The past week has brought widespread devastation throughout Texas, as torrential rain and tornadoes have ripped through a wide swath of the state. Severe weather has killed at least 24 people in Texas and Oklahoma since last weekend, and another 14 remain missing, as floodwaters swept up residents and carried them miles downstream.

The scale of the disaster is historic. Last Monday, an inch of rain fell on Houston in just five minutes, while 95 percent of the state — along with parts of Arkansas, Kansas, Louisiana, Missouri, and Oklahoma — was under a flash flood warning at one point. So much rain has fallen during the past month — 35 trillion gallons, according to the National Weather Service — that it could cover the entire state of Texas in a pool of water eight inches deep. The continued inundation has even brought an end to the state’s four-year-long drought.

As is the case with most weather-related disasters in the U.S. these days, a number of observers have begun to ask: What role, if any, did climate change play in this disaster?