Nearly 900 Rescued as Severe Flooding Strikes Houston

iStock/Thinkstock(HOUSTON) -- Torrential rain in Houston, Texas, has led to nearly 900 emergency rescues as severe flooding trapped drivers on roadways and residents inside their homes.

Parts of the Houston area have experienced 17 inches of rain in the past 24 hours.

Up to 4 inches of rain fell each hour Monday morning at Houston's airport. Since midnight, nearly a foot of rain has fallen, making it the wettest April on record in the city.

At least four people were killed, Harris County Judge Ed Emmett said Monday afternoon.

Monday morning, Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner urged residents to stay home.

"Do not try to drive through this water. Please stay at home," Turner said. "Even if you're home -- you feel it will be flooded -- you're not going to help yourself by leaving your house and trying to go some place else."

One person was found dead in a car but officials have not yet confirmed if the death was weather-related, the mayor said.

There have been 44,000 power outages in the city, Turner noted.

The severe flooding can be blamed on an overflow from local creeks and bayous, according to the Harris County Emergency Management office.

The mayor said there was one upside to the torrential rain: it struck overnight and early this morning -- when most people are not at work and children are not in school.

Houston schools are closed Monday because of the severe weather.

Rainfall rates have tapered off, but more rain is expected this evening and overnight which could cause additional water rescues and significant flooding.

Severe storms with hail, gusty winds and even isolated tornadoes are expected in Texas Monday through Wednesday.

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California anticipates much-needed rain this week after catastrophic wildfires

California anticipates much-needed rain this week after catastrophic wildfiresGoogle Earth(NEW YORK) -- Ravaged by a slew of deadly wildfires in recent days, northern California is set to get a bit of relief this week in the form of rain.

A storm system is expected to move over the Pacific Northwest later this week and the trailing cold front will most likely bring some much-needed rain to northern California between Thursday and Friday, according to ABC meteorologists.

"It will rain a bit but not enough to fully douse the blazes," AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Ken Clark said in a statement Tuesday. "The biggest advantage to firefighters will be the increase in humidity and lower temperatures."

Massive wildfires have charred more than 245,000 acres of land statewide in the past week, killing at least 41 people and destroying thousands of homes, according to authorities.

Firefighters were battling about a dozen wildfires as of late Tuesday evening, although most of them were more than halfway contained.

“The weather today will be warm with low humidity, which will continue to challenge firefighters, but only light winds are forecast,” CalFire said in a statement on Tuesday. “A chance of precipitation is expected to arrive later in the week, bringing relief from the dry conditions.”

The northern parts of the Golden State, which has bared the brunt of the fire damage, is forecast to see an influx of cloudy, cooler and wetter weather later in the week, according to AccuWeather.

Spotter from Los Osos was reporting sprinkles from this high level moisture. Dry at lower levels. Rain evaporates. Also called "Virga" #cawx pic.twitter.com/sgxj3bdXZQ

— NWS Los Angeles (@NWSLosAngeles) October 18, 2017

However, a return of dry air, heat and areas of gusty winds could once again raise the wildfire danger early next week, meteorologists said.

Separately, a band of moisture, referred to as Atmospheric River by weather experts, is currently stretching between Asia and North America. It’s expected to bring several storm systems into many parts of the Pacific Northwest through the rest of the week.

The first of these storms have already hit the Pacific Northwest with wind gusts of between 40 and 74 mph.

A number of wind warnings and flood watches are in effect in the western and northern parts of the U.S. ahead of the storm.

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