"It's Catastrophic, Unprecedented, Epic": 5 Dead As Houston Reels Under Historic Flooding

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Emergency workers and rescue crews in Houston have been overwhelmed overnight with calls for water rescues, having responded to “hundreds” as of early Sunday, the Houston Chronicle is reporting, as Harvey, the most powerful storm to hit the state in more than 50 years, roared inland. According to the Houston newspaper, five people are now reported dead in Houston as Tropical Storm Harvey has dumped up to 30 inches of rain.

“It’s catastrophic, unprecedented, epic — whatever adjective you want to use,” Patrick Blood, a National Weather Service meteorologist, told the Chronicle. “It’s pretty horrible right now.” The newspaper reported the weather service said five people have died in the Houston area in unconfirmed flood-related deaths.


As the Statesman puts it: "It was supposed to be bad. It wasn’t supposed to be this bad."

A tweet from executive weather producer at the Weather Channel, Matthew Sitkowski, summarized the situation best: "surreal."

Underscoring the severity of the storm, moments ago president Trump tweeted "Wow - Now experts are calling #Harvey a once in 500 year flood! We have an all out effort going, and going well!"

In its latest bulletin, the National Weather Service similarly did not mince words, saying this morning that "catastrophic flooding is ongoing with flash flood emergencies in effect. The threat for continued additional, catastrophic, unprecedented and life threatening flooding continues today and into next week with periods of heavy rain from bands coming off the Gulf. Flash Flood Watches and Warnings are currently in effect for all of southeast Texas."

NWS computer models show continued rounds of thunderstorms spawned by Harvey, which has been downgraded from a hurricane to tropical storm. Blood said the Houston area can expect at least an additional 15 to 25 inches over the next few days.

Thunderstorms pummeled this city overnight Saturday as Tropical Storm Harvey stalled out again, dropping more nearly two feet of rain in some residential neighborhoods, which triggered widespread flooding that is already blamed for five deaths. To the south, it was even worse. More than two feet of rain fell at the National Weather Center’s Houston office in League City, about 30 miles south of Houston proper. Emergency responders turned swamped freeway overpasses into ramps to launch rescue boats, Houston Chronicle reporter Dug Begley tweeted early Sunday morning.

Texas governor Greg Abbott told Fox News that damage from Harvey will be in the billions of dollars statewide. President Donald Trump took to Twitter this morning to say, “I will be going to Texas as soon as that trip can be made without causing disruption. The focus must be life and safety.”

Some neighborhoods have been hit with more than 15 inches of rain, the Chronicle reported, forcing some residents to flee to their attics, especially along Interstate 45 between downtown and Clear Lake, including parts of Pasadena. One resident described seeing a woman’s body floating in the streets during a flash flood in the same western part of the city. The flash floods were several feet high, the resident told local TV station abc13.

A mobile park is destroyed in the Coast Bend area on Saturday in Port Aransas, Texas

According to Reuters, Houston’s William P. Hobby Airport canceled all inbound and outbound flights early on Sunday due to standing water on the runway. The airport said its arrivals area was flooded, and the National Weather Service issued a flash flood alert for the surrounding area. Authorities have urged residents to stay off the streets of Houston and other southeast Texas cities as rain falling at up to 5 inches per hour flooded roads and major intersections.

The storm has killed at least two people and Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez said on Twitter the death toll could rise, with his deputies responding to reports of a deceased woman and child inside a submerged vehicle on Interstate 10 near Houston.


On Friday night, a man died in a house fire in the town of Rockport, 30 miles (48 km) north of Corpus Christi. Another dozen people in the area suffered injuries including broken bones, another official said.


The Harris County Joint Information center said first responders were conducting hundreds of rescues early on Sunday morning.

Gonzalez’ Twitter feed was inundated by residents asking for help. The sheriff could only tell some of them that crews were doing the best they can. “All agencies care but everyone simply operating at maximum capacity,” he tweeted at one point.

