Heavy rains flood streets, close schools in Houston area

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Schools shut down Friday in the Houston area after an overnight storm dumped heavy rainfall on the flood-prone city, though forecasters said the high waters were expected to recede as the storms let up.

The National Weather Service said most areas saw about 1 to 3 inches of rain late Thursday and early Friday, with some places getting 3 to 6 inches of rain during that time period. Forecasters said a lull in rainfall was expected Friday, but the area braced for another round of storms late Friday and early Saturday.

The storms pelted the Houston area with golf-ball sized hail and flooded streets, leading to several high-water rescues. Although the dome was up at Minute Maid Park, some fans at the Houston Astros' Thursday night game were drenched after the roof began leaking.

The Harris County Flood Control District said early Friday that many bayous and creeks had crested and the water level was beginning to fall.

A flood warning was in effect for Houston through mid-morning Friday. In parts of Louisiana and Mississippi, forecasters warned that scattered flash flooding was possible as the storm heads to the east.

Houston has repeatedly faced flooding in recent years because the city has insufficient drainage and experienced rapid development that reduced wetlands.