Southeastern Texas was drenched by flash floods over the weekend as leftover rains from Hurricane Patricia pounded the Houston area with more than nine inches of rain. By Sunday evening, the storms were shifting from Texas to Mississippi, Arkansas and Louisiana, where thousands lost power Sunday.
"There's some very intense rainfall still to come across Louisiana and Mississippi," Danielle Banks, a meteorologist for The Weather Channel, said.
Houston Mayor Annise Parker sent out a message of reassurance to Houston residents Sunday morning, noting that the most severe part of the storm had passed.
Expect rain all day but storm has largely passed w/ minor problems. Watch for water ponding in roads & underpasses. EOC at normal status.-A
— Annise Parker (@AnniseParker) October 25, 2015
Most of the area survived without much damage, including the petroleum refineries that dot the U.S. Gulf Coast and produce more than 40 percent of the United States’ oil. Events such as Houston Half Marathon and the Gulf Coast International Dragon Boat Regatta were canceled over the weekend.
Floodwaters throughout Texas caused transportation delays, and the Houston Chronicle reported that emergency personnel responded to 29 weather-related rescues in the area. No fatalities were reported -- a change from flooding in the area last May, when two dozen people died in Texas over a one-week period that brought record rainfall and flooding.
A Union Pacific freight train about 50 miles south of Dallas was derailed by the flooding Saturday when a creek overflowed, washing away the tracks. Two crew members on board swam to safety, and no one was hurt.
The storm moves east to Louisiana as the state remains under a flood watch issued by the National Weather Service for parts of New Orleans and Baton Rouge. The flood watch is expected to run through Monday afternoon. New Orleans could get up to eight inches of rain. By Sunday afternoon, Baton Rouge had already seen 3.5 inches of rain, while areas west of New Orleans got six inches. A tornado warning has also been issued for parts of Louisiana.
— The Weather Channel (@weatherchannel) October 25, 2015
"Many of these locations are going to pick up additional rain not only as we go further into the day on Sunday, but also we're focused in on problematic areas for Sunday night and also going into Monday," Banks said.
The storms are the result of a low-pressure system that combined with the leftover rains from Hurricane Patricia, which hit Mexico Friday. Though it had been deemed the strongest hurricane recorded in the Western Hemisphere when it was still at sea, it became significantly weaker when it made landfall.