Mandatory evacuation issued for flooded homes near Addicks and Barker reservoirs

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- A mandatory evacuation has been issued for homes in west Houston that have already been flooded near the Addicks and Barker reservoirs.

During a press conference Saturday, Mayor Sylvester Turner announced the evacuation of homes in the zone south of the Katy Freeway, north of Briar Forest and west of Gessner.

Turner instructed CenterPoint Energy to turn off power to homes already flooded at 7 a.m. Sunday.

By cutting the power, officials hope to get residents out of the evacuation zone and eliminate the need for any future high-water rescues, which strain first responders' limited resources.

"Firefighters will continue to work tirelessly, but we will not have the FEMA resources and boats to get into these areas and service people who remain in hazardous condition," said HFD Chief Samuel Pena.

The decision came after a Saturday morning blaze in a flooded house that became increasingly difficult for firefighters to battle.

The threat of electrocution also played a role in the decision to cut power.

"It's in the best interest of public safety," Turner said.

The homes are expected to be inundated for the next two weeks as controlled releases from the reservoirs continue, officials said.

"Right when you thought it was almost over, that you'd escaped it, that's when we actually got the worst water. That's when it got into our house," one resident in the evacuation zone said.

Despite the ongoing flooding risk to the neighborhood, water had receded noticeably from its highest point in some areas of the evacuation zone.

Residents whose homes had not taken on water are not included in the evacuation order and will not have their power cut.

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