Sunday, August 27, 2017

Reports: Feet of rain inundate Houston as Harvey unleashes unprecedented, deadly flooding

By Faith Eherts, AccuWeather meteorologist
By Chaffin Mitchell, AccuWeather staff writer
August 27,2017, 10:01:10PM,EDT
 As of 9 p.m. CDT Sunday, this reports story is no longer being updated. For continuous live updates of Harvey, click here.

The wrath of Harvey is far from over as the storm continues to pound southeastern Texas with flooding rain and powerful winds.
Harvey made landfall between Port Aransas and Port O'Connor, Texas, on Friday night as a Category 4 storm. Despite weakening over land, Harvey will bring catastrophic and life-threatening flooding as it stalls over the region.
As the first major hurricane to strike the United States since Wilma in 2005, Harvey caused widespread power outages, significant flooding, travel disruptions and devastation to cities along the coast.

Flooding disaster to continue in Texas as Harvey lingers for days
5 deadliest hurricane-related dangers
Preparing for the costliest weather disaster in the US: How to stay safe before, during and after a flood

Donate now to the United Way to help Harvey victims.

8:34 p.m. CDT Sunday: More than 250,000 customers have been impacted by power outages in Louisiana and Texas as of Sunday night.
Power outages from Harvey

7:50 p.m. CDT Sunday: Several ports along the Texas coast will remain closed on Monday including the Port of Houston and the Port of Galveston.
"All Port Houston facilities will be closed tomorrow, Monday, Aug. 28 due to the continued threat of inclement weather," officials wrote on the port's Facebook page. "We will be continuing to monitor the developing weather conditions to determine whether operations can safely resume on Tuesday. Updates will be provided as more information is available."
Houston's Johnson Space Center will also be closed Monday with the exception of essential personnel.
The Mission Control Center remains operational and fully capable of supporting the International Space Station from Houston," NASA said on its website.

7:19 p.m. CDT Sunday: The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has more than 400 Urban Search and Rescue personnel working in south Texas with another 500-plus personnel situated elsewhere in the state.
In addition, the Coast Guard has 420 personnel conducting rescue missions and has deployed 16 helicopters with eight more inbound. The Coast Guard confirmed more than 2,000 rescues of multi-person cases through 3 p.m. Sunday.
“This remains a significant, deadly storm, and must not be underestimated,” said FEMA Administrator Brock Long. “With the continuing widespread flooding and devastation, every person in its path should heed the warnings of their local officials.”

6:29 p.m. CDT Sunday: Floating fire ants are adding to the dangers posed by floodwaters in Houston, Texas. The ants band together to create rafts to survive the high waters, floating until they reach a dry area. A fire ant's bite can cause painful, stinging blisters.

5:28 p.m. CDT Sunday: Several major refineries in southeastern Texas have shut down operations due to Harvey's flooding, according to CNBC.
Shell shut down its refinery in Deer Park, which has a crude oil capacity of 340,000 barrels per day.
On its website, ExxonMobil said it conducted a safe and systematic shutdown of the its complex in Baytown, Texas after flooding led to operational issues.
"Safety is our first priority, and we are taking all precautions to minimize the impact to the community and employees throughout the shutdown process," ExxonMobil said in a statement.
CNBC also reported that the Houston Ship Channel, the busiest in the U.S., remains closed.

4 p.m. CDT Sunday: Houston Emergency Management officials said that have received over 56,000 calls for help from 10 p.m. Saturday through 1 p.m. Sunday.
Officials have also designated key evacuation rally points for residents who need transportation to shelters.
The White House announced Sunday afternoon that President Trump will travel to Texas on Tuesday.
The president has been closely monitoring the storm and has issued praise for how government agencies have coordinated to help with recovery efforts.

3:22 p.m. CDT Sunday: Louisiana officials said additional resources are being sent to Texas to help their neighboring state.

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Residents are rescued from their homes surrounded by floodwaters from Tropical Storm Harvey on Sunday, Aug. 27, 2017, in Houston, Texas. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

2:20 p.m. CDT Sunday: The average rainfall wishing the Harris County Emergency Management Network has exceeded that of Tropical Storm Allison in almost half of the time, the National Weather Service said.
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott to activate 3,000 National Guard and State Guard members in response to the historic flooding across the region.
Hundreds of flights have been canceled from the George Bush Intercontinental Airport and the Houston William P Hobby Airport due to flooding. Both of the airports will be closed to commercial flights until further notice.

2:15 p.m. CDT Sunday: The central patrol building of the Houston Police Department is flooded.

1:20 p.m. CDT Sunday: The U.S. Coast Guard is expanding communication lines for Houston flood rescues.

12:50 p.m. CDT Sunday: Many streets are blocked off or flooded in Houston, and roads may also be damaged beneath the water. Do not attempt to drive on flooded roadways.
If barricades are not blocking the road, it does not mean it is safe to attempt to pass. If you must travel, make sure to stay up to date on Houston’s traffic map.
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The blue rain drop icons show roads that are closed due to flooding. (Image via Houston TranStar)
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(Image via Houston TranStar)

12:40 p.m. CDT Sunday: The number of water rescues in Houston continues to climb.

12:10 p.m. CDT Sunday: Houston officials are urging people to call 911 if they are facing a life-threatening emergency, rather than using social media.

Emergency management officials sent safety information about flooding and electricity, while also debunking rumors about drinking water being turned off.

For more information on drinking safe water after a hurricane, visit this AccuWeather Ready story.

11:30 a.m. CDT Sunday: The Houston Medical Center is submerged, while a septic issue is causing flooding in the Ben Taub Hospital basement. Food and supplies are reportedly affected. Floodwaters are creeping toward Bayou City Medical Center.
According to ABC13, UT Health's McGovern Medical School closed their flood doors for the first time since the Memorial Day flooding of 2015.

Even if officers have not barricaded or blocked off a roadway, it does not mean it is safe to drive. Motorists who must travel and come upon a section of roadway that has water flowing across it should seek an alternate route.

10:50 a.m. CDT Sunday: Emergency responders have responded to more than 2,000 calls to 911 around Houston due to flooding from Harvey, the Associated Press reported. This includes more than 250 vehicles rescues.
Many roads and highways around Houston are completely impassible due to flooding with water in some areas nearly as deep as street lights. Residents are encouraged not to travel due to the flooded roadways.
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Travel cameras show several roads and highways underwater around Houston. (Photos/Houston TranStar)

School districts across the region are canceling classes due to the historic flooding from Harvey, including the Houston Independent School District being closed until at least next Tuesday.

Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner has addressed the disaster and the city's response.

10:15 a.m. CDT Sunday: A thunderstorm capable of producing a tornado is moving into downtown Houston. This tornado may be hidden due to heavy rainfall, so people in the area should seek shelter until the storm has passed.

10:00 a.m. CDT Sunday: Rainfall rates have temporarily lowered in the Houston metro area, though rivers will continue to rise and periods of heavy rain are expected to continue.
Thirteen river gauges in Harris County are reporting major flooding, with several having already exceeded record flood stages.

Clear Creek at Friendswood, Texas, has reached 22.5 feet, exceeding its previous record flood stage of 19.1 feet.
After moving to the second floor of the studio when floodwaters began to enter the building, reporters and personnel of KHOU News in Houston have evacuated the premises as of 9:00 a.m. CDT.
An area of torrential rain is currently moving into the Beaumont, Texas, region. Of the 3.26 inches of rain that has been recorded at the local Port Author Airport since midnight CDT, 2.7 of them have fallen in the past two hours.
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Downtown Houston, Texas inundated with water. (Image via Natalie Lund Twitter/@nmlund)

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