HOUSTON – In April 2016, a storm system dumped more than a foot of rain on the Houston area, resulting in catastrophic flooding and the deaths of eight people.
From April 17 to 18, an average of 12 to 16 inches of rain fell on the region in the span of 12 hours, flooding neighborhoods from Katy to Meyerland to Greenspoint. At one point, the rainfall rates reached an estimated 4 inches per hour.
The timing of the storm and corresponding water rise earned it the name of “Tax Day Flood.”
Greenspoint was one of the hardest-hit areas, where hundreds of families had to be rescued from their homes. Nearly 300 people had to abandon their apartments along Greens Road.
“I woke up at 3 (o’clock) in the morning, and I was walking in puddles of water,” said Kimberly Terry. “I had to come down to my daughter’s house.”
Pictures showed feet of water covering roads in the city's western sections, especially near the Addicks and Barker reservoirs. Some highways in the area were closed for days after the storm.
An estimated 9,820 structures were flooded in Harris County.
The storm was blamed for the deaths of six people in Harris County, one person in Waller County and another person in Austin County. All of the victims died in their cars.
In the days that followed the storm, officials promised reforms to prevent drainage problems outside of the overflow from creeks and bayous.
Houston is no stranger to flooding. In the past five years, there have been several major floods, including Memorial Day 2015, Halloween 2015, Memorial Day 2016 and, most recently, the flooding caused by Hurricane Harvey last year.