Governor declares State of Disaster as historic flood grips the Bayou City

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HOUSTON - It's a flood of epic proportions...and a deadly one-- as officials have confirmed at least five dead from the storm.

The governor has declared a State of Disaster for nine flood-ravaged counties.

The nation's fourth largest city...paralyzed by Mother Nature with flash floods and high water, the likes of which the Bayou City hasn't seen in a long, long time, like Tropical Storm Allison in 2001 and Tropical Storm Claudette in 1979.

But in some areas, this one blows them all out of the water-- it's being called a once-in-500-years-flood!

As Harris County Precinct 1 Commissioner Gene Lock put it, "I don't think any of us could have predicted the magnitude."

Some areas are completely under water! "Highway 6 and Eldrige Parkway will be under water for perhaps a week or even longer," Harris County Judge Ed Emmett predicted.

"A lot of water has fallen, and we're trying to make sure we meet the immediate needs of people themselves," Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner declared.

Emmett said the torrential rains basically dumped 240 billion gallons of water on the Bayou City.

Some areas in Waller County reported as much as 20 inches of rain overnight! The American Red Cross opened shelters there to help affected residents.

"At this point, we want to make sure people are safe. That's the main thing," Turner said.

Dramatic lightning strikes were blamed for multiple fires and for knocking out power to thousands in other areas.

The mayor announced the city has responded to more than 1,000 rescue calls since midnight.

And officials are hoping the public will stay home until flood waters have receded. "If you don't have to go out, don't go out," Lock pleaded. "If you do go out, please be extremely careful."

That's right. Stay high and dry!