Some in Houston have climbing into attics to flee rising flood waters, the Houston Chronicle also reported . “Have reports of people getting into attic to escape flood waters,” tweeted Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo, Austin’s previous police chief. “Do not do so unless you have an ax or means to break through onto your roof.” Those reports were coming from areas along Interstate 45 between downtown Houston and Clear Lake, the Chronicle reported.

Early Sunday, sheriff Gonzalez tweeted that there were reports of several submerged vehicles on Interstate 10 at Lathrop and added that, while it was unconfirmed, crews were investigating reports that one of the vehicles possibly had a deceased woman and child inside.

Harvey slammed into Texas late Friday as a Category 4 hurricane with winds of 130 miles per hour (210 km per hour), making it the strongest storm to hit the state since 1961. It has since lingered over the state, dumping amounts of rain that threaten to break the record established nearly 40 years ago when Alvin, Texas, was deluged by 43 inches of rain in 24 hours from July 24-25, 1979.

The storm has ripped off roofs, snapped trees, triggered tornadoes and flash floods and had cut off power to nearly 230,000 people on Saturday night. Houston police officials said officers were evacuating two flooded apartment complexes. Oil and gas production was largely halted in the state, prompting price hikes at the pumps.

“There are a number of stranded people on our streets, calling 911, exhausting needed resources. You can help by staying off the streets,” Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner said on Twitter.

Officials here have reported performing at least 1,000 high-water rescues with thousands more needed as homes were inundated by the water. The 911 system here was so overwhelmed that officials begged Houstonians to only use it if they were in immediate danger.

The weather forecast shows no reprieve in sight for this city and county of 4.5 million people. Rain, including more torrential downpours, remains in the forecast for the rest of today.

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Even though Harvey was downgraded to a tropical storm on Saturday, it is expected to lash Texas for days as it heads inland, according to the National Hurricane Center (NHC), which described the forecast for the state as potentially “catastrophic.” The coastal town of Rockport took a direct hit from the storm, leaving streets flooded and strewn with power lines and debris on Saturday. A dozen recreational vehicles were flipped over on a sales lot, one blown into the middle of the street. A convoy of military vehicles arrived in the Rockport area on Saturday to help in the recovery efforts, and town officials announced an overnight curfew for residents.

Daylight shows the devastation in Rockport and surrounding areas of southeast Texas,

“It was terrible,” resident Joel Valdez, 57, told Reuters. The storm ripped part of the roof from his trailer home at around 4 a.m., he said as he sat in a Jeep with windows smashed by the storm. “I could feel the whole house move.”

Before the storm hit, Rockport’s mayor told anyone staying behind to write their names on their arms for identification in case of death or injury. A high school, hotel, senior housing complex and other buildings suffered structural damage.

Texas Governor Greg Abbott said he was activating 1,800 members of the military to help with the statewide cleanup, while 1,000 people would conduct search-and-rescue operations. The Texas Department of Criminal Justice said it was forced to evacuate about 4,500 inmates from three state prisons near the Brazos River because of rising water.

A destroyed apartment complex in Rockport, TX

Meanwhile, the U.S. Coast Guard said it had rescued 20 people from distressed vessels on Saturday, and was monitoring two Carnival Corp cruise ships carrying thousands of people stranded in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico.  Authorities warned of the potentially life-threatening impact of heavy rains between Houston and Corpus Christi over the next several days, with the latest forecast saying Harvey could loop back toward the Gulf of Mexico coast before turning north again on Tuesday.

"This rain will lead to a prolonged, dangerous, and potentially catastrophic flooding event well into next week," the National Weather Service said.

In a Sunday morning tweetstorm, instead of taking shots at his political opponents, president Trump assured people on the ground that government support is on the ground: "Many people are now saying that this is the worst storm/hurricane they have ever seen. Good news is that we have great talent on the ground." He added that "I will be going to Texas as soon as that trip can be made without causing disruption. The focus must be life and safety."


