(HOUSTON) — Strong winds and flash floods plagued southeast Texas Monday after an unusually dry winter, with rainfall exceeding the monthly average in a few hours.
City roads were flooded and thousands of Houston residents were without electricity after strong thunderstorms hit the area.
The torrential downpour came as a shock to many Texans, after 2011 finished as the driest year on record for that area, according to the National Weather Service.
Houston endured a total of 4.05 inches of rain by 4 p.m. Monday, according to the National Weather Service. The monthly rainfall average for that area is 3.79 inches.
A funnel cloud was sighted southwest of Houston and roads flooded across downtown Houston. Flooding shut down exit ramps and lanes on several major highways, wreaking havoc on the Houston area.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
Kathryn Vasel, CNN
Jethro Mullen, Ravi Hiranand and Frank Pallotta, CNN