The Latest: Houston-area flooding death toll now at 6

AP News
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Posted: Apr 19, 2016 3:58 PM
The Latest: Houston-area flooding death toll now at 6

HOUSTON (AP) — The Latest on heavy rains and flooding in the Houston area, plus other parts of Texas (all times local):(backslash)

2:45 p.m.

A sixth flood-related death has been confirmed in the Houston area where heavy rain this week dumped more than a foot of water.

The Harris County Precinct 4 Constable's Office says a body was recovered Tuesday morning from a flooded car. Capt. Toby Hecker says deputies received a call about a vehicle in some water in a drainage ditch in a neighborhood. Hecker says a wrecker was called, and when the car was pulled from the water a woman was found dead inside.

Hecker says the woman, whose name wasn't immediately released, had been last seen Monday night. He says investigators believe the woman lives in the neighborhood and was close to home when she encountered flooded streets, tried to make a U-turn to return home, cut it too short and ended up in the flooded ditch.

Hecker says the woman was alone in the car.

Five flood-related deaths had been previously confirmed in the Houston area, all people in vehicles caught up in the high water.

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1:45 p.m.

A heavy-duty truck has been used to evacuate elderly and other residents from a Houston-area assisted living facility that's surrounded by floodwaters.

Several dozen people were being moved Tuesday from the Atria Cypresswood facility in Spring. Some residents were seen on local TV being carried into the open-air back of the truck as other rescuers assisted while standing in the nearly knee-deep water. Wheelchairs were also put into the truck.

The complex is in north Harris County, where more than a foot of rain was recorded since Sunday.

A statement from Atria, released to KTRK-TV, says the safety and well-being of residents and employees is the highest priority. The statement cited flooding problems and forced the evacuation of residents and employees to another senior living community.

No injuries were immediately reported.

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11 a.m.

Nearly a dozen Red Cross shelters have opened in the Houston area to help hundreds of flood evacuees after storms dumped more than a foot of rain.

A Red Cross statement Tuesday says 11 shelters have been assisting about 400 residents forced from their Houston-area homes due to the high water.

Harris County isn't the only part of Texas where flooding related to heavy rain prompted evacuations. Some North Texas neighborhoods also flooded following rainstorms since last weekend.

Red Cross spokeswoman Anita Foster says a shelter remained open Tuesday in Weatherford, about 20 miles west of Fort Worth, following Parker County flooding. The Brazos (BRAZ'-uhs) River went out of its banks after storms that began on Sunday, forcing evacuations by boat in areas including Horseshoe Bend.

Foster says several people spent Monday night at the shelter at the Weatherford High School Ninth Grade Center.

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8:25 a.m.

More rain is likely as Houston cleans up after more than a foot of rain swamped parts of the nation's fourth-largest city.

The National Weather Service says there is a 50 percent chance of more rain falling on the Houston area Tuesday and has issued a flash flood watch through Wednesday morning.

Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner says the city is returning to normal operations and advises drivers to take care on flooded roads.

Five people died in the Houston area after storms since Sunday dumped up to 16 inches of rain. Dozens of schools, public transit and city offices were closed Monday.

The Metropolitan Transit Authority resumed service Tuesday, including light-rail operations.

A chance of showers continues through Thursday.

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1:35 a.m.

Storms have dumped more than a foot of rain in the Houston area, flooding dozens of neighborhoods and leaving at least five people dead.

Heavy flooding has become nearly an annual rite of passage in the practically sea-level city, where experts have long warned of the potential for catastrophe.

Experts say in addition to its location, Houston's fast-growing population and building boom make it vulnerable to high waters.

Philip Bedient, an engineering professor at Rice University, says the flooding problem can't be solved. He says, "All we can do is a better job warning."

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This version of The Latest corrects 3rd paragraph of first item to make clear the facility is in northern Harris County.