Paul Kersey Whoa Dammit Sun, 08/27/2017 - 10:21 Permalink

FEMA is already $25 billion in debt, and this hurricane damage is going to run up that debt by untold billions of dollars more. Flood insurance will become too expensive for many homeowners, but that won't stop their mortgage holders from demanding, and rightly so, that those higher premiums be paid.

Once the flooding has subsided, subcontractors, from all over the country, will flock to Texas to work the rebuilding. That will exacerbate the current labor shortages that have already been pushing up new home construction costs all over the country. Materials prices will also skyrocket, as the Texas rebuilding process creates shortages. Hurricane Harvey will negatively impact far more than just Texas. Might be time to buy Home Depot and Lowe's stock.

In reply to by Whoa Dammit

John Kich falak pema Sun, 08/27/2017 - 11:39 Permalink

But the recent debate between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton has shown the exact opposite.The news are absolutely terrifying...The elections will take place in April 2017, but the information will not be released to the public until November 6th.Click here to see the leaked Clinton report before it’s taken down: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sQbdqqan7pw&feature=youtu.beThis is probably the biggest conspiracy of the century! And it’s not just a theory...This documentary has been banned all over the US... and for good reason.Minute 2:43 will completely blow your mind!Click here to watch on youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sQbdqqan7pw&feature=youtu.be

In reply to by falak pema

GUS100CORRINA BaBaBouy Sun, 08/27/2017 - 10:44 Permalink

"It's Catastrophic, Unprecedented, Epic": 5 Dead As Houston Reels Under Historic FloodingMy response: Sadly, the people who live in this area are going to experience a lot more pain and anguish for the next 4 days because Harvey is parked almost on top of Houston, TX. I also saw where people were cautioned not to wade in water too long because of Alligator threat.On top of all the above, there is a high probability that Harvey is going to reenter the Gulf, strengthen and head up to New Orleans. I hope they have fixed their levy problems.Much prayer for these people is the order of the day.I suspect Houston Rep. Al Green may be doing some serious soul searching right about now.

In reply to by BaBaBouy

garcam123 BustainMovealota Sun, 08/27/2017 - 10:49 Permalink

WOW!  How about that?! Just think of all those 12.00 hr jobs that will be created for all those English Speaking white folks who need construction jobs!  It'll only take about 10 years without the the FUCKING MEXICANS who can WORK CIRCLES AROUND all you cleap ass racist motherfuckers!  GOOD LUCK WITH THAT!Mexican should shoot other poor Mexicans who try to show up for work.......and they will show up, THANK GOD, they will!  They are humble, kind, hardworking people too....motherfuckers! They are out right now looking to help others!You sorry fucks couldn't change a fucking tire......now what the fuck are you gonna do?

In reply to by BustainMovealota

Dilluminati totenkopf88 Sun, 08/27/2017 - 10:19 Permalink

Fuck anybody asking for assistance with fucking tax dollars if they get fucking stuck on stupid!There are ridiculous cocksuckers pleading for fucking help becuase they didn't evacuate.And that isn't fucking reasonable.Gene pool gets cleansed with floods like these.People who fucking remain and not on their "private property" or what remains of it should be shot as fucking looters. 

In reply to by totenkopf88

Ms No Dilluminati Sun, 08/27/2017 - 12:29 Permalink

I would like to hear your detailed plan on how you evacuate at least 5 million with very little notice.  This storm will affect an enormous area, including gas and water supplies.  You can't get that many people out if you wanted to because they would lock up the roads and people would get stuck on roads that become parking lots.  The potential deaths from a situation like that is enormous.  Cars aren't very tall. For those who did make it out how many will get hotels even 500 miles away?  How many would get out via flights?  How many will have to sleep in their car in 105 degrees and what areas should they sleep in their cars?  If that many evacuated there wouldn't be any gas so people would have to stay in their car where they ran out of gas.  Sounds a little safer to stay home for many doesn't it?  As far as the government offering help see the stadium situation during Katrina.

