Published: Wednesday, August 23, 2017 @ 10:26 PM
Updated: Monday, August 28, 2017 @ 9:12 PM
By: Breaking News Staff
UPDATE @ 8:58 p.m. (Aug. 28)
Over 3,000 Houstonians have been rescued since Hurricane Harvey made landfall on the Texas coast.
1,000 people have been rescued in the last 8 hours as water levels continue to rise in the nation's fourth largest city, according to the Associated Press.
Harvey continues to linger over southeastern Texas where over 30 inches of rain has fallen in some places.
The National Weather Service warns relief will not be immediate and some areas could see another 2 more feet of rain in the coming days.
Now, members of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers advise the floodwaters could spill around a pair of 70-year-old reservoir dams protecting downtown Houston.
As many as 9 people have reportedly died since Harvey made landfall Friday night, with authorities from multiple local and federal agencies expecting that number to rise as recovery efforts continue.
UPDATE @ 12:40 p.m. (Aug. 28)
Nearly 40 inches of rain have fallen in a few cities in Texas as Harvey continues to linger around the Gulf of Mexico.
Dayton, Texas has been one of the hardest hit, receiving just under 40 inches of rain in a 72 hour period.
UPDATE @7:30 a.m. (Aug. 28):
The National Weather Service has issued a flash flood emergency “for life-threatening catastrophic flooding” and predicts some areas could receive as much as 50 inches of rain. In the past 48 hours, numerous spots near the Houston and Galveston areas have measured more than 25 inches of rain, according to the National Hurricane Center.
Harvey’s center is expected to drift off the middle Texas coast today and meander offshore through Tuesday before beginning “a slow northeastward motion”.
The 911 emergency response team has been challenged by increased call volumes since Harvey’s landfall. During a 17 -hour period following Harvey’s landfall, more than 56,000 calls were received.
At least six people are dead and thousands have placed emergency calls for help in the wake of Tropical Storm Harvey, which made landfall Friday night in Southeast Texas as a Category 4 hurricane.
UPDATE @ 5:45 p.m. (Aug. 27):
Five people are reported dead today in Houston as Tropical Storm Harvey dumped torrential rains, the Houston Chronical reported.
Another person was reported killed Saturday in Rockport.
UPDATE @ 4:25 p.m. (Aug. 27): President Trump will travel to Texas on Tuesday, the White House has announced.
A nursing home was evacuated as 20-25 residents had water up to their waists, according to reports.
UPDATE @ 1:45 p.m. (Aug. 27):
Houston Fire Chief Samuel Pena said that since midnight, his agency has responded to more than 2,500 emergency calls and another 1,000 calls are waiting to be serviced.
Pena told the Associated Press his agency has made more than 250 water rescues, all of them people in vehicles, during a three-hour period overnight.
City Assistant Police Chief Larry Satterwhite said there has been an increase in calls from residents with flooded homes in the city's northeast, southeast and southwest sections.
Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner is defending his decision not to ask residents to evacuate before rain from Tropical Storm Harvey swamped roads and neighborhoods.
There was no way to pinpoint which neighborhoods would be worst hit, he said at a televised news conference Sunday morning. Every neighborhood has received at least some flooding, he noted.
"If you think the situation right now is bad and you give an order to evacuate, you are creating a nightmare," Turner said.
The mayor also said he has ordered the downtown George R. Brown Convention Center, which has 1.8 million square feet of space, opened as a shelter. He urged people not to drive, as numerous city streets and roadways are flooded.
Both of Houston's commercial airports are now closed to regular traffic until further notice.
In Victoria, officials have told residents displaced because of Tropical Storm Harvey should not return unless they bring their own food and water.
Officials with Victoria, about 90 miles north of Rockport, near where Harvey came ashore Friday night, said via Facebook that the city of 85,000 has no water service and limited power and it could be weeks before all electric service is restored.
"For those that decide to come back to Victoria, bring enough food and water to last three to four days. Be sure you have enough gas in your car to last several days. Be prepared for no electricity at your home for several days or weeks," according to the statement posted to Facebook.
A mandatory evacuation has been ordered for Victoria County, where the city is located.
"We've got widespread damage. Lots of trees down, power lines. We've got traffic lights missing and lots of debris," Bryan Simons, county sheriff's office spokesman told the Associated Press.
UPDATE @ 11:15 a.m. (Aug. 27):
The Associated Press is reporting that KHOU-TV, the CBS affiliate in the nation's fourth largest city, had to be evacuated because of flooding. Staff was broadcasting live coverage of Tropical Storm Harvey when water from nearby flood-prone Buffalo Bayou started to gush into the building.
KHOU-TV tweeted images Sunday of water pushing through a front door and flooding the lobby. Other images showed sand bags placed against another door had failed to stop the water that was already ankle deep.
