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Inundated With Rain, Texas Residents Brace For More This Week


We travel next to a Texas county partly underwater. It is Fort Bend County outside Houston.


The Brazos River flows right through the middle of that county. After days of extreme weather, the river has reached record high levels.

INSKEEP: To understand just how high, slosh around with Al Ortiz of Houston Public Media.

AL ORTIZ, BYLINE: Felix Lozano walks through the water in his Richmond, Texas, neighborhood about 30 miles southwest of Houston. Along with Rosenberg and Simonton, Richmond is one of the cities in Fort Bend County severely impacted by the flooding caused by the historic cresting of the Brazos River.

Lozano climbs into a little kayak and using a broom as an improvised oar, paddles around the neighborhood, mostly of mobile homes, checking out the damage.

Do you know, give or take, how high the water is in your home inside?

FELIX LOZANO: Right now, like, 6 inches. And this house over here, on the front, it's, like, a foot on that little house right there.

ORTIZ: Fort Bend County officials say the number of homes damaged by the flooding is in the hundreds. Lozano's son, Oscar, says it may be time to find a new home.

OSCAR LOZANO: I think at this point with the way that it's been going - last year, the year before, just a month ago - I think we're going to have to think about moving, at least to higher ground, further away from the Brazos River.

ORTIZ: Mary Doetterl spent Tuesday at a Red Cross shelter set up at Richmond's First Baptist Church. She left her home in the middle of the night because it's located very close to the Brazos River. And the water in her backyard was already about 7 inches when she decided to leave.

MARY DOETTERL: I've never experienced what we've experienced this past year, year and half, with the rains and the flooding. I mean, this is just - it's crazy.

ORTIZ: More heavy rain is forecast for the area later this week. Local authorities are worried because the ground is already saturated. First responders have rescued at least 120 people in Fort Bend County. For NPR News, I'm Al Ortiz in Richmond, Texas. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Al Ortiz