In reply to by Dilluminati

Kidbuck Ms No Sun, 08/27/2017 - 13:38 Permalink

I would like to hear your detailed excuse as to how 5 million came to ignore the simple facts of geography, hydrology, topography, and moved to such a risk laden environment. These are the same clowns that last week were bragging that they lived near the ocean and only a short drive to the beach.

In reply to by Ms No

Ms No Kidbuck Sun, 08/27/2017 - 14:01 Permalink

Where do you live?  There are very few portions of this nation that are not at pretty moderate risk of something.  We have the biggest super volcano on the planet here and another one in California at Mammoth that goes more frequently.  We have massive rivers that will periodically flood.  On those rivers are aging dams and nuke plants.  The Mississippi valley sits on a fault line that will ring bells in NY when it goes, and it will.  All those dams and nuke plants will be gone when that happens but eventually a flood will take out the ageing infrastructure.  If Fort Peck goes it will take out every dam along the Mississippi and Missouri.  US tornado alley has no other rival on the planet.  Tornados are not just in tornado alley but actually occur all over the US.  The west coast is ring of fire with at least a half a dozen volcanos and the west burns constantly and sometimes epically.In my life I have seen hurricanes, typhoons, volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, prarie fires, 40 below zero and epic forest fires.  So where is the truly smart place to be?  Judging by the ageing nukes, I would say far away from the US period.    

In reply to by Kidbuck

Dilluminati Ms No Sun, 08/27/2017 - 17:56 Permalink

I live in PA on a hill where I can look down a couple 100' to where it might actually flood in a seismic inactive area with little or no risk of these disasters.The fire department came out in the last flood here and tied a rope to keep a floating house positioned over a foundation so when the water went down it would return to the foundation. (true story) 

In reply to by Ms No

1033eruth Ms No Sun, 08/27/2017 - 15:32 Permalink

They had ample notice.  What the hell do you want ?  A week?  The rest of your crap, you're exaggerating AND bullshitting.  Anywhere in the country where they have the big football games (100,000), traffic is clear in an hour from ONE SINGLE STRUCTURE.  Leaving Houston wouldn't be that big a deal because of the many, MANY hours provided.  What does occur is everybody will wait till the last minute instead of beating the rush.   There are a huge number of exits from coastal Texas.On the other hand a certain percentage of them are going to be smart preppers and they probably can shelter in place because this isn't their first rodeo.  That being said, I would never live there even without a hurricane threat every decade or so.  Too hot and too much humidity for me.  

In reply to by Ms No

Ms No 1033eruth Sun, 08/27/2017 - 19:54 Permalink

You just compared the prospect of evacuating somewhere between 5-7 million people with a football game?  I don't think so.  Not only that but there is probably one example where a city was effectively evacuated and that was for the great San Francisco quake.  In reality, it wont be happening in any major US city, not everybody.  If you had a full week or a couple of weeks you could maybe do it.  To my knowledge Harvey went from a tropical strom to a level 4 storm leaving 48 hours.  People don't evacuate for every tropical storm.  Unless its mandatory evacuation you'll come back and not have a job.Supposedly 2 million evacuated out of the state of Texas and Lousiana for Hurricane Rita.  They had tons of warning and to get everybody out of those areas could easily be ten million.  If you only removed 5 million you still wouldn't get them out in 48 hours, no way. 

In reply to by 1033eruth

Dilluminati Ms No Sun, 08/27/2017 - 17:54 Permalink

Where mandatory evacuations were requested on the barrier islands they should have left.Nobody is saying evacuate Houston, just sit back and await the looting there.This is when owning a shotgun pays dividends like it did post Katrina and Sandy Hook where the looters rampaged.Goto the stadium?  Abandon a pet?  I'm not advocating that.  But if I was told to leave I would do so and do it early and take the cats and pooch.

In reply to by Ms No