BEAUMONT, Texas — Southeast Texas had barely caught its breath from devastating flooding from Hurricane Harvey when another tropical storm formed in the Gulf of Mexico.
Tropical Storm Imelda came two years after Harvey made landfall in Southeast Texas.The deadly category four hurricane swamped Houston and parts of Beaumont.
Imelda was a tropical system few paid attention to as it wobbled in the Gulf of Mexico. It was a cluster of thunderstorms that the National Hurricane Center gave little chance of forming into anything tropical.
But it ended up being a storm Southeast Texas will never forget.
More than 40 inches of rain drenched Jefferson County, the National Weather Service office in Houston said, making Imelda the seventh wettest tropical cyclone in U.S. history.
“What I’m sitting in right now makes Harvey look like a little thunderstorm,” Chambers County Sheriff Brian Hawthorne told KTRK-TV in Houston.
There were 250 high water rescue calls to 911 in Beaumont alone.
“It’s bad. Homes that did not flood in Harvey are flooding now,” Jefferson County Judge Jeff Branick said as Imelda's rains fell on Sept. 19.
But as the flood waters receded, Southeast Texas became stronger. Many began using #409Strong on social media to tell stories of harrowing rescues and random acts of kindness.
After almost back-to-back historic floods, many in Southeast Texas are now asking, 'Is this the new normal?'
Since the storm, 12News returned to some of the hardest hit neighborhoods to talk to those who lost the most.
Despite losing everything, families are opening up about how they found faith, family and hope through the storm.
These are their stories.