Rescuers search flooded Houston block-by-block
HOUSTON (FOX 26) - The death toll from Harvey has risen to 39. The Harris County medical examiner has confirmed 25 Harvey-related deaths in the county.
Houston's fire department prepared Thursday to begin a block-by-block search of thousands of flooded homes in a city wrecked by Harvey.
The city's assistant fire chief, Richard Mann, said his department would ensure "no people were left behind."
Farther east, Beaumont and Port Arthur struggled with rising water after being pounded with what remained of the weakening storm, which was downgraded to a Tropical Depression.
Beaumont has lost its water supply due to the Neches River flooding, forcing residents to form long lines to buy water only with the use of a credit or debit card.
Six family members were killed when their van was swept up by Greens Bayou flooding on Sunday, deputies say. The Harris County Sheriff's Office says the van plunged into flood waters off of Ley Road. The van was recovered on Wednesday.
On Monday, Pasadena ISD reported that two great-grandparents and two young children were in a van swept up by floodwaters from Greens Bayou.
Pasadena ISD released the following statement on its Facebook page:
Pasadena ISD's heart is heavy as we have learned that four Pasadena ISD students and two of their great-grand parents were swept away by the floodwaters of Greens Bayou while trying to escape the floodwaters of Harvey.
Our thoughts and prayers are with the family, the Pasadena High School and Williams Elementary Communities during this most difficult time. Our deepest sympathy for the family.
A sheriff's official north of Houston says two men died this week in separate drownings, bringing the number of confirmed Harvey-related deaths to 20.
Montgomery County sheriff's Capt. Bryan Carlisle said Wednesday that 33-year-old Joshua Feuerstein of Conroe died when he disregarded a barricade and drove his pickup into standing water Monday.
Carlisle says witnesses saw the pickup's reverse lights illuminate, indicating that Feuerstein was attempting to back out of the water. But the pickup was carried into deeper water. The witnesses swam to help, but Carlisle says he was already dead.
Separately, an unidentified man died as he tried to swim across a flooded roadway Monday.
Carlisle says people nearby saw the man sink under the fast-moving water. His body was found a day later in the same area.
In Crosby, two 'pops' and black smoke came out of the Arkema chemical plant, where a 1.5 mile radius had already been evacuated.
Fifteen deputies were evaluated at a local hospital after inhaling the fumes, which caused irritation to the eyes and throat.
Harvey, once a Category 4 hurricane, was downgraded to a tropical storm on Wednesday evening.
Bush and Hobby airports resumed limited flight operations at 4 p.m. Wednesday.
Officials say nearly all Houston-area waterways inundated by Harvey's record rainfall have crested, but that water levels continue to rise in two flood-control reservoirs.
Jeff Lindner of the Harris County Flood Control District says river levels are going down Wednesday "for the first time in several days."
Army Corps of Engineers regional engineer Edmond Russo says water in the Barker and Addicks reservoirs in west Houston rose slightly overnight and is likely to crest Wednesday, but slightly below forecast levels.
The reservoirs have received 32 to 35 inches (81 to 89 centimeters) of rain since Harvey hit last weekend, but Russo says less than an inch (2.5 centimeters) of rain is forecast in the coming week.
Lindner says "we're getting very close to the peak of both reservoirs."
Linder says it's too early to say if the thousands of Houston-area homes flooded by Harvey's torrential rains can be rebuilt. "When water sits in a house for several weeks, the house begins to degrade."
About 4,000 homes in the areas near the Addicks and Barker reservoirs have been flooded, some with 3 to 6 feet of water. Linder says some of those will remain flooded "for an extended period of time."
He says it's unclear what condition those properties will be in when those residents return.
Lindner says controlled water releases from the two reservoirs continue to flow into Buffalo Bayou, and that some homes in the area could be flooded again. But he expects no additional homes to take on water in the area.
Thousands of area residents will be waking up this morning in unfamiliar surroundings as they spent a long night in one of several area shelters
During the early hours of the morning Tropical Storm Harvey made landfall again just west of Cameron Louisiana, after battering Port Arthur and east Texas. The tropical storm is expected to weaken and continue to the north. Harvey is forecast to drop substantial amounts of rain in Louisiana before moving on to Arkansas, Tennessee and parts of Missouri.
There are 10,000 people now taking shelter at the George R. Brown Convention Center, Mayor Turner also opened NRG Center as a shelter at 10 p.m. Tuesday night. On Wednesday, Judge Ed Emmett announced that in an effort to pool resources shelters in the area will be consolidated into one large regional shelter at the NRG Center. He says people will be transferred on Thursday.
CLICK HERE FOR A LIST OF MANDATORY AND VOLUNTARY EVACUATION ORDERS.
Tuesday, May Turner declared a curfew for the entire city from midnight until 5:00AM until further notice.
At 7:00 AM, Wednesday morning Centerpoint is reporting 99505 customers without lights. Centerpoint crews are unable to reach many parts of the city due to flooding, restoration estimates are unavailable until road conditions improve.
