Heavy rain pounds Houston area, doesn't dampen Sunday events

October 9, 2011 4:23:13 PM PDT
Dark clouds, torrential rains, thunder and lightning -- Sunday was definitely not another quiet day in the skies over Houston.

The rain and lightning left plenty of homes without power. CenterPoint says more than 5,000 of its customers were without lights in the Houston area Sunday evening. Most of the outages were centered southeast of Rosenberg, which saw some of the hardest rain.

There was a lightning strike near Hobby Airport that knocked out power to the control tower around 3:40pm. The backup system did not come up. Traffic was still moving in and out of the airport Sunday evening, but there are no reported delays.

Despite the storms, several public events went on as planned.

Rain didn't stop some folks from coming out to enjoy the 45th Annual Original Greek Festival. It wasn't the volume of people that you'd see on a sunny day, but everyone was welcoming the rain.

"We knew it was going to rain. I don't think we knew it was going to rain quite this bad," Greek Festival patron Shannon Rivenes said.

Thinner than normal crowds made for tough sales at the Bayou City Art Festival downtown, where raindrops accessorized the art on display.

"In the midst of a drought, and here we are: the downpour," artist Jimmy Loveless said.

While the art was durable enough to withstand the moisture, a slicker-than-usual Katy Freeway may have caused an 18-wheeler to slide into a guardrail. No one was hurt, but the freeway was shut down while hazmat crews cleaned up more than 100 gallons of spilled diesel fuel and oil.

Occupy Houston protesters at Eleanor Tinsley Park pitched tents to dodge the downpour.

"We're just trying to get everything tied down and moved to a location out of the wind," protestor Larry Brundage said.

And Houston Texans tailgaters may have gone home disappointed, but it wasn't because of the rain.

"Rain or shine, home team Houston Texans, number one," one fan said.

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