Houston: An Indian-American woman engineer was among six persons killed in 'historic' flash flooding here that submerged scores of subdivisions and several major interstate highways and forced the closure of schools.
Sunita Singh, 47, senior electrical engineer at Bechtel Oil & Gas was found dead in her car, while rushing to her work yesterday in Houston, the most populous city in the US state of Texas.
It looked like she and others were trying to get to work when she was trapped in flood waters, an official said.
Sunita' is survived by her husband and 15-year-old son. Her husband Rajiv Singh said that she called around 6:50 AM and told him that she was in trouble, but immediately thought help was on her way. But that did not happen and she was found later dead in her car.
One of the victims was found in a submerged 18-wheeler cab on the N Beltway 8 frontage road near the Hardy Toll Road.
Two others were found in separate vehicles. In Waller County, a 56-year-old Royal ISD teacher was found inside a submerged vehicle off Adams Flat Road.
More than 470 flights were cancelled at Bush Intercontinental and Hobby Airport in the morning hours.
An overnight storm dumped between 8 and 16 inches of water on the area. The heavy rainfall also closed local schools, knocked out power for more than 121,000 residents, cancelled flights and made many roadways impassable.
More than 1,200 high water rescues have been reported by Houston and Harris County officials.
Officials in Harris County have declared a disaster area and estimate at least 1,000 homes have already been flooded.
More than half the watersheds in Harris County are experiencing significant flooding, with least one cresting above its estimated 500-year flood mark, a new all-time record.
The local National Weather Service (NWS) has warned residents not to travel "unless you are fleeing an area subject to flooding or under an evacuation order."
About 120,000 homes are without power, and school and transit systems are shut down across the region.
"Houston is in the midst of an unbelievable deluge, with already more rainfall in a single day than any hurricane to ever hit the hurricane-prone city. The flooding is historic," NWS said in a statement.
The City of Houston closed city offices, includingmunicipal courts, and has told non-essential employees to stay home for the day.