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More Rain Expected As Houston Declares State Of Emergency Over Flooding

KELLY MCEVERS, HOST:

Houston is still drying out today after a massive amount of rain yesterday - 18 inches in some parts of the city. At least six people died, and thousands were flooded out of their homes. Here's Florian Martin of Houston Public Media.

FLORIAN MARTIN, BYLINE: At a gym in the Greenspoint area of Houston, volunteers for the American Red Cross are busy handing out essential goods like food, water and diapers. This morning, about 260 people took shelter here. They all suffered damage to their homes during the flooding that began yesterday.

DEDRICK NASH: We lost everything.

MARTIN: Dedrick Nash says he woke up around 4:30 that morning and realized water was pouring into his apartment.

NASH: So when I got up, I woke everybody else up in the house, and we got up. The ambulance rescue had to come take me upstairs to the second floor because the water kept coming in. I - water was above my knees with me sitting down in my wheelchair.

MARTIN: Nash is now staying at the gym until he can find a new place. Leedward King is in a similar situation.

LEEDWARD KING: You ain't comfortable. You in a gym. You - there's a lot of people talking. You can't go to sleep, so you just got to lay there until your body lets you go to sleep, you know? It's just hard right now. Like, I don’t know.

MARTIN: At one of the apartment complexes that flooded, residents are busy cleaning out their apartments and trying to get their cars running again.

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MARTIN: The high water swamped many vehicles, including Nara Santana's. He says his sedan was completely submerged in the parking lot.

NARA SANTANA: Just called the insurance. They're going to come pick it up soon, so I already lost it.

MARTIN: Santana is still able to stay in his soggy first-floor apartment. The water didn't quite reach his mattress. Back at the temporary Red Cross shelter, Regina Wright says some people who were able to save their cars from water had them towed away because they parked them on elevated highways.

REGINA WRIGHT: Not only did you lose your house. You lost your belongings. Now you're losing a vehicle, and you have nothing or nowhere to go.

MARTIN: A Houston spokeswoman says the city is not waving towing fees. Meanwhile, the Red Cross expects more people to use their shelters tonight because of power outages and road closures. Meteorologists say more rain is coming to Houston tomorrow, and that might mean additional flooding as the ground is saturated and creeks have high water. For NPR News, I'm Florian Martin in Houston. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.