closed to additional patients because of the flooding, the mayor added. Three apartment buildings had been evacuated and residents were being sheltered at a mall, he said.
— Steve Campion (@SteveABC13) April 18, 2016
More than 1,000 homes had flooded in Harris County, Emmett told reporters.
Portions of I-10 and numerous roads throughout the metropolitan area were closed, as were many government offices. The city’s bus and rail service shut down early Monday amid “severe and ever worsening weather conditions.”
The storm snarled traffic at Houston’s Hobby Airport, where more than 140 flights had been canceled as of mid-morning, according to the airport’s Twitter account.
— Jay Lee (@jaylee) April 18, 2016
The situation is the result of a nearly stationary area of low pressure that has stalled over the western United States, allowing moisture from the Gulf of Mexico to flow into Texas over the last few days, according to CNN meteorologist Sean Morris.
Very heavy rainfall is expected to continue through Tuesday before the system begins to move off to the northeast and weaken, he said.