ROSENBURG, Texas – KPRC2 reporter Jacob Rascon was stranded during the street flooding that followed heavy rainfall Tuesday. He describes below what it was like to cover the story.
We drove Tuesday afternoon to Fort Bend County anticipating heavy rain and flooding, but we didn’t expect what happened next.
First, we followed a couple of firetrucks to a Walmart, where employees and customers were running from the building. Lightning had started an electrical fire, witnesses said.
Then, we headed to Rosenberg, where we heard over the scanners that firefighters were responding to a house on fire after a reported lightning strike. But we never made it.
The road leading to the house was flooded with several feet of water. We did a live shot in the neighborhood instead. The rain was coming down sideways. Then we tried to take off.
Heavy rain pounded Rosenberg for hours, flooding many roads. Many drivers left stranded or blocked by high water, including a couple of Lamar CISD bus drivers.Posted by KPRC2 Jacob Rascon on Tuesday, May 7, 2019
That’s when we realized we were surrounded by water. Our exit was blocked! It had only been half hour or so since we drove into the neighborhood, but the main road leading to it was now filled with at least a few feet of water.
Dozens of vehicles were already trapped or flooded, including SUVs. The heavy rain and wind, so strong at times it felt like rocks hitting your skin, hardly let up over the next several hours.
We did several live shots, interviewing stranded drivers like Ashley, who drove into the high water in a Jeep with her two kids inside and stalled. The same thing happened during Hurricane Harvey, Ashley said. She didn’t think the water was that deep.
We stopped a man named Aaron from driving his small truck into the same water. He was on his way to work at Pizza Hut. I told him to tell his boss he wasn’t going to make it.
We also warned the drivers of a couple of Lamar ISD school buses that probably would have gotten stuck. One was empty, and the other was carrying three George Ranch High School students.
Between live shots, we talked to people walking to higher ground after abandoning their cars down the road. A man named Jeremy was helping a mother whose car flooded. He was carrying her 5-year-old daughter on his back.
We didn’t attempt to leave until 8:45 p.m., four hours after we arrived. The water had receded about a foot. We passed dozens of flooded, abandoned cars on the way to Sugar Land.