Houston area preparing for flooding emergency

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A serious flooding emergency is developing in the Houston area.

Emergency officials warned people on Thursday in Northwest Houston to stay inside or risk getting stuck in flash flooding on area streets. It’s expected to continue into the overnight hours.

Some Houston-area school districts have already closed for Friday due to expected flooding. Some spots are getting two to four inches per hours.

Following heavy rain that flooded Houston-area neighborhoods early this week, Harris County emergency officials had a stark warning ahead of the next incoming round of rain with many fearful areas that flooded during Hurricane Harvey in 2017 might get hit again.         

“The anxiety in the community, especially after Harvey, is just as real as the rain that will be falling,” said Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo. “Stay off the roads. Go straight home tonight. Watch the weather. Watch the news.”

Crews began stationing high water rescue vehicles ahead of time with some spots at risk of 9 to 12 inches of rain into the weekend.

“The exhaust comes out from the top so they can go through the higher water,” said Kevin Price with the Spring Fire Department. “We can actually drive with water entering the cab.”

Rivers are another point of concern. Along the Brazos River in Fort Bend County, 150 homes already had flooding Tuesday.

"What they experienced on Tuesday into Wednesday was absolutely worse than what we saw during Harvey,” said Doug Adolph, the spokesperson for the city of Sugar Land.

Further down the Brazos in Brazoria County, the river was already nearing major flood stage. An animal sanctuary was forced to evacuate cattle late Thursday ahead of the storms.

Some roads have already closed, and channels are nearing the point where they overflow their banks.