Water rescues underway after rain slams Texas

ABC News’ Rob Marciano reports from Houston where police recovered over 200 vehicles and some schools were told to shelter in place because of the rain.
4:07 | 09/20/19

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Transcript for Water rescues underway after rain slams Texas
We begin with the deadly flooding disaster in Texas. Rob Marciano is in Houston with the very latest and it's a tough time for my hometown, rob. How are you doing? I know, Michael. Michael, I know you know more than anybody just how vulnerable this city is to flooding but honestly this was an event that would have flooded any city, a record day of rainfall here for September. Water into hundreds of homes. Hundreds of cars swamped and abandoned. It took an armada of 150 tow trucks to clear some of these streets. This after a day across southeast Texas that was nothing short of mayhem. More than a thousand people here have been rescued so far. Coast guard helicopter crews met patients and evacuated them out of the flood zone using everything from airboat, tractors and dump trucks to pull people and pets to safety. When you get there and you see rivers of water flowing into these neighborhoods and impacting dozens of homes, it really is a heartbreaking scene. Reporter: Guests and employees trapped by rising waters in this Beaumont hotel. Children at some Houston schools were told to shelter in place. It was total chaos on the roadways as parents tried to reach their kids in a day that saw as enough as 9 inches. Stalled out cars littering the streets and police recovering over 200 vehicles. Neighbors lending hands pushing drivers free where they can. Even I chipped in. One, two, three. Two cars stalling right in front of us in less than five minute. This is one intersection. All around this city cars are abandoned. It is an absolute standstill nightmare. Reporter: Major freeways impassable. Traffic at a standstill. Hundreds stuck on the freeway for hours. Water rising to the door handles of SUVs. We're only see the rooftops. Reporter: Drivers abandoning their vehicles. Get out the car. Climbing ladders to the overpass to escape to higher ground. North of Houston, rushing waters spinning this car like a top. The driver escaping through the this high schooler jumping into action saving a mother and her toddler when their car begin to sink in a ditch. I took my I.D. Off and they my wallet and ran across the cars. I dived into the water. Reporter: At the city's biggest airport a complete groundstop for a time. Nearly 800 flights canceled after getting more than 6 inches of rain in two hours. Cars and buses submerged on the roads to the terminals. The access road is underwater which means everyone that managed to land here is now stuck. Bush intercontinental airport set to re-open at 1:30 this afternoon. Schools are closed and obviously there's still a lot of water in low-lying areas so difficult getting around. I-10 is shut down because barges slammed into a bridge and they have yet to inspect it. So reminiscent of Harvey. Most people who live here, this came way too soon. They've been going through a lot there. Thank so much for that. It is not over yet. More rain is in the forecast this morning. And ginger is tracking the latest. Good morning, ginger. If those pictures didn't tell you how big of a deal this was, Imelda now the seventh most rain ever in a tropical system in the United States. So Harvey is number one and there are only six others before that. Gosh, so want to show you where the heaviest rain fell, it was east of Houston and north closest to Conroe, Winnie taking it to Beaumont. That's why I-10 was shut down 43 plus inches. 33 in Jefferson county in just 12 hours and that's why we still have flood warnings out there. But also because we could get another inch of rain. We have more tropical moisture, Tom, fueling into southeast Texas through the day today, even an inch could put more water on top of something that is so saturated. So true, we'll keep an eye on Houston all week. Thank you.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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