Erin drenches Houston, blamed for 1 death

Aug. 16, 2007 at 4:55 PM
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CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas, Aug. 16 (UPI) -- Tropical Storm Erin may be in shreds but it was still strong enough Thursday to flood Houston streets and cause a grocery roof collapse that killed one person.

The collapse of the store roof in the Clear Lake area, besides killing a store employee, also injured one person, the Houston Chronicle reported. The collapse trapped both victims, but firefighters eventually freed the unconscious injured man, who was taken to a hospital.

District Chief Tom Frankum said it took the Houston Fire Department longer than usual to get a crew to the scene because of the multitude of emergency calls.

Erin struck the Texas coastline about 25 miles northeast of Corpus Christ, lost much of its punch and quickly devolved into a tropical depression. It dumped heavy rains on Houston as it moved ponderously northeast.

Rain accumulations of 3 to 6 inches were expected across much of central and southern Texas, which is a concern as the region was already waterlogged by record rainfall in July, the Corpus Christi Caller-Times said.

The Chronicle said Texas hasn't been hit with a direct strike by a named storm since Tropical Storm Grace made landfall in August 2003. The centers of Hurricane Rita in 2005 and Hurricane Ivan in 2004, which had shrunk to a tropical storm, narrowly missed the state by coming ashore across the border in Louisiana.

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