Floodwaters around 6:30 a.m. Sunday began seeping into the first-floor studio of KHOU. The anchors and news operations then moved to a second floor as live coverage continued.
Later tweets indicated the station was being evacuated because of the flooding.
The station last flooded in 2001 during Tropical Storm Allison.
The Associated Press reports that the flooding is so bad in Harris County and the region that includes Houston, sheriff's spokesman Jason Spencer said it's "difficult to pinpoint the worst area."
Authorities are prioritizing hundreds of phones calls for help to ensure life-and-death situations "are at the top of the list."
"It's heartbreaking," he said.
Spencer said the department has high-water vehicles and airboats but "certainly not enough." He said officials are encouraged that rescue teams from the National Guard and state agencies have also been deployed.
Brock Long, head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency said nearly 5,000 people from the federal government are doing search and rescue missions, helping to restore power and supporting what he calls "mass care missions."
Speaking Sunday on CNN's "State of the Union," Long said: "We expect a huge mass care mission today, of people flocking to shelters, if they can get to shelters."
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott says that boats and helicopters are being deployed to help with swift-water rescues in the Houston area and parts of East Texas also facing flooding in the wake of Hurricane Harvey.
Abbott, appearing on "Fox News Sunday," said: "We're measuring rain these days not in inches but in feet." He told ABC's "This Week" that they "could not be more appreciative" of what the federal government and President Trump have done to help as Hurricane Harvey hit Texas. Abbott said on CNN's "State of the Nation" he's talked with Trump several times and the head of FEMA. "We've made multiple requests and we're getting absolutely everything we need."
Abbott said Harris County, which includes Houston, will soon be included in a federal disaster declaration as a result of Harvey.
President Trump said he will be traveling to Texas "as soon as that trip can be made without causing disruption."
He tweeted that the "focus must be life and safety."
The president has been complimenting the response to the storm on his Twitter feed, commending "Great coordination between agencies at all levels of government."
Trump added, "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."
The storm could linger for days in the region and could unload as much as 50 inches of rain on cities including Houston.
UPDATE @ 6:50 a.m. (Aug. 27)
Recovery efforts are underway in Houston to save thousands trapped in flooded homes as Tropical Storm Harvey continues its path through southeastern Texas Sunday morning.
Local media outlets are reporting some Houstonians have taken to climbing into attics to flee high flood waters as many locals take to social media to plead for help.
Emergency officials are fielding numerous calls and are asking those only in imminent danger to call 9-1-1, according to CBS affiliate KHOU-TV.
Police in Houston rescued 28 people from a flooded apartment complex with the police force’s dive team using boats to get people onto buses leaving the city.
Our news partners at the Austin American-Statesman report over 17,000 are without power in the city of Austin as the tropical storm reaches into Central Texas.
Several counties in the area remain under a flash flood watch until 11:45 a.m., according to the National Weather Service.
A flash flood emergency is in effect for all of Harris County, where Houston is located. The Harris County Flood Control District reports water is getting into the second floors of many homes and apartments along I-45 in Downtown Houston.
UPDATE @ 12:30 a.m. (Aug. 27):
One person had died in flooding in Harris County, according to the medical examiner’s office in Houston, Texas’ largest city.
Thunderstorms, torrential rains and strong winds deluged Houston, which was under a flooding emergency Saturday night.
UPDATE @ 10:50 p.m. (Aug. 26):
Tropical Storm Harvey is weakening as it drifts over Southeastern Texas, but torrential rains will continue, the National Hurricane Center reported tonight.
UPDATE @ 9 p.m. (Aug. 26):
Rescuers scoured Rockport, Texas, homes, apartment buildings and mobile home parks looking for survivors of Hurricane Harvey in need of help.
One person was confirmed dead, more than a dozen were injured and several residents were still unaccounted for as of this evening, officials told the Austin American-Statesman newspaper owned by our parent company, Cox Media Group.
A crew of volunteers from a marketing firm earlier today knocked on doors at a yellow brick apartment complex. The shredded roof and blasted windows left many units abandoned with doors ripped open to expose flooded floors and broken furniture, the Statesman reported.
The crew got a response in one apartment: an elderly man on oxygen who uses a wheelchair called out from inside. William Miller’s bedroom had flooded and he lived alone. The team flagged a passing police officer who dispatched an ambulance to take Miller to an elementary school serving as the city’s emergency shelter, according to the Statesman.
“I’m glad we found you William,” said Brad Snyder, owner of New Scope marketing as medics loaded him onto a stretcher and carried his wheelchair from the apartment. “You wouldn’t have made it another night.”
About 200 Rockport residents spent the night at the school, which lost power and water in the storm. There are not enough cots, so evacuees slept in chairs, cafeteria tables and on the floor in hallways. The shelter also is short on food and water.
