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More rain ahead for Texas as cleanup begins after flooding emergency hits Gulf Coast

By Allison Chinchar, CNN Meteorologist

While Tropical Storm Elsa was dumping heavy rain on Florida on Wednesday, Texas was dealing with its own flooding crisis.

A flash flood emergency was issued for Rockport and Fulton, Texas, on Wednesday afternoon after almost a foot of rain fell across the region in a short period of time.

The Rockport Aransas County Airport has picked up over 11 inches of rain since Wednesday morning. Corpus Christi International Airport has picked up over half a foot of rain in the same time period.

Meanwhile McAllen International Airport reported over 4.6 inches of rain Wednesday which was nearly three times the previous record of 1.57 set back in 2008.

So much rain fell that Texas Gov. Greg Abbott issued a statement saying disaster resources would be on standby for communities in South Texas and the Coastal Bend region.

“The severe storms hitting our South Texas and Coastal Bend communities pose a serious threat of flash flooding and river flooding, and I urge Texans in these areas to heed the guidance of local officials and take precautions to protect themselves and their loved ones,” said Abbott.

“The State of Texas has placed several resources on standby to support the local response to this weather, and we are ready to provide additional support as needed to keep Texans safe,” the statement said.

“Although it’s not considered a tropical depression, the system has many of the characteristics of one which explains its excessive rainfall characteristics,” the Weather Prediction Center said.

But while it may resemble a tropical system, it is actually just a broad area of low pressure over South Texas.

“As of 6 AM, 4.52″ of rain has fallen at Corpus Christi Int’l Airport since midnight,” the National Weather Service office in Corpus Christi said in a tweet Thursday.

“This is already a record for the day, with more rain on the way.”

Rain is in the forecast for most of the Texas Gulf Coast both Thursday and Friday which will not allow much of a reprieve for cleanup.

An additional 2 to 4 inches of rain are possible with local higher amounts. These numbers alone could trigger flash flooding, but will be especially comcerning since the rain will be falling on already very saturated soils.

A level 3 out of 4 risk for flooding exists for the Gulf Coast region of Texas. Nearly 3 million residents along the region are also under flash flood watches and/or flash flood warnings.

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CNN meteorologists Hannah Gard and Jackson Dill contributed to this story.

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