Damage Estimates Rise for Houston-Area Flooding

By JUAN A. LOZANO and DAVID WARREN | April 26, 2016

Authorities say flooding that’s claimed eight lives and displaced thousands of people in the Houston area has caused more than $14 million in damage and inundated more than 1,700 homes.

They said Friday the damage figures from unincorporated areas of Harris County will increase significantly as floodwaters recede and inspectors get a closer look at ravaged neighborhoods.

The damage estimates do not include a tally for the city of Houston, which did not immediately return a message Friday seeking details.

Jeff Waters, a meteorologist and manager of Model Product Management at RMS, reported that Houston Intercontinental Airport recorded 9.92 inches of rain, the second wettest day on record in the Houston area going back to 1889.

Houston and nearby counties have been hit with more than a foot of rain since Sunday night, straining reservoirs and pushing rivers over their banks.

Southwest of Houston, the Colorado River swelled to more than 48 feet, well past the flood stage of 39 feet, before slowly starting to recede.

According to NOAA National Climatic, the April 2015-March 2016 time period ranks as the second wettest on record for the state of Texas.

Meanwhile, a tugboat that capsized and sank on the flood-swollen San Jacinto River near Houston has been located but high water from recent rains have delayed raising the vessel.

A Coast Guard spokesman said Friday that the agency has approved a salvage plan for the Ricky J Leboeuf, which flipped on Tuesday while working with some barges. One crewmember was killed while four others survived being dumped into the water.

Petty Officer 1st Class Andrew Kendrick says swift currents from recent rains have prevented divers from attaching equipment to raise the tug. An anchor has been placed on the submerged tugboat to prevent fast-moving water from sending the vessel into the Houston Ship Channel.

Kendrick says barges fitted with cranes will raise the tugboat when the water is calmer.

The Texas Department of Insurance has determined the storms that occurred between April 11, 2016, through April 13, 2016, in Bexar, Collin, Denton, Dallas, Guadalupe, Montague, Rockwall, Wise, Medina and Gonzales counties are a catastrophe for the purpose of claims processing.

Was this article valuable?

Here are more articles you may enjoy.