Torrential rains have brought Houston to a halt. The Governor has declared emergency in several parts of Texas. This comes just a couple of days ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ‘Howdy Modi’ event.
Houston: The stage is all set for the mega "Howdy, Modi!" event where even US President Donald Trump will join Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The leaders will address over 50,000 Indian-Americans. However, torrential rains triggered by a tropical storm have brought Houston to a halt, and prompting the governor to declare an emergency in several parts of the state of Texas.
Tropical depression Imelda hit Texas on Thursday, leading to flooding of several areas, power outages and prompting urgent rescues and warnings across southeastern Texas for people to stay indoors.
Texas Governor Greg Abbott has declared a state of emergency for 13 counties in southeastern Texas.
"This happened very quickly. It just demonstrates that in this day and time, climate change is real. We no longer have to be concerned with just a hurricane. We have to be concerned with almost any sort of weather system that can quickly evolve into a major storm and produce a great deal of rain," Abbott said.
The US National Weather Service said the rainfall was winding down in areas that had been hit the hardest, but some parts of Fort Bend, Harris and Galveston counties were seeing additional 2 to 3 inches of rainfall every hour.
However, the volunteers of the "Howdy, Modi!" event are upbeat and confident that all the attendees at the sprawling NRG stadium in Houston will have an experience they will cherish all their lives.
Leading volunteer Achalesh Amar said that over 1,500 volunteers have been working round the clock to make the event a grand success. "We are going to have a fantastic programme on Sunday," he said.
The mammoth event reflects the growing size, power and complexity of the Indian-American community, both in the Houston area and across the United States, he said.
US President Donald Trump, along with a number of high-ranking US government officials - including governors, members of the US Congress and mayors - will join Prime Minister Narendra Modi to attend the "Howdy, Modi!" event on Sunday.
"This is going to be a kind of family celebration. We want to say, 'Look at our community here! We are successful. We are strong. We have done good things for Houston!' We would like Modi to know all of this," the organisers said.
Swapan Dhairyawan, president of the Indo-American Chamber of Commerce of Greater Houston (IACCGH), said he was confident that PM Modi's visit to Houston and his meeting with President Trump and CEOs of top companies will "make new inroads in furthering business opportunities in oil and gas, healthcare and Innovation - Houston's three core sectors".
Before Prime Minister Modi’s address, he is scheduled to have a round table meeting with various energy-related top business leaders. There are also some community-related brief meetings involved during his short trip to Houston, which includes meeting Kashmiri Pandits settled in the US.
Last Updated 1:55 PM IST