“Everyone at this school has pretty much lost everything,” volunteer Christina Tucker, whose own trailer home was likely heavily damaged, told the Statesman.
Later in the day, a convoy of federal and state resue personnel, including dozens of buses, rushed toward Rockport to bring aid, the paper reported.
UPDATE @ 4:10 p.m. (Aug. 26):
One person is confirmed killed in Rockport, Texas, Aransas County Judge C.H. “Burt” Mills Jr. said.
The person, who was not identified, was trapped inside a home when it caught fire, the judge told the Austin American-Statesman, a newspaper owned by our parent company, Cox Media Group.
“We didn’t know about it until today,” he said. “I hate losing anybody.”
Mills said 12 to 14 people were injured.
In the first media briefing from the city that has faced perhaps the worst in Hurricane Harvey -- which made landfall around 10 p.m. local time as a category 4 storm with 130 mph sustained winds -- local leaders said their city was transformed from a sleepy coastal town into a debris field. Many public buildings were damaged, including the high school and library.
“It’s pretty sickening,” Mills said. “Lots of emotions are involved when you see your community destroyed like this, but we’ll bounce back.”
Fears now shift from wind to rain. Harvey is stalled over Southeast Texas and is projected to dump torrential rains for several days with widespread flooding.
"It may become devastating" anywhere between San Antonio and east of Houston, National Weather Service meteorologist Jason Runyen said in a media briefing, the Statesman reported. "It's a pretty rare event that we have a hurricane this strong that gets caught up and doesn't scoot on out of the state."
The lingering storm could pump as much as another 20 inches of rain into the coastal plains, and the weather service expects flooding in as many as 82 of its gauge stations in Southeast Texas. The hardest hit are likely to be Colorado, Guadalupe, San Antonio and Brazos river basins, forecasters said.
UPDATE @ 1:50 p.m. (Aug. 26):
Harvey has now become a tropical storm with maximum sustained winds of 70 mph.
The big concern now is rising waters and search and rescue missions, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said.
Nearly 1,800 members of the Texas Military Division are expected to assist with storm cleanup, said Abbott.
The region is dealing with more than 338,000 power outages and it could be several days for that power to be restored, because of the wind speeds, Abbott said.
The Texas Department of Transportation is already undertaking cleanup operations around Corpus Christi and 80 state troopers are assigned to assist with law enforcement needs in that region, Abbott said.
The American Red Cross already has opened 21 shelters and are on standby to open 42 more if needed.
Some evacuees were bused from Corpus Christi to San Antonio, where Abbott shook many of their hands.
“They were just happy to be alive,” Abbott said.
UPDATE @ 10:53 a.m. (Aug. 26):
Hurricane Harvey now has maximum sustained winds of 75 mph as it continues to dump heavy rain in southeast Texas, making it a category 1 Hurricane.
The storm’s eye is now located about 80 miles away from San Antonio, the same place Ohio Task Force 1 is staged awaiting its search and rescue assignments from FEMA.
Torrential rain is expected to continue in Texas for a few more days.
Peak wind gusts as Hurricane Harvey hit the coast were:
UPDATE @ 9:40 a.m. (Aug. 26):
The National Hurricane Center says “catastrophic and life threatening flooding” is expected in southeast Texas from heavy rainfall.
Between 15-30 inches of rain is expected with the possibility of isolated totals up to 40 inches.
UPDATE @ 6:48 a.m. (Aug. 26)
Hurricane Harvey has been downgraded to a Category 1 hurricane Saturday morning after making landfall around 11 p.m. Friday night as a Category 4 storm.
News Center 7’s Gabrielle Enright reports Ohio Task Force 1 is awaiting orders from FEMA for rescue assignments.
Enright reports the task force may be asked to help with the flooding expected to come in the coming days. Our News Center 7 team in Texas is expected to meet up with the task force later today to learn more about their role in recovery efforts.
UPDATE @ 11 p.m. (Aug. 25):
The eye of category 4 Hurricane Harvey slammed into the Texas coast tonight; however, hazards have only just begun with the life-threatening storm surge and torrential rainfall.
The storm, which brought 130 mph sustained winds, made landfall at San Jose Island, four miles east of Rockport, Texas.
Harvey is the fourth category four or five storm to hit the United States since 1970. The others were Andrew, Charley and Hugo, Storm Center 7 Chief Meteorologist Eric Elwell said.
Flooding in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey could reach 9 to 13 feet at the coast between Port Aransas and Port O’Connor. Water levels are expected to remain elevated for several days, the National Hurricane Center reported.
Catastrophic and life-threatening flooding is expected across the middle and upper Texas coast from heavy rainfall of 15 to 30 inches -- with some spots as high as 40 inches -- through Wednesday, according to the hurricane center.
