At least five people were killed and hundreds more were evacuated from their homes in Houston as torrential rains and flooding prompted authorities to declare a state of emergency across the city on Monday.
All five victims were found inside vehicles submerged in high floodwaters.
Thousands of homes and local businesses have lost electricity as a result of what meteorologists have termed a “historic” downpour and at least 1,000 homes were flooded, CNN reports.
“This is a life-threatening emergency,” the city said on an emergency website. “Houston residents should avoid travel at all costs today.”
At least 200 flights were canceled at the city’s Hobby Airport, and nine hospitals closed their doors to new patients as the National Weather Service warned of potential deadly flash floods through Monday night. Further rain and thunderstorms are expected to continue through Tuesday evening.
“This is an unprecedented amount of rain,” said Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner in a press conference. “It’s not moving anytime fast.”