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Rising river prompts evacuations in Houston area as alligators, water moccasins float in

By Allen Cone
Water overflows the Brazos River onto a road in the Kingdom Heights subdivision in Rosenberg, Texas. The Fort Bend County Sheriff's Office reported that the subdivision was surrounded by water with no way in or out. Photo courtesy of Fort Bend Sheriff's Office/Twitter
Water overflows the Brazos River onto a road in the Kingdom Heights subdivision in Rosenberg, Texas. The Fort Bend County Sheriff's Office reported that the subdivision was surrounded by water with no way in or out. Photo courtesy of Fort Bend Sheriff's Office/Twitter

HOUSTON, May 31 (UPI) -- The rising Bravos River in the Houston area has forced evacuations of several neighborhoods.

Southwest of Houston in Rosenberg, mandatory evacuations were ordered and five miles of a major road were closed.

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"At this point, we really want our citizens to take this seriously," Jeff Braun, Fort Bend County emergency management coordinator, said to KHOU-Channel 11 in Houston. "If they are thinking they remember 1994, they need to add 2 1/2 feet to the top of that ... probably going to make them very uncomfortable, and they're going to want to be someplace else."

The Bravos River was at 53.39 feet Tuesday in nearby Richmond, the National Weather Service said. That is 3 feet higher than the record set during flooding in 1994 and 8 feet above flood stage.

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Authorities say the river could rise another 2 1/2 feet with more rain in the forecast.

At least 40 people were rescued over the weekend in Fort Bend County.

"The neighbors have already seen wildlife around there like alligators," Rosenberg resident Alicia Rivas told KHOU. "It's around here already ... Whenever the police tell us, we have to leave. But we are scared about it."

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The rising waters also carried water moccasin snakes, ants and debris into neighborhoods and businesses.

Missouri City Mayor Allen Owen issued calls for voluntary evacuations in Lake Olympia and Quail Valley.

Seven people have died since the flooding last weekend in Texas.

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Most of the deaths were in Washington County between Austin and Houston. More than 18 inches of rain hit Brenham, about 70 miles west-northwest of downtown Houston, from late Thursday to Friday, according to the National Weather Service. It set a 24-hour rainfall record for the area.

Several dozen rivers in the southern and central Great Plains were flooded on Tuesday, the weather service said.

AccuWeather predicts heavy storms will impact Oklahoma and central and western Texas through Wednesday night before heading into east Texas.

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