Reporting by Trace Gallagher
The numbers are unimaginable in their scope.
In Texas Alone up to 50 counties are being told to expect up to 50 inches of rain by Thursday. Two feed has fallen in the Houston area since the weekend.
In all, Harvey has so far produced nine trillion gallons of water.
With the catastrophic flooding and mandatory evacuations officials in Houston say the situation remains “very dangerous” as they prioritize rescue.
56,000 9-1-1 calls have been reported in the nation’s fourth largest city, overwhelming the system, with at least 2,000 residents evacuated so far by air and boat. Thousands more forces to seek a dry escape.
“It was just so real,” said one Houston resident. “We had to bust a window when they told us that the current was getting high. We had to bust a window to get out.”
Federal officials say at least 30,000 people are staying in temporary shelters and as many as 30,000 more may need a place to stay. Many facilities in Houston could soon approach capacity.
“I plan on staying here for the time they let us stay here,” said Houston resident Miranda Nowell. “Four or five days until the rain stops and then go home.”
To protect the city center long term, two area reservoirs released more water, adding to the short term concern. And adding to the chaos, a sad reality, with the rain often come looters.
“We’ve had four people that tried to loot and they were arrested,” said Chief Art Acevedo of the Houston Police Department. “After these events, frequently especially nce the natural disaster piece of it, where there are active floods going on, folks move in from around other states and even other cities and other regions to come in and loot and create problems.”
It’s a scene played out across Texas in communities’ big and small—stranded residents on roofs, cars and even in trees.
Admiral Paul Zukunft, Commandant of the U.S. Coast Guard tells Fox News they have “multiple flight crews” and have “thrown ever Coast Guard asset available” at the response, but there are conditions still where it is just not safe to fly.
With some coastal areas like Corpus Christi just beginning the massive cleanup officials estimate 450,000 people may require federal disaster assistance.
National Guard and citizen volunteers continue patrolling flooded-out streets and neighborhoods.