Houston's biggest news stories of 2016

This year was only one day longer than most, but it felt like forever. 2016 in Houston was a mix of highs and lows, and through it all, the community came together.

In a year that has been a roller coaster ride, here are some of Houston's biggest news stories of 2016.

  1. The Tax Day flood

  2. Harris County got an average 7.75'' of rainfall for the event. That's equivalent to 240 billion gallons of water falling on the area. This exceeded Memorial Day 2015 (162 billion gallons) by almost 80 billion gallons of water. That event was more confined, whereas the Tax Day rains were much larger spatially.

    RELATED: Why does it keep flooding in Houston?

    It was enough rain to force business owners to close, schools to cancel and roads to turn into rivers.
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    This driver found himself in a dangerous situation. Fortunately, Steve Campion was nearby.


    It also resulted in hundreds of high-water rescues and several fatalities. ABC13's Steve Campion rescued a man trapped in high water on live TV.

    PHOTOS: Houston flood recovery benefit concert

    Through this tragedy, the community came together to help those affected.
  3. Jessica Cain's body found after almost 20 years

  4. Suspected serial killer William Reece led authorities to where he buried Jessica Cain's body in a field on E. Orem Road near Hobby Airport. Cain was 17 years old when she vanished in 1997.

    The remains of Kelli Cox were also found with Reece's guidance. She was 20 when she went missing in Denton, Texas, also in 1997. Her body was found in a field in Brazoria County.



    Reece, who's currently facing a murder charge in a cold case out of Oklahoma, has been cooperating with investigators in exchange for plea deals in at least three murder cases in Texas.
  5. Local Olympians make Houston proud

  6. Team USA gymnast and four-time gold medalist Simone Biles was one of the most talked about athletes at the games.
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    Simone Biles speaks in Houston following her return from the Olympic Games in Rio


    The Spring gymnast won her four gold medals after impressive performances in the women's team all-around, women's vault, women's floor exercise, and women's individual all-around. Her bronze medal was for the women's beam. She was also the flag bearer for the Closing Ceremonies.

    Simone Manuel also made her hometown of Houston proud in Rio. The 20-year-old swimmer brought home two gold medals for the women's 100-meter freestyle and the 4x100-meter medley relay. She also earned two silver medals for the women's 50-meter freestyle and 4x100-meter freestyle relay.

  7. 11-year-old Josue Flores murdered

  8. Flores was brutally stabbed as he walked home from Marshall Middle School.


    The community rallied to find justice for Flores and even organized "Safe Walks" in his honor.

    HPD released surveillance video featuring a man running outside an unknown business and an initial suspect was arrested. However, that man provided an alibi and he was let go.

    Another suspect was soon arrested and charged. The ex-Marine is awaiting trial.

  9. Lawyer goes on shooting rampage in SW Houston

  10. Armed with a handgun and submachine gun and using his car to stockpile ammunition and a tree for cover, Nathan Desai was firing at innocent people and police in West University Place, shattering an otherwise peaceful morning in September.
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    Investigative reporter Ted Oberg digs into West U shooting rampage suspect Nathan DeSai's past.


    Nine people were injured before Desai was shot and killed by officers. Nazi materials were found at the scene.
  11. Heated road rage incident captured on video in NW Houston

  12. A brawl erupted on FM 1960 in an apparent road rage incident.
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    Unedited footage from a road rage incident in NW Houston.


    The video shows a man trying to calm down a woman who is arguing with another man, who is a passenger in a white car.

    The woman is then seen going back to the white car and saying something to the passenger, who threw a drink at her. The video shows the truck driver coming back into view and kicking the white car's grille.

    A brawl erupted as the driver and passenger from the white car chased after the driver of the truck and began punching him. The video shows the woman screaming and trying to break up the fight, but she is punched in the face in the melee.

    Just as things calm down in the video and the truck driver and the woman get back into their vehicle, the truck slams into the white car and then takes off on 290 West. The white car sped after them.

  13. Teen charged with murder of mother and father

  14. A former NFL player and his wife were gunned down inside of their home this summer. Antonio and Dawn Armstrong's teenage son is charged with their murders.
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    Family and friends are mourning the loss of Antonio and Dawn Armstrong.


    The judge is considering releasing the Armstrong son, but says he has to see a plan on how the 16-year-old will spend his time. We are not releasing the teen's name, since he's a juvenile.

  15. Former middle school teacher impregnated by student

  16. A former Stovall Middle School teacher who admitted to having sex with her 13-year-old student has pleaded guilty.
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    Former teacher pleads guilty to lesser charge of sexually assaulting boy.


    Alexandria Vera claims she and the teen are in love, and she's been introduced to his family as his girlfriend, court documents state. The boy's parents are reportedly accepting of the relationship, including Vera in family gatherings.

    The boy is currently in foster care, ABC13 has learned.

  17. Texans place J.J. Watt on injured reserve list

  18. The Houston Texans confirm J.J. Watt placed on the injured reserve list after he re-injured his back.
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    Texans' J.J. Watt re-injured his back and could miss the remainder of season.


    Watt released this statement on Twitter: "Adversity sucks. Your attitude towards it doesn't have to. I will be back."

    Watt hasn't stayed out of the limelight, though, with rumors he's dating Houston Dash star Kealia Ohai.

    Watt also donated $10,000 to an injured Woodlands High School football player.

  19. UH Cougars win the Peach Bowl, lose their coach

  20. Several Texas college football teams played musical chairs with their coaches. The Texas Longhorns has named former University of Houston coach Tom Herman as their next head coach, the university announced. Herman will replace Charlie Strong, who will now coach University of South Florida.
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    Tom Herman was formally introduced as the new head coach at UT on Sunday afternoon.


    Houston's new coach will be Major Applewhite, the offensive coordinator for the last two seasons.
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    The Peach Bowl trophy is presented to UH coach Tom Herman and the Cougar team


    The Cougars started 2016 on a high note after winning the Peach Bowl against Florida State.
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