By Anna Driver
At least two people have been killed in Houston in flooding that turned streets into rivers and led to nearly 1,000 calls for help in the fourth-most populous city in the country, officials said on Tuesday.
Eight people have been killed in Texas and Oklahoma with 12 others missing after torrential rains slammed the states during the Memorial Day weekend, causing floods and tornadoes that destroyed homes and swept away bridges.
“There are still some significant areas of really devastating flooding in Houston,” Mayor Annise Parker said, adding she has asked the governor to declare the city a disaster area.
She said most of Houston is high and dry but advised people to stay home.
More bad weather was expected with the National Weather Service issuing a flash flood warning on Tuesday morning for Houston as a line of thunderstorms moved along the Gulf of Mexico coast from Texas toward Florida.
Rescue workers looked for 12 members of two families missing after their vacation home was swept off its foundation in Wimberley, a town about 30 miles southwest of Austin, where flood waters caused a wave of destruction.
“It’s a tremendous clean up operation,” said Wimberley Mayor Steve Thurber. “(People) have lost their homes, they have lost their livelihoods in some businesses.”
More than 40 flights were cancelled as of 10am CDT (15:00 GMT) at airports in Houston and Dallas, some of the nation’s busiest, as blocked roads made it difficult for workers to get to their jobs. A sinkhole also closed a runway at the Dallas/Fort Worth International airport, according to media reports.
About 100,000 customers were without power throughout the state due to high winds and rising waters that caused power poles to snap.