Breaking News Emails
Fans were stranded for seven hours after a Houston Rockets playoff game because of dangerous floods outside.
Just before the end of the Rockets' win over the Golden State Warriors on Monday, a message on the scoreboard told fans to stay put. The team tweeted: "Toyota Center is advising fans to stay in seats after game due to severe weather outside. Be safe."
Some left, but hundreds chose not to take the risk, according to NBC affiliate KPRC. Those who played it safe got a surprise visit from a star player — Rockets center Dwight Howard, who told the Houston Chronicle that he wasn't going to take his chances on the roads, either.
"I don't think it's smart for anybody to try to be out on this weather," he said.
Arena staff provided their unexpected overnight guests with coffee, bagels, cinnamon rolls and places to charge their phones.
"Still here at the Toyota Center," tweeted Craig Ackerman, an announcer for the Rockets, hours after the game.
Everyone was finally cleared to go home at about 5:30 a.m., after a flood warning expired. Many expressed thanks on social media.
After seven hours in the arena, people were eager to leave, KPRC sports reporter Simone Eli told NBC News.
"It was entertaining in the beginning because the Rockets had just won. Everyone was happy," she said. "That quickly turned into tiredness, hunger and the feeling like it would never end."
- Houston, Texas, Hit by Unprecedented Flooding; Seven States At Risk
- Houston Flooding Strands Workers at The Galleria Mall
— Elisha Fieldstadt