Floodwaters from the Brazos River inundate a residential area. Brandon Wade / AP

Torrential rain and overflowing rivers and reservoirs have killed at least six people and caused thousands to evacuate their homes.

Torrential rain over the weekend and what meteorologists called “rain bombs” have flooded parts of Texas, causing rivers and reservoirs to overflow, and have killed at least six people as of Tuesday morning.

The rain began last week and has dumped more than 30 inches in some areas, including 16 inches in just one day in Washington County, which is between Houston and Austin. The devastation in the county was made worse after the Brazos River and nearby reservoirs overflowed and forced thousands to evacuate, including 2,600 inmates from a prison.

The intense rain is to blame for much of the flooding, but the ground in this part of Texas isn’t used to absorbing so much water so quickly, as The New York Times reported:

In an area including San Antonio and Austin, Tex., the heavy rain could not soak into the limestone and sandstone that characterize the Hill Country region, leading narrow creeks to brim with fast-running waters.

Since Wednesday, the thunderstorms have dropped pockets of intensely heavy rain, or “rain bombs,” as meteorologists call them.

Six people have died in the floods, most trapped in their cars surrounded by rising water. One boy who was swept away by the Brazos River was still missing. Schools were closed Tuesday, and the American Red Cross had opened shelters in the worst-hit areas.

The Weather Channel predicted more rain for the week, picking up Tuesday night until Friday, which could greatly increase the chance of more flooding.

This post originally appeared on The Atlantic.

About the Author

Most Popular

  1. A photo of police officers sealing off trash bins prior to the Tokyo Marathon in Tokyo in 2015.
    Life

    Carefully, Japan Reconsiders the Trash Can

    The near-absence of public garbage bins in cities like Tokyo is both a security measure and a reflection of a cultural aversion to littering.

  2. Cars sit in a crosswalk.
    Transportation

    What if More People Could Issue Parking Tickets?

    Washington, D.C., considers training a group of residents to give tickets for some parking violations. Would it make streets safer for pedestrians and cyclists?

  3. A line of stores in Westport, Connecticut
    Equity

    Separated by Design: How Some of America’s Richest Towns Fight Affordable Housing

    In southwest Connecticut, the gap between rich and poor is wider than anywhere else in the country. Invisible walls created by local zoning boards and the state government block affordable housing and, by extension, the people who need it.

  4. Environment

    A 13,235-Mile Road Trip for 70-Degree Weather Every Day

    This year-long journey across the U.S. keeps you at consistent high temperatures.

  5. A ruined ancient temple in dense forest.
    Environment

    How the Ancient Maya Adapted to Climate Change

    Instead of focusing on the civilization’s final stages, looking at Mayan adaptations shows how their communities survived for as long as they did.