Storm system dumps rain across Texas

February 4, 2012 6:57:53 PM PST
Strong storms swept through southeast Texas on Friday and Saturday, leaving behind high water and damage from a possible tornado.

Saturday's storm did not last long in the Houston area, but it definitely packed a punch.

On International Street in the Memorial area, the damage was shocking.

"That's my car, and I'm thinking today is the worst day I've ever had," Steven Lord said.

Lord's neighbor Russell Raia says he heard a massive tree as it came down, crushing Lord's small car.

"All of a sudden I heard a 'shew' like that. It was not lightning. It was not wind. It was a rain, and the tree was old and the roots are bad and it just fell over," Raia said.

Downpours quickly turned to flooding along the U.S. 59 North feeder and Westpark Tollway. High water left one driver stranded, waiting for more than an hour for the water to recede enough to allow a good Samaritan to help.

Over in The Heights, the White Oak Bayou was well out of its banks as swift-moving water hid sidewalks and headed toward the street.

Some drivers and residents still felt they dodged a bullet, including Lord, whose crunched car was repaired just three weeks ago after it was flooded in another storm.

"Usually I go out and party Friday nights, so thank God I wasn't partying too hard and slept in my car because that could have been real bad," Lord said.

No major flooding has been reported yet, but officials warn it is still possible.

The heavy amount of rain the area saw is causing concerns of possible flooding, but the threat is up for debate for one area in far northeast Harris County.

The National Weather Service is warning residents to be watchful of the Luce Bayou near F.M. 2100, saying it could spill over its banks sometime this weekend.

Residents and officials there don't agree.

NWS says the bayou measured at 16.7 feet Saturday morning. It is expected to continue rising to nearly 23.5 feet by early next week.

There are a few neighborhoods relatively close to the bayou, including Ideloch and Lochshire in addition to the Red Wolf Golf Course. Some also live very close to the banks.

Ben Sessions' property backs right up the bayou. He says he's not overly concerned about flooding as his home has never taken on water in the 20 years he has lived here, but seeing the water level rise like it has in recent days is telling.

"During the drought, we could walk across it, all the way from north to south," Sessions said. "We have pictures of my grandson standing out in the middle."

The Harris County Flood Control District agrees that Luce Bayou likely will spill out of its banks.

We spoke to the chief of the Huffman Volunteer Fire Department and he is not overly concerned. He says they are watching the water level, particularly near F.M. 2100. They expect that, in a worst-case scenario, they might have to deal with traffic issues from minor street flooding around that location.

We'll be monitoring this situation and bring you updates as necessary.

We'll also be tracking conditions across the state as thunderstorms are expected to return Sunday. Residents in the Brazos Valley are hoping the worst is over for them.

In Burleson County near the town of Snook, a possible tornado touched down Friday night.

About seven FedEx trailers were blown over by high winds that also knocked down power lines and trees.

The suspected tornado also damaged a storage shed and happened while a high school basketball game was in progress.

The fire department had to use boats to help rescue those trapped by the rising waters.

So far, there are no reports of any injuries in the area.

The same storm system flooded parts of the Texas A&M University campus in College Station overnight.

The National Weather Service says the basement of Commons Dormitory was flooded and about 2.5 inches of hail was reported on campus.

The university issued a Code Maroon warning for students and personnel.

The strong thunderstorms could cause additional flood problems throughout the state.

Please stay with Eyewitness News and abc13.com for the latest on this weekend's severe weather.



ABC13 reporters Samica Knight and Kevin Quinn contributed to this story.


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