National Weather Service flash flood watches and flood warnings continue for Houston and east to Lake Charles, Louisiana, because the ground is so saturated that it can't handle any more rain - making flash flooding possible with as little as 1 inch of additional rain.
Imelda is the first named storm to impact the Houston area since Harvey hovered for days and inundated the flood-prone Gulf Coast.
On Thursday morning, a 19-year-old man died when he was "electrocuted and drowned" while trying to save his horse in Jefferson County, south of Houston, McClatchy news group reported.
Airboats from the sheriff's office and the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department were helping with the rescues, along with high-water vehicles, Hawthorne said. The storm dumped more than 5 feet (1.5 metres) of water on the town of Nederland, Texas, near the Louisiana border.
Emergency crews on Thursday evacuated 87 residents from a nursing home in Porter, northeast of Houston, as floodwaters began to seep into the home, according to Meghan Ballard, spokeswoman for the Montgomery County Office of Emergency Management.
A vehicle navigates a street flooded by rain from Hurricane Harvey on August 26, 2017, in Galveston, Texas.
The National Weather Service said preliminary estimates suggested that Jefferson County was deluged with more than 40 inches of rain in a span of just 72 hours, which would make it the seventh wettest tropical cyclone in US history.
"The state of Texas is working closely with local officials and emergency personnel to provide the resources they need to keep Texans safe from Tropical Storm Imelda", Abbott said.
Chacour Koop is a Real-Time reporter based in Kansas City. Louisiana officials also closed a portion of Interstate 10 heading west into Texas.
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"USGC Air Station Houston and Air Station New Orleans have completed multiple medevacs and rescues in the Beaumont area due to flooding caused by Tropical Depression #Imelda", it said. The Harris County Sheriff's Office deployed its marine unit to evacuate the around 60 residents.
People in Houston navigate the floodwaters on Thursday.
During Harvey, Beaumont's only pump station was swamped by floodwaters, leaving residents without water service for more than a week.
"We have many areas that are underwater that were not previously underwater", he said.
"It rolled in like a river", she said.
She said her home, located along a creek, was not in danger of flooding as it sits on stilts, like many others nearby.
People walk the flooded waters at Hopper Rd in Houston, Texas.
This week's storms flooded Houston and Southeast Texas, with preliminary data compiled by the National Weather Service (NWS) suggesting Imelda is the seventh wettest tropical cyclone in USA history and the fourth wettest in Texan history.
The flooding from Imelda came as Hurricane Humberto blew off rooftops and toppled trees in the British Atlantic island of Bermuda, and Hurricane Jerry was expected to move to the northern Leeward Islands on Friday and north of Puerto Rico on Saturday.