Storms pound SE Texas, create high water on roads

An ABC13 viewer submitted this photo of flooding on the northbound feeder road between Research Forest and Highway 242. Send your weather photos and videos to

March 11, 2012 7:17:46 PM PDT
A strong line of storms tracked across the Houston area Sunday, moving northeast and making way for springtime temperatures this week

Showers moved in Friday night and continued Saturday, but the heavier thunderstorms arrived Sunday.

Bush Intercontinental Airport received a record 2.81 inches of rain Sunday.

Aside from fallen trees, the only report of major damage we received was a house fire in southeast Houston that was reportedly sparked by lightning.

Firefighters were called to Cosby at La Salette just before noon. They said lightning hit a home and the washer and dryer caught on fire.

Crews got the blaze under control and no one was injured.

There were other weather-induced problems in the area, mostly impacting drivers.

As the rain came down hard and fast, high water spots popped up on Beltway 8 North eastbound at Interstate 45 North and on West Loop South at Westpark, where a vehicle became stalled.

There was flooding on the northbound feeder road between Research Forest and Highway 242 and high water stalled more vehicles on the North Freeway outbound near Tidwell.

Eyewitness News reporter Samica Knight and photojournalist Damion Smith happened upon a water rescue on I-45 at Tidwell around 12:30pm. Knight ran the camera as Smith helped Houston firefighters push a mother and her two children to safety.

A little farther down the I-45 access road, they came across deeper water and more stranded drivers. Good Samaritans were out pushing stranded drivers and trying to give them a boost.

One of the grateful drivers was Gabriel Benitez. He was with his family, new to Houston and fresh off a plane from New York.

"This crazy flood that is going on, we didn't even know we were coming to this," Benitez said. "She wanted to get off the highway. We told her no and the car stopped."

With all four lanes flooded, drivers slowly made their way down the street to safety.

Heavy rain had moved east by Sunday evening and things began to calm down. The rain chance drops to 20 percent Monday with partly sunny skies and highs in the lower 80s over the next several days.

As always, stay with Eyewitness News for the very latest on our changing weather. And you can always get the latest online in our weather section.