Over 200 flood-stranded cars recovered by Houston police; effort to continue overnight

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Work to clear roadways is still underway after a respite from Tropical Storm Imelda, which dropped several inches of rain across the city Sept. 19.

After suspending service before noon, the Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County began resuming service at 7 p.m., with partial service to park-and-rides and METROLift active. High-occupancy vehicle lanes remained closed, however.

The Houston Police Department said it had recovered 200 cars stranded on flooded roadways throughout the day with “several hundred” more cars left to retrieve, HPD Chief Art Acevedo told reporters at an 8 p.m. press conference.

HPD Chief Art Acevedo said the recovery effort will continue overnight throughout Houston, starting with I-10, as floodwaters recede. Some of the most badly affected areas, including I-45 at N. Main Street, will not be clear of water for three to four more hours, he said.

At the height of the flooding, the city reported over 200 roadway closures. As waters recede, the police department will prioritize recovering cars that are blocking roadways.

Cars that are stranded on medians or embankments will be towed last, giving owners time to retrieve them instead, Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner said.

Drivers looking for abandoned cars can visit www.findmytowedcar.com or call 713-380-8500.

Turner said 70 traffic lights are out of service and receiving repairs overnight. Houston residents should limit driving overnight as much as possible but can expect to return to normal schedules Friday morning, he said.

“We expect to return to business tomorrow morning, I don’t see any reason for anyone not to report to work tomorrow. Water is starting to recede in many of our areas,” Turner said.

Follow all of our Houston-area flooding coverage

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Emma Whalen
Emma is Community Impact Newspaper's Houston City Hall reporter. Previously, she covered health care and public education in Austin.
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