CLICK HERE FOR A LIST OF POWER OUTAGES IN THE AREA
All commercial flight operations at Bush Intercontinental and William P. Hobby airports have ceased until further notice with no flights in and out. Roadways into and out of the airports are closed with Bush Airport affected by flooding.
Harris County Flood Control District announced a controlled release of the Addicks and Barker Reservoirs had begun late Sunday. The process will add more water to already-flooded roads,
CLICK HERE FOR A LIST OF NEIGHBORHOODS AFFECTED BY RESERVOIR RELEASE.
There are still several areas underwater and while in most areas the waters are starting to recede there are others where the run off is adding to the problem and creeks and rivers are rising.
CLICK HERE FOR CREEKS, BAYOUS AND RIVERS FLOOD FORECAST
Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner has established the Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund following inquiries from citizens and corporations who offered help. The fund, administered by the Greater Houston Community Foundation, will accept tax deductible flood relief donations.
“We are getting calls from across the country and right here in our hometown, and the generosity of people who understand this disaster is truly amazing,” said Mayor Turner. “Together we can make a difference to those who will need extensive help to get back on their feet once this storm is over.”
Houston Rockets owner Leslie Alexander announced on Monday that he and the team would donate $4 million to the Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund.
The Houston Texans preseason game against the Dallas Cowboys, originally scheduled to take place at NRG Stadium in Houston, will be relocated to AT&T Stadium in Arlington with kickoff at 7 p.m. CT.
Governor Greg Abbott has added the following Texas counties to the Presidential Disaster Declaration granted earlier by Federal Emergency Management Agency:
- Fort Bend
- San Jacinto
"Our partners at the federal level have stood ready to answer the call for help from Texas, and I am thankful for their assistance as we continue to assess the situation in expanded areas across our state," said Governor Abbott. "Many parts of Eastern Texas, especially in and around Houston, are experiencing historic flooding causing the need to grow for additional resources that will allow us to answer the call for help from our fellow Texans. I thank those at FEMA for their attention to the severity of the situation in Texas and the people of this great state for coming together in this time of need."
"These communities have suffered a great deal because of this catastrophic storm, but Texans are resilient by nature and will make it through this tough time," said Gov. Abbott. "Resources are being made available to these counties to help Texans get their lives back on track. The state will continue to do everything in its power to engage in the recovery effort and assist those in need of relief."
Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner is defending his decision not to ask residents to evacuate before the heavy rain from Tropical Storm Harvey swamped roads and neighborhoods across the nation's fourth-largest city.
Turner says at a news conference Sunday that there was no way to pinpoint which neighborhoods would be worst hit. He says every neighborhood has received at least some flooding.
He says, "If you think the situation right now is bad and you give an order to evacuate, you are creating a nightmare."
Turner asked people to stay in their homes and not drive if at all possible. Houston Fire Chief Samuel Pena says authorities have made more than 250 vehicle rescues in the storm.
Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner says emergency personnel have responded to more than 2,000 calls to 911 for rescues in the wake of Hurricane Harvey. He said priority was being given to life-threatening calls.
The Harris County medical examiner has confirmed 5 Harvey-related deaths in the county as of 6 p.m. Tuesday. This count includes the death of a Houston Police Department officer who drowned in flood waters.
During an emotional moment at a news conference, Houston Police Department Chief Art Acevedo sobbed as he explained how a dive team conducted a search for a missing officer and found the body of Sgt. Steve Perez.
The Associated Press reported the death tolls from Harvey at at least 18.
The Montgomery County Sheriff's Office has confirmed the death of a 60-year-old woman after a tree fell on her while she slept.
Tropical Storm Harvey slammed Houston with devastating floods pouring into the nation's fourth-largest city, dropping nearly 24" across the Houston-area. Tropical Storm Harvey dropped as much as 24" of rainfall across this area.
Aransas County Judge C.H. 'Burt' Mills Jr. says there is one confirmed death from Harvey in the coastal city of Rockport.
The tropical system appears to have triggered dangerous potential tornadoes in northwest Harris County where Sheriff Ed Gonzalez said they touched down at least four times with extensive damage in the Lone Oak subdivision near the Berry Cehter.
A man who went into distress while attempting to swim across floodwaters in Montgomery County is presumed dead, the sheriff's office says.
The Montgomery County Sheriff's Office released this statement:
On 08-28-2017 just before 11:30 pm, a male was seen by multiple witnesses attempting to swim across the flood waters located at Spring Park Ridge and SH 99 (Grand Parkway). The white male was approximately 60 – 70 years in age, his identity is unknown at this time. The male entered the water and witnesses observed the male go into distress. Witnesses attempted to assist the male but were unsuccessful.
At this time the male is presumed to be deceased, due to the exceptionally fast moving flood waters rescue crews were unable to deploy.
More details to be released as they become available.
Keep informed with FOX 26 News updates on Hurricane Harvey.