Storm Wallops Houston Area
Flooding blocks roadways, strands residents
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 9, 2012 5:32 PM CST
A motorist makes her way to the service road after she was stranded in the Southbound lane of Loop 288 north of the I-610 exit Monday, Jan. 9, 2012, in Houston.   (AP Photo/Houston Chronicle, Cody Duty)
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(Newser) – A deluge of heavy rain, wind, tornadoes, and nickel-sized hail is giving Houston-area residents a major headache today, the Houston Chronicle reports. A fast-moving storm front pummeled the city with winds reaching 60mph and up to 4.5 inches of rain, shutting part of Highway 288 and flooding a dozen other freeway intersections. Apparent twisters ripped roofs off of houses and garages in one residential area and damaged a mall in nearby Texas City, MSNBC reports.

No injuries have been reported, but firefighters struggled to rescue people trapped inside cars on flooded roadways, and several Richmond residents were evacuated by boat. About 19,600 Houston-area residents are without power. The area forecast offers a mixed bag, with dry weather rolling in and near-freezing temperatures descending later this week.
 

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