The Latest: Barges break loose in high water, strike bridge
CHINA, Texas (AP) — The Latest on the remnants of Tropical Storm Imelda (all times local):
A major bridge over the San Jacinto River in Texas is shut down after several barges broke loose during strong currents caused by the remnants of Tropical Storm Imelda.
The U.S. Coast Guard says witnesses reported early Friday that nine barges had broken away from their moorings at a shipyard. The Coast Guard says at least two of the barges struck the Interstate 10 bridge over the San Jacinto River at Channelview, about 15 miles (25 kilometers) east of Houston.
Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez says there is possible structural damage to the bridge, and that it won't reopen until inspections occur.
The slow-churning remnants of Tropical Storm Imelda that flooded parts of Texas left at least two people dead and rescue crews with boats scrambling to reach stranded drivers and families trapped in homes.
Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner said that by Thursday night, floodwaters had started receding in most of the Houston area. Police Chief Art Acevedo said law enforcement officers planned to work well into the night to clear freeways of vehicles stalled and abandoned because of flooding.
Officials in Harris County, which includes Houston, said there had been a combination of at least 1,700 high-water rescues and evacuations to get people to shelter during a relentless downpour that drew comparisons to Hurricane Harvey two years ago.
The storm also flooded parts of southwestern Louisiana.