KATY, Texas (FOX 26) - If you stayed dry during Hurricane Ike and Tropical Storm Allison, you might be dealing with flooding for the first time because of a no-name thunderstorm. From Sunday, April 17 into Monday, April 18, the Katy area received more rain than anywhere in Harris County, according to the the county's Flood Control District rain gauges.
"We were here with Ike and it wasn't nothing like this," Gabrielle Walker told FOX 26 News outside her home in the Westlake Subdivision. "This is way worse than Ike." Walker is feeling lucky that her home is not flooded, because some homes across the street from her have flooded. She has helped a few neighbors as they tried to make it to dry land.
"We had a couple people stuck right here," said Walker. "A family was walking with a baby and so we gave them blankets."
16-year-old Michael Young paddled the flood waters in his inflatable boat. He used it to deliver some much-needed equipment.
"I've been helping them because water got up all in their house," said Young, pointing down the street. "I took a Shop-Vac over there and got the water out."
The greatest levels of rain fell north of the Katy Freeway between State Highway 6 and the Grand Parkway into Monday. Between 15 and 17 inches fell in the area from Sunday night into Monday, according to the HCFCD. Photos taken from a resident's drone show the flooding in the Mayde Creek area. It has flooded before, just not this badly, and not as muddy looking either. Runoff from all the nearby construction sites is making the water filthy.
Abraham Bustamante lives in the heart of the flooded area. He decided at 4 a.m. Monday was a good time to take a spin in his all-terrain vehicle and some stranded motorists were glad he did.
"I asked them if they needed water or anything, and they said they'd been out there since 10 o'clock last night," Bustamante told FOX 26. "We just told them to hop on and took them to the other side [of the flood waters]. The fire department was waiting for them right there."
Bustamante was talking about the Westlake Fire Department, which had a very busy morning. Captain David Haack said his crews had brought out the ladder truck, two pumper trucks, and, of course, a boat to bring several people to dry land.
"We've just been going through some of the neighborhoods and bringing out the people who want to come out," said Haack. "We're doing welfare checks, making sure everyone is okay."
Captain Haack said too many of their calls were to help people who didn't need to be on the road anyway. He says, people need to stay at their homes, if possible, because the flooding is worse than people are used to.
The people of the Westlake subdivision are well aware.
Chris James Stares at the flood waters in front of his house saying he couldn't go anywhere if he wanted to.
"The water is too deep to back our vehicles out so we'll just wait it out," said Capt. Haack.
In the Katy area and west Harris County, thousands of people are doing exactly the same thing.