As Tropical Depression Imelda pummeled Texas, rescuers rushed to save stranded animals. The massive storm system triggered a string of thunderstorms and heavy downpours in the Houston area. Meteorologists estimate more than 50 inches of water fell on parts of the state in only a few days—that's the most rainfall the area has seen since Hurricane Harvey in 2017. The resulting floods have been called "catastrophic" as schools and businesses closed and countless homes were destroyed. Cypress Trails Equestrian Center north of Houston experienced massive flooding, and they had to move fast to save over 50 horses.
Videos of the historic flood show farmhands and volunteers swimming through deep waters trying to get to stranded horses. Rising water almost completely submerged barns and other buildings on the property. Horses waded through water that was chest-deep in some areas, and some horses were forced to swim for their lives.
A nearby creek had breached its normal shores and sent fast-moving currents of water through the pastures at the equine center. The currents made getting to horses and guiding them to safety even more difficult. Zach Karrenbrock, who recorded the video, told news outlets that while the rising water put both horses and humans at risk, all the barn's animals were moved to higher ground and then transported to safety. No injuries or fatalities have been reported.
The center later posted on Facebook saying,
"All of the horses have been evacuated and are safe. Dogs also. Thanks for your concern - be safe!"
While Cypress Trails Equestrian Center worked hard to save their herd, similar stories of rescue and disaster happened across the Houston area. A 19-year-old man died in Jefferson County after he was electrocuted and drowned whilst attempted to save his horse. First responders in Harris County made over 1,000 high-water rescues related to Imelda floods. The entire Houston area is still recovering from the ordeal.