Harvey Brings Unprecedented Flooding To Houston

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Sun, Aug 27 - 7:38 pm EDT | 1 year ago by
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At least five people are dead and over a dozen more injured after Hurricane Harvey stalled over Houston, the fourth-largest city in the nation, dumping a catastrophic amount of rainfall that left homes flooded, roadways deluged, and residents trapped.

Taking to Twitter, the National Weather Service summed up the situation befalling Houston as “unprecedented” and “unknown and beyond anything experienced.”

“Everything that we had hoped wouldn’t happen but was forecasted is happening,” National Hurricane Center spokesman Dennis Feltgen told the New York Times. “We have a catastrophic, life-threatening flood event taking place over southeastern Texas, including the Houston metropolitan area. It’s bad now and it’s getting worse.”

The National Weather Service issued multiple flash flood warnings on Saturday night as the sudden rainfall transformed streets and highways into raging rivers. Emergency responders carried out over 1,000 high-water rescues during the night as residents tried to evacuate last-minute and instead were caught off-guard by the rising water.

National Guard servicemembers could be seen carrying people on their shoulders as they waded through thigh-high waters to reach high-water vehicles, while soldiers in life jackets clambered onto boats to make rescues in residential areas.

President Donald Trump praised the efforts of emergency workers for their response, taking to Twitter to announce that he would travel to Texas “as soon as that trip can be made without causing disruption.

While the storm has been downgraded to Tropical Storm Harvey after making landfall, it is expected to bring an additional 15 to 25 inches of rain through Friday along the middle and upper Texas coast, a region that includes the Houston and Galveston metropolitan areas. The National Hurricane Center warned that “isolated storm totals may reach 50 inches in this region.”

Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner has now been forced to defend his call on Houston residents to not evacuate, which he issued in defiance of Gov. Greg Abbott’s warning to the contrary.

“If you think the situation right now is bad, you give an order to evacuate, you are creating a nightmare,” he said on Sunday. “Especially when it’s not planned.”

At the time Turner made the decision, Houston was expected to receive plenty of rainfall but did not appear to be in Hurricane Harvey’s direct path.

“You cannot put in the city of Houston 2.3 million people on the road – that is dangerous. “He said. When you combine Houston and Harris county, you literally cannot put 6.5 million people on the road.”

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