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Record-breaking floods continue in Texas, state of disaster declared for 31 counties

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Another spell of severe weather brought intense thunderstorms, accompanied by heavy rainfall, to southeast Texas on the morning of June 2, 2016 (local time). Torrential  downpours have triggered another wave of floods across the already soaked regions. While the Brazos River reached the highest water level reported over the last 100 years, Greg Abbott, the Governor of Texas declared a state of disaster for 31 counties.

Numerous streets were flooded across the affected counties, schools were closed, and traffic disrupted. A portion of the Interstate 35 in San Antonio was closed and, at least, two rescue operations have been conducted since the morning, one of which near the Lackland Air Force Base.

The rainfall rate up to 76.2 mm (3 inches) per hour was recorded according to Jonathan Erdman, a Weather.com meteorologist.

The flooding along the banks of Brazos River is currently causing troubles while a flood wave which has been expected to move down the Medina River during the morning could seriously impact properties situated near Castroville.

Video credit: AP

Video credit: Fort Bend County Office of Emergency Management

Communities including Richmond, Rosenberg, and the Fort Bend were seriously affected by the ongoing flood wave. Hundreds of people had to leave their home before the water levels of the Brazos River reached 16.6 m (54.37 feet) in Fort Bend. According to media reports, such water levels hadn't been reported for more than 100 years. According to Scott Overpeck, an NWS meteorologist, the water levels will recede over the next couple of days although they will stay high for about three weeks as the water will require releasing from the upriver reservoirs. 

"There's so much water on the Brazos that it's going to take a long time to drain through the whole river and drain out into the Gulf of Mexico," explained Overpeck. The Sheriff's Office reported all the ways in or out of the community will have to remain closed until the water withdraws. 

Numerous water rescues have taken place throughout the morning and early afternoon in Rosenburg.

Video credit: Weather Nation

Video credit: Flash News

The chaotic flooding hadn't stopped in Texas since the Memorial Day weekend when record-breaking rainfall caused the deaths of 6 people across the affected areas. In Fort Bend County only, about 1 000 people had been evacuated, as of May 31. Due to the rising water levels of the Colorado River, the local officials announced the closure of Lake Austin, Lady Bird Lake, and the downstream region of Longhorn Dam.

Flash flood warning has been issued for portions of central Texas by the National Weather Service (NWS) on the morning of June 2(local time). The majority of the state has been put on a flash flood watch, as the slow-moving weather system is threatening to continue affecting the region. 

"The state of Texas stands ready to assist all counties affected by severe weather and has dedicated the resources necessary to ensure the safety of those at risk," said Governor Abbott.

Image credit: DOC/NOAA/NWS/NCEP/Weather Prediction Center

Image credit: DOC/NOAA/NWS/NCEP/Weather Prediction Center

Image credit: DOC/NOAA/NWS/NCEP/Weather Prediction Center

According to the NWS, a slow moving frontal boundary will continue moving over the southern Plains and lower Mississippi Valley throughout the day, producing showers and thunderstorms. Abundant rainfall amounts between 25.4 and 76.2 mm (1 and 3 inches) are possible in parts of the southern Plains and western Gulf Coast. The front is expected to become stationary over Texas on June 3, bringing showers and thunderstorms from the eastern half of the state to the eastward, and to the lower Mississippi Valley through the morning of June 4 (local time).

Featured image: Brazos River near 307 Riveredge Dr, Richmond, Texas, May 31, 2016. Image credit: Fort Bend County Office of Emergency Management

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