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"I can not do this": Imelda left Texas with at least 5 dead and historic rainfall



BEAUMONT, Tex. – The tide rose as high as the wheelchair by Archie Pugh.

After Imelda had tumbled from tropical depression into his house and against his wheels, Mr. Pugh, who had a partial leg amputation, could not wait for the 911. He sat down on the armrest of a sofa. in the hope on help.

Finally escorted to safety on a lifeboat, Mr. Pugh and his wife Elizabeth left an evacuation home near their Beaumont, Texas home on Friday, armed with a sleeping bed and a garbage bag full of pillows and blankets. Only two years after Hurricane Harvey, her house was full of water again ̵

1; and they needed another place to stay.

"It's an experience I'd never want to do again," said Elizabeth Pugh, 49.

When Imelda's remains moved north on Friday, residents in southeast Texas had to clog up wet houses Roads and houses deal with flash flood conditions caused by a storm that sank up to 30 cm of water in some areas and became one of the wettest tropical cyclones in US history.

The storm, which had barely made a name for itself – it was briefly considered a tropical storm before it was demoted to a tropical depression – surprised many residents with its relentless rain, the memories of the fall of hurricane Harvey of more than 50-inch rainfall In 2017, dozens of deaths occurred in some areas.

As the floodwaters rose and fell on Friday, a more complete picture of devastation emerged. At least five people had died, including a man who drowned trying to move his horse. Three others had driven when their vehicles were hit by floods. The authorities also said that a man whose body was found in a ditch outside Houston on Friday apparently drowned in storm-induced floods.

In Southeast Texas highways were closed, routines were interrupted and people were bothered to get to work. Some, like Charlotte Kinsey, were afraid of missing family members.

wife. Kinsey fled her three-bedroom trailer in Winnie, Texas on Thursday afternoon when the floodwaters around her and her three-week-old daughter Niomi Grace Galley rose. However, she had not heard from her 17-year-old son Trevor Coffey, who had not been seen since returning from a Wednesday night job interview. In addition to her concerns, Trevor has a mental health diagnosis that requires medication.

"I do not know if he's in O.K.," she said. "And he can not swim."

Even when she was at the shelter, she remembered Trevor: Together, they were evacuated to the same shelter in Anahuac, Texas, two years ago.

"This is Harvey again and we barely made it last time," said Ms. Kinsey. "We're talking about going to Colorado with my mother, I can not, I'm not going to force my kids to do that."

One possibility for Trevor's whereabouts had become known late Thursday: a Greyhound bus was on for hours The flooded Interstate 10 stranded, and the inmates were on their way to the shelter. But it turned out to be a wrong track. Trevor was not on the bus.

At the shelter, Ms Kinsey said in a text message on Friday that her son had been missing.

Rod Carroll, police chief in Vidor, Texas, outside Beaumont, orchestrated water rescue from the police station on Friday, where he had been stationed for nearly 36 hours.

Since early Thursday morning, his staff had saved dozens of people in the city of 10,000 people, and he estimated that a few hundred homes in the area were flooded. He was one of them.

Chief Carroll had monitored the radio overnight from his bed on Thursday when he heard reports of heavy flooding and people locked in cars. When he got up at half past one in the morning to report to duty, he saw that water began to trickle down below. He and his wife hurried to get photos of their children and bells and whistles from his wife's parents, but soon the first floor was covered with a foot and a half of water.

"It came in like a wall," he said.

They had been through this during Harvey's, and Chief Carroll estimated that it would take them another 14 months to rebuild it.

He has slept in his office on the ground since the storm began, but stayed home on Friday afternoon to kiss his wife goodbye before going to Beaumont's adult children, where there were also heavy floods ,

"I picked clean clothes, took a shower and got back to work," he said.

Much of Southeastern Texas – from Houston to Beaumont to rural areas further south – absorbed at least 10 cm of rain from Tuesday morning until Thursday night. Areas southwest of Beaumont were hit hardest, with an exceptional 43 inches near Fannett, Texas. This made Imelda, according to the National Weather Service for the seventh-most recorded in the United States tropical cyclone .

In a given year, rainfall in Southeast Texas is usually about 60 cm.

Climate change typically increases precipitation during storms as more moisture can be stored in a warmer atmosphere. However, scientists must evaluate individual storms retrospectively to determine how climate change has contributed. (Researchers found that Harvey's record precipitation was 38 percent higher than expected in a warming-up world.)

Although Friday's rain largely seeped, forecasters warned that additional precipitation may be in an already saturated area lead to flash floods.

In Chambers County, a rural area south of Beaumont, which was hit hardest, a sheriff's deputy made the rounds in an aging military truck that lumbered several feet deep through the water. The conditions made other people run their bicycles in knee-deep water or ride their four-wheelers. Many drove tractors through the mud with their big, durable tires.

Shannon Dye, a longtime resident of Hankamer, Texas, splashed through the city with her John Deere tractor. She had to make a delivery.

"Potato soup," said Mrs. Dye, and managed a smile. "For my sister."

Margaret Toal reported from Beaumont, Sarah Mervosh from New York and Mitchell Ferman from Hankamer, Tex. Manny Fernandez reported from Anahuac, Tex., And Mihir Zaveri and Mariel Padilla from New York.


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