At least 4 dead, 2 missing in Houston flooding

After the storm: Four people killed in the flood waters.

HOUSTON – Four people died in floods around Houston, according to authorities. Mayor Annise Parker said a fifth person died after he had a heart attack pushing his car to dry ground.

During a press conference, Mayor Parker said all of the city's bayous are receding and most major roads reopened Tuesday.

Still, firefighters answered 2,300 calls for help.

"That shows that (the rain) came so quickly," said Sheila Jackson-Lee, U.S. House of Representatives, Texas District 18. "So we've got to do the first immediacy which is to help people, save people, recover people."

The death toll officially climbed to four. However, Mayor Parker told reporters about a fifth-storm related death.

Two other people are missing after their rescue boat flipped on Brays Bayou.

"Our sympathies go out to the families of those we know we have lost and to the three who are missing," Mayor Parker said.

Governor Greg Abbott declared Harris County a state disaster.

"We will respond effectively to face these challenges," Abbott told reporters.

Senator Ted Cruz and members of the Texas US Congressional delegation said they will push for federal recovery dollars too. For now, they 're hoping the worst is over.

The city has two shelters open for people pushed out of their homes.

One victim was found in a car at 1700 Studewood in the Heights Tuesday afternoon, according to HFD.

Another victim was found inside her white pickup truck at 5757 Ranchester, near the Westpark Tollway in southwest Houston.

The Hispanic woman in her 50s was heading to work at a Krogers around midnight when she drove into high water. Police believe her truck stalled and the water pressure trapped her inside.

"People, they just don't anticipate how deep that water really is. It looks like a couple of inches until you're into it too late," said HPD Cpl. Kate Truhan. "We try to warn people each time there is heavy rain but they always think they can make it. I caution people, just turn around, it's easier to go a mile out of your way."

The woman's body wasn't found until Tuesday morning when the water receded.

Her husband came to the scene and had to be taken to the hospital when he was overcome with grief.

At least two people drowned in Brays Bayou. The body of a woman in her 50s was found near South MacGregor and Cullen in southeast Houston Tuesday morning.

A man's body was found Tuesday afternoon near Holcombe and Braeswood, according to UT Police. They believe the victim was swept away during a rescue attempt Tuesday morning.

By nightfall along Brays Bayou, there was still no sign of the elderly couple fire crews tried, but couldn't pull to safety after their rescue boat capsized.

A Houston Fire Department spokesman said rescuers were able to put life jackets on the 85-years woman and her 87-year-old husband before heavy currents swept them away.

"It's a tough day," said HFD Captain Ruy Lozano.

A tough day sums it up along Brays Bayou. A passerby spotted the body of another man in that failed rescue attempt downstream near Holcombe in the Texas Medical Center.

Farther to the Southeast, firefighters recovered the body of a 50-year-old woman, unrelated to the rescue attempt, near Cullen Blvd. and the University of Houston.

"It's sad, it's very said," said nearby resident Therecia Miller.

Fire Captain Ruy Lozano said rescue crews would resume searching Brays Bayou by water and air Wednesday morning.

"You see the helicopters above, they're looking, and ground crews will be looking," said HPD Homicide Sgt. Brian Harris. "The current is moving very fast and has a lot of debris and junk. As the day goes by, hopefully the height of the water will go down and who knows what we'll find underneath?"

In north Houston, people stranded on I-45 near Quitman heard a man calling for help around 3 a.m. They believe he was clinging to a tree.

"Gentleman was saying, 'Help! Help! I need help!,'" said Gilbert Cabrera, a witness. "And I asked him if he was alright and he stated that he needed help. And from the bayou to there, that's probably 30 foot of water."

Rescue crews made voice contact with the man at one point, but didn't hear from him again. They searched for a few hours before giving up. He is not included on the official list of missing.

The Houston Fire Department reported more than 500 water rescues by emergency crews. Good Samaritans also helped rescue several people.

Thousands of drivers were stranded and thousands of structures were damaged.


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