Torrential rains inundate southeastern Texas, causing flooding that has closed schools and roads

HOUSTON– Heavy rain flooded southeast Texas on Friday, forcing schools to cancel classes and close numerous highways around Houston.

More than 9 inches of rain has fallen in the past 24 hours, according to the National Weather Service, which has issued a flood warning for the region until Tuesday.

There was also a flash flood warning in the area on Friday morning.

Of particular concern was an area along the San Jacinto River, which was expected to continue rising as more rain falls and officials release additional water from an already full reservoir.

Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo, the top elected official in the nation’s third-largest county, issued a mandatory evacuation order Thursday for those living along parts of the river, calling the situation “life-threatening.”

The weather service reported the river was at 65.5 feet Friday morning and was expected to reach 75 feet on Saturday.

According to the weather service, the flood stage for the river is 57.68 feet.

Hidalgo warned others living along the river in southern parts of the province that they could be stranded for days if they stayed in their homes.

No injuries or deaths were reported, but officials reported several people were rescued from high water.

Storms over the past month in southeastern Texas and parts of Louisiana dumped more than 2 feet (61 centimeters) of rain in some areas, according to the National Weather Service.