Imelda's death toll in Houston rises to 5 as damage assessments begin

Imelda’s floodwaters were receding in the Houston area Saturday, but the one-time tropical storm left at least five people dead, according to local authorities.

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Hundreds of buildings were damaged, and Houston authorities said they had towed more than 1,600 vehicles caught in floods on city roads.

Deputies in Harris County — where Houston is located — responded to more than 1,000 weather-related calls, including 422 high-water rescues. The Texas National Guard and a state search and rescue task force rescued 130 people from floods.

Splendora Police Lt. Troy Teller, left, Cpl. Jacob Rutherford and Mike Jones pull a boat carrying Anita McFadden and Fred Stewart from their flooded neighborhood inundated by rain from Tropical Depression Imelda on Thursday, Sept. 19, 2019, in Spendo

Nine barges broke free of their moorings, and two of them hit a pair of bridges over the San Jacinto River, which were still closed on Saturday.

“This week’s been a long week for all of us,” Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo said during a news conference Friday afternoon.

Imelda is the seventh-wettest tropical storm in U.S. history. The storm dumped as much as 43 inches of rain over 72 hours in some parts of southeastern Texas, drawing comparisons to Hurricane Harvey, which devastated the region in 2017. Some areas that floodwaters missed during Harvey saw more than a foot of water during Imelda, the Houston Chronicle reported.

Others were still recovering from Harvey when Imelda struck, FOX26 reported.

People wait outside of their stranded vehicles along Interstate 10 westbound at T.C Jester, Thursday, Sept. 19, 2019. The freeway was closed because of high water east bound on the freeway. (Mark Mulligan/Houston Chronicle via AP)

No estimates for Imelda’s damage have been released yet. Harvey, which dropped 60 inches of rain in some areas, caused an estimated $125 billion in damage.

A chance of rain has been forecast for the area on Sunday, when President Trump is due to visit Houston for an event with the Indian prime minister.

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