Torrential rain left much of central Texas swamped Tuesday after savage weather killed at least 28 people in the United States and Mexico, and Houston’s mayor warned more deadly flooding could be in store.
The southern US states of Texas and Oklahoma, and northern Mexico, have borne the brunt of several days of violent weather, including tornadoes, which have left scores dead, missing and injured on both sides of the border.
More than 10 inches (25 centimeters) of rain fell in just a few hours in the Texas city of Houston, triggering the worst flooding there in at least a decade.
Hundreds of vehicles, some fully under water, were abandoned on Houston’s roads.
People were trapped in their cars, others marooned in their homes, as flood waters rose menacingly around them.
Two people died overnight due to the flooding in the city, Mayor Annise Parker said.
“I want to ask and urge people to continue to be safe and recognize that we may have more rain later today,” she said, encouraging residents of America’s fourth-largest city to stay at home.
“We have cars littered all over the city,” she told a press conference, adding that emergency crews were attempting to reach the abandoned vehicles to see if anyone had been trapped inside.
Parker cautioned that more life-threatening conditions could face locals again this week.
“If you’re in a low-lying area and we’re expecting more flash flooding this weekend, you’ve got to seek higher ground. It’s a life or death situation at this point.
“All of the rivers are completely saturated… Any additional rainfall, as much as an inch or two, will once again turn into a possibility where we’ll be in a flash flooding situation,” she warned.