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Severe storms leave Houston residents stranded without power (+video)

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Aron M. Sprecher/Getty Images

(Read caption) Heavy rains in Texas inundated parts of Houston on Tuesday, closing roadways including Interstate 45.


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The Houston metropolitan area experienced heavy rainfall on Monday night, with some areas drenched in over 11 inches of rain by Tuesday morning according to a report by CNN

On Monday, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott declared a state of disaster in 24 counties, including Houston. Highways experienced severe flooding and more than 80,000 people were without power due to the storm, which began on Saturday. 

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The Houston metro area is under multiple river flood warnings effective through the day on Tuesday, warning that "very heavy rainfall across the area in the past 12 hours has led to rapid rises in area creeks ... rivers and bayous," the Weather Channel warned. 

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On Tuesday, Houston's mass transit system suspended all bus and rail service, and the Houston Independent School District closed all of its schools and offices. 

The unprecedented rainfall has left some people stranded since Monday night. Spectators at the Houston Rockets basketball game were urged to stay in the Toyota Center following the team's 128-115 victory over the Golden State Warriors. Many left anyway, but others stayed

"I have a low car, so I'm going to wait it out," Rod Royall told the Houston Chronicle. "I've lived here my whole life. I know better than to think that I'm going to be different than the 10,000 other people that are having problems."

Fans who chose to stay were treated to a surprise. The Houston Rockets' center, Dwight Howard, remained in the Toyota Center with them. Howard told reporters, "The weather is pretty bad out, but this is a great place to be, the fans and everybody here, I feel like I'm at home." 

At 5:30 a.m. Tuesday morning, seven hours after the game ended, fans were cleared to leave, according to NBC News. 

Others were forced to spend the night in the Galleria mall west of the city after floodwaters made driving impossible. 

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"We were headed out to our cars and found we couldn't get out," store worker Karina Hernandez told NBC. "The first-level garage was completely flooded. There was literally no way out."

According to the same report, a security guard confirmed that some people remained at the mall early Tuesday morning. 

"We have tried to make them as comfortable as we can," said the guard.