Harvey has more devastation in store for Texas. The hurricane turned tropical storm will make landfall once again on Wednesday, this time near the Texas-Louisiana border. The next landfall could dump up to 15 more inches of rain and will cover the already saturated Houston area, where many victims are still in need of rescue.
The storm first made landfall as a Category 4 hurricane north of Corpus Christi, Texas on Friday night. It continued to slam Texas and the Gulf Coast with rain for the next three days, even after being downgraded to a tropical storm. Even after 72 hours of landfall, Harvey remained a storm. Streets have become rivers, and thousands of Texans have been stranded in flooded homes.
According to the Weather Channel, areas in southeast Texas have received “more than 40 inches of rain since Friday.” The highest official total comes from South Houston, with rainfall amounting to 43 inches. As of 9 am CDT Tuesday morning, a Harris County Flood Warning System rain gauge reported “a four-day storm total of 49.32 inches.”
If confirmed Harvey would have the “heaviest storm total rainfall from any tropical cyclone in the continental US in records dating to 1950.”
— Brazoria County (@BrazoriaCounty) August 29, 2017
“Get out now,” Brazoria County officials warned residents as levees at Columbia Lakes in Brazoria County were breached. Parts of Brazoria County, which lies just south of Houston, have already been under a mandatory evacuation notice since Sunday.
CNN reports at least four people have already been reported dead as a result of the catastrophe. Houston police have rescued at least 3,400 trapped-residents in Harvey’s aftermath. This number is expected to rise, as thousands more Texans are still in need of rescue. CNN reports “thousands of Texans are believed to have sat in darkness overnight Monday amid rising floodwaters.”
The waters will continue to rise. Flooded rivers in east Texas will not crest until the end of the week. According to CNN, federal officials predict Harvey will force 30,000 people into shelters and drive another 450,000 people to seek some level of disaster assistance.
As the president travels to Texas today, government officials are working quickly to provide disaster relief. Texas Governor Greg Abbott activated the entire Texas National Guard, numbering roughly 12,000 Guardsmen, by Monday. The Pentagon is working to identify resources, such as trucks, aircraft and troops, “that can be dispatched for hurricane relief if the request comes,” officials told CNN.
Some areas, such as Harris County, have asked stranded residents to hang towels or sheets from their homes to enable rescuers to find them more easily.
Exact numbers for how many people may still be trapped in flooded areas and homes are not known.
Rep. Al Green toured a section of Houston on Monday. He told CNN that he thinks 10,000 people may still be trapped in that area alone. Rep. Sheila Jackson told CNN she believes the number of trapped residents citywide could be far greater, in the “tens of thousands.”