Torrential rainfall shut down highways in the Houston area Monday and caused widespread flooding in southwest Louisiana, where more than 100 patients had to be evacuated from a nursing home.
As much as 10.5 inches of rain was reported in the Houston area by the height of the morning rush hour, said Rusty Cornelius, administrative coordinator for Harris County Emergency Management.
Almost 6 inches of rain fell in just 75 minutes near Hobby Airport, the National Weather Service reported.
Parts of Interstate 10 and other major arteries were flooded, and numerous school districts called off classes.
In Louisiana, emergency crews evacuated more than 100 patients from Holly Hill Nursing Home, where the water was a foot deep in the halls.
Fire departments from Sulphur and Lake Charles and two ambulance companies were moving patients to another nursing home in Lake Charles, about 15 miles away, officials said.
"There's pretty widespread flooding around the parish. A lot of roads are closed," said Dick Gremillion, the Calcasieu Parish emergency preparedness director.
Police urged residents of Sulphur to stay home unless there was an emergency.
Some houses in the town flooded, but most of the flooding appeared to be caused by wakes produced by passing vehicles, Assistant Police Chief Glenn Berry said.
The Houston Fire Department said it had to rescue at least a dozen motorists from deep water, Cornelius said.