UPDATE @ 10:40 p.m. (Aug. 25):
President Donald Trump signed a disaster declaration tonight as Hurricane Harvey barreled towards the middle Texas coast.
Trump announced the disaster declaration on his Twitter account.
UPDATE @ 10 p.m. (Aug. 25):
The National Hurricane Center the eye of category 4 Hurricane Harvey is almost ashore, with winds at 130 mph.
UPDATE @ 7:05 p.m. (Aug. 25):
Hurricane Harvey continues to intensify and is now a category 4 hurricane with sustained winds up to 130 mph, according to the National Hurricane Center.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency told residents that if a shelter in place order is issued, that they are to heed orders. FEMA already urged residents to charge cellphones and to download the agency’s app, follow FEMA on Twitter or on Facebook.
UPDATE @ 2:58 p.m. (Aug. 25):
The National Hurricane Center has upgraded Hurricane Harvey to a category 3 storm with 120 mph winds.
UPDATE @ 6:23 a.m. (Aug. 25):
Life-threatening flash flooding will still be a big issue for the Texas coast.
Isolated locations could see up to 35 inches of rain into next week. Other spots in eastern and central Texas could receive between 15 and 25 inches.
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If high tide occurs during the time of the worst storm surge, isolated locations along the coast could see storm surge 6 to 12 feet.
Tropical storm force winds could reach the coast first then hurricane conditions throughout the day/evening Friday.
The system lingering in eastern Texas will be responsible for dumping so much rain that produces life threatening flooding. Severe storms may also develop Friday.
UPDATE @2:39 a.m. (Aug. 25)
Hurricane Harvey has strengthened to a category 2 hurricane with 105 mph winds, and gusts higher than that.
As of early Friday morning the center of the storm is about 200 miles southeast of Corpus Christi, Texas. The storm has hurricane force winds that extend about 25 miles outward from the center of the storm and tropical storm force winds that extend outward about 100 miles from the center.
The storm is still over warm Gulf waters as it slowly moves northwest. Harvey, according to the National Hurricane Center is still expected to approach the central Texas coast later this afternoon, and make landfall either Friday night or early Saturday morning.
UPDATE @ 1:20 p.m.
The storm has been upgraded to hurricane, according to the National Hurricane Center.
UPDATE @ 12:36 p.m. (Aug. 24)
Tropical Storm Harvey is forecasted to become the first major hurricane in 12 years to make landfall. Texas is bracing for the impacts of Harvey, which is rapidly intensifying in the Gulf of Mexico as of Thursday afternoon.
The warm Gulf waters are expected to help the storm to strengthen likely becoming a Category 3 storm before making landfall Friday night or very early Saturday morning.
The National Hurricane Center says Harvey could produce 12 to 20 inches of rain with some isolated locations along Texas’s central coast around 30 inches. Life-threatening flooding will be a major threat for this storm. Several inches of rain could still fall further east from inland south Texas to Central Louisiana.
Storm surge is another concern along the coastal communities. High tide could match up with the most intense storm surge bringing the worst surge up 6 to 10 feet above ground.
A Hurricane Warning has been issued for Port Mansfield to Matagorda, Texas. On the water, life-threatening surf and rip currents can be created by Harvey for Texas, Louisana and Northeast Mexico. The National Hurricane Center will continue to monitor the expected track and strength of this system.
Your Storm Center 7 team will bring you the latest as Texas gets ready to feel the force of Harvey.
It's been almost 12 years since a major hurricane has made landfall on the U.S., and since 2008 that Texas has seen a hurricane.
It was Hurricane Ike in 2008 that hit Texas, and eventually turned north bringing damaging winds to the Miami Valley.
Tropical Depression Harvey, in the southwestern Gulf of Mexico, may regain strength and become a tropical storm with sustained winds up to or exceeding 40 mph by early Thursday, Storm Center 7 Chief Meteorologist Eric Elwell said.
The National Hurricane Center forecasters say that Harvey could become a Category 1 hurricane late Friday as it approaches the Texas coast. The storm was expected to bring heavy rains and flooding to Texas and Louisiana late this week and into the weekend.
Harvey was forecast to produce total rain accumulations of 10 to 15 inches with isolated maximum amounts of 20 inches over the middle and upper Texas coast and southwest Louisiana through Tuesday, with heavy rainfall beginning as early as Friday morning. Southeastern Louisiana, including the New Orleans area, may receive 5 to 10 inches of rain, with locally higher amounts, beginning in the weekend through early next week.
Elwell said that while much of the moisture likely will stay south of the Miami Valley, there is a chance our area could get brushed by the storm late next week.
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“It is something we’ll have to keep an eye on through the upcoming weekend,” Elwell said. “At least one of our long-range forecast models brings the remnants of the storm very close to our area in about seven or eight days.”