Dramatic rescues from flood waters

April 28, 2009 9:21:43 PM PDT
A powerful flooding event in Houston overnight has kept rescue teams busy all morning.[SIGN UP: Get headlines and breaking news sent to you]

Just before 11am Tuesday, Laura Hamid drove her car into a flooded area at the West Loop and Westpark. Good Samaritan Ibo Reynosa jumped into the water after her. He managed to help her out of the submerged vehicle. The pair managed to grab the bottom of an overpass and cling to safety until crews reached them by boat.

"I'm just thankful that these guys were here. I think the first responders came in such a quick response," said Hamid. "I feel unfortunately, this was not blocked off and you can see that is has a lot of water but I couldn't tell how deep it was. It looked like maybe it was a little shallower."

"We swam and tried to get the woman out of the car. Unfortunately, she got stuck inside," said Reynosa. "We had to wait, I think she broke the windows, something like that." Sky Eye HD caught the dramatic rescue live on Eyewitness News. | (See raw video)

Another rescue effort took place earlier Tuesday morning on the Katy Freeway and Beltway 8. Eyewitness News reported an ambulance took on water trying to get through that intersection leading to a rescue effort for the crew and patient. There are also reports that several cars were submerged in the high water. Crews took to boats to located stranded drivers in the early morning hours. At least six motorists were rescued. So far no injuries were reported. (See more video of stranded drivers)

The rest of Houston is slowly draining after a massive rainfall event overnight flooded much of the city and surrounding communities. Flood warnings and watches still remain in effect for the area with concern for more storms forecasted later this afternoon and this evening.

The west side of the Eyewitness News viewing area appears to have been hit the hardest. The intersection of the Katy Freeway and Wilcrest suffered heavy flooding. That service road exit is still closed.

One neighborhood especially hit hard was the Bear Creek Subdivision. Sky Eye captured footage of car tops submerged in the flood water. The Cy-Fair Volunteer Fire Department asked people in the Bear Creek area to evacuate if possible or to shelter in place. Crews worked to evacuate those surrounded by deep water. Residents were asked to move to higher ground.

The flooding has also lead to school closures and delays. The Katy Independent School District closed all of its schools for the day due to flooding and water damage to some facilities. Many of the Houston schools delayed start times. TAKS tests were cancelled today in many districts.

The Red Cross is opening shelters in Northwest Harris County for residents affected by the storms.

Stay tuned to Eyewitness News and abc13.com for the latest.

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