Hurricane Harvey: 'Unprecedented' Houston flooding to leave 30,000 people homeless

Additional rain is expected for at least three more days

Mythili Sampathkumar
New York
Monday 28 August 2017 13:58
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Sam Speights tries to hold back tears while holding his dogs and surveying the damage to his home in the wake of Hurricane Harvey 27 August in Rockport, Texas.
Sam Speights tries to hold back tears while holding his dogs and surveying the damage to his home in the wake of Hurricane Harvey 27 August in Rockport, Texas.

The aftermath of Hurricane Harvey will leave more than 30,000 people in Texas forced into temporary shelters, emergency response administrator Brock Long has said.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (Fema) chief said an estimated 450,000 people had been affected directly and would be expected to file as disaster victims. At least two people have died, with authorities expecting the death toll to rise as the storm continues.

In Houston alone, 30 in (76 cm) of rain have fallen in the last 24 hours, with rain and flooding expected to continue almost all week. Houston is the fourth largest American city, with a population of 6.6 million.

Governor Greg Abbott ordered evacuations for all seven coastal counties where the storm made landfall over Corpus Christi and Galveston late on 25 August.

However, despite the massive flooding residents in Houston were told by local authorities to shelter in place only to find overnight they were unable to leave their water-logged homes.

At least 2,000 people have had to be rescued in the city alone.

In the affected area there has been approximately 11 trillion gallons of rain, 316,000 power outages, 56,000 emergency calls in the last 24 hours, and 62 counties under the state's disaster declaration, per CNN.

Mr Long says the Army Corps Engineers to restore power and critical infrastructure. Two overwhelmed dams are going to be released, which will result in even more flood homes.

At least one hospital in Houston had to evacuate patients as flood waters caused a power outage.

Most schools and both airports in the Houston metropolitan area are closed as well.

Fema has set up shelters and for those forced from their homes but the real extent of the damage will only be able to be assessed once flood waters recede late in the week.

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