Houston has been hard hit by the storms this week. Some parts of the city have gotten more than a foot of rain, flooding dozens of neighborhoods and leaving at least five people dead.

Heavy flooding has become nearly an annual rite of passage in the practically sea-level city, where experts have long warned of the potential for catastrophe.

Philip Bedient, an engineering professor at Rice University, says the flooding problem can't be solved. He says, "All we can do is a better job warning."

A county judge says all of the people who have died were in cars when the flash flooding happened. Harris County Judge Ed Emmett says two people died in a vehicle that ignored barricades at a freeway underpass. He says traffic cameras recorded the vehicle going around the blockade and head into the water. The vehicle didn't make it through.

Two deaths reported earlier Monday included one man found inside a truck that that drove into high water on a freeway service road. Harris County Sgt. Herbert Martinez says crews monitoring the high water on the road saw the man in the 18-wheeler truck drive directly into the water. He says it's possible the driver may have suffered some kind of medical emergency.

Schools were closed and several thousand people were left without power during the height of the storm.