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Houston area inundated with 40 inches of rain, major flooding

In parts of southeastern Texas, only building roofs are visible above water after remnants of Tropical Storm Imelda dumped more than 40 inches of rain on the area over three days. At least three people died in the storm, which hit just over two years after the historic inundation from Hurricane Harvey. Still, state officials said they were better prepared this time. Lisa Desjardins reports.

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  • Judy Woodruff:

    It finally stopped raining around Houston overnight, but widespread flooding remained today. Remnants of Tropical Storm Imelda dumped more than 40 inches of rain over three days, and claimed four lives.

    Lisa Desjardins has our report.

  • Lisa Desjardins:

    In parts of Southeastern Texas, only the roofs of buildings and cars are above water. Roads have become rivers, with drivers leaving wide wakes as they brave the depths.

    Rescue crews worked overnight through heavy rain to save people in stranded vehicles, all of this just two years since Hurricane Harvey inundated the region with 50 inches of rain.

    Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez said last night the Houston region was better prepared.

  • Ed Gonzalez:

    We had more rescue vehicles deployed all across the county. As we saw some of the areas that were harder-hit, we redeployed them a little bit closer.

  • Lisa Desjardins:

    The downpours finally stopped by daybreak.

    Still, the deluge put major highways underwater in Houston proper, and forced schools to close. In New Caney, about 30 miles northeast of Houston, an R.V. floated sideways today in muddy water, and cars and homes were nearly submerged.

    Along the San Jacinto River, a bridge was closed after rushing water tore barges off their moorings nearby. They crashed into the span, shutting down part of Interstate 10. And, overnight, in Beaumont, guests waded through dirty water in a local hotel.

    The community is taking the slim silver linings it can find. For this man, it was a large fish in what is usually a road. What's left of the storm is now moving northeast, threatening flash floods elsewhere.

    For the "PBS NewsHour," I'm Lisa Desjardins.

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