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Mandatory evacuation orders in Harris County. lifted, but long recovery ahead after storms

KINGWOOD, Texas (KTRK) — Several Harris County officials, including Judge Lina Hidalgo and Sheriff Ed Gonzalez, gave an update on the aftermath of storms that continued through the weekend.

According to officials, the county is now out of the woods as there are no more threats of rain, but the challenging part lies ahead: recovery.

“Good news is we are out of the woods,” Hidalgo said.

Hidalgo says the county is now in a “bridge phase.” They are pivoting from a response phase into recovery mode.

As of 10:30 a.m. Monday, the mandatory evacuation order was lifted, prompting displaced people to return home.

However, officials urged them to practice caution as water is still a problem. Those include the East Fork of the San Jacinto River, which should be accessible Tuesday, and the Rio Villa area, which still has impassable roads.

Officials said the Northshore neighborhood in Kingwood flooded late last week with water from the San Jacinto River, which is now falling faster than predicted.

Officials said the majority of the roadways in Kingwood are now clear. Still, Hidalgo stressed that for those who live in the West Fork portion, some roads are inaccessible.

While officials said there were no major injuries or deaths reported, the flooding brought water into many homes. Firefighters said the storms also caused a large oak tree to fall in the neighborhood.

READ MORE: Homeowners in Kingwood throwing away damaged belongings in flooded homes

Video from last week shows a Houston police officer saving a man and his three dogs from high water where the San Jacinto River enters Lake Houston.

ABC13 spoke to some homeowners who said they were experiencing flooding for the first time.

SEE ALSO: Evacuee forced to leave family dog behind is among flood emergency faces

“It was so emotional to go through this and just to see our belongings upside down,” said Steph Paulson, who just moved in four months ago.

“We don’t know what’s next. What should we tackle? We’re trying to like, get food and get to places, because we don’t have working septic or water,” Jon Paulson said.

Officials said on Monday that 233 people and 164 pets had been rescued across Harris County during the flooding.

For news updates, follow Brandon Hamilton on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

RELATED: Tree falls in Kingwood resident’s backyard as severe weather batters Houston, surrounding areas

This story comes from our news partner ABC13 Houston.