Torrential rains in Texas have deluged hundreds of homes, led to prison evacuations and killed at least 16 people in the past week, US officials say.

The fatalities on Friday included nine soldiers who died after their military vehicle flipped over in a flood-swollen creek on Thursday at Fort Hood Army post in central Texas.

The vehicle overturned at a low-water crossing and military officials have not said why the convoy was training near a swollen waterway.

The sprawling army post, covering an area about 15 times larger than Manhattan, was closing flood-hit roads when the accident took place.


One more flood-related death in the state was likely, San Antonio police said after recovering the body of a man caught in metal bars at a river drainage.

The Texas Department of Criminal Justice began moving about 1700 inmates out of its Ramsey Unit in Rosharon due to flooding along the Brazos River.

It relocated about 2600 inmates from two other facilities this week due to flooding on the same river.

The National Weather Service has placed large parts of Texas, Louisiana and Mississippi on a flash flood watch.

Parts of Texas have had record rain for May, including Brenham, northwest of Houston, which received 74.9 cm, it said.

Heavy rains are forecast to hit Houston and eastern Texas through the weekend, it said.