At Least 5 Dead After Hurricane Harvey Slams Texas, Causing Major Floods
The death toll is reportedly expected to rise.
At least five people have died and hundreds have been left stranded after Hurricane Harvey roared into the Texas area on Saturday, leaving rising floodwaters in its wake.
More than 1,000 people were rescued throughout the weekend after rain poured down on Houston and Corpus Christi and caused “catastrophic flooding.”
Five people were confirmed dead and 14 were injured after the storm, but those numbers are expected to rise, authorities said.
A woman was reportedly killed when she drove her vehicle into high water in Houston and another man was killed by a fire in Rockport, CNN reported. The man couldn’t be reached because of the flooding, reports said.
Law enforcement agencies advised residents trapped in their homes not to take shelter in their attics unless they carried axes so they could break through to their roofs and be within sight of rescuers.
More than 45,000 people were without power in Houston and authorities said they have fielded at least 2,000 calls for help since the storm hit land.
"We are still stranded in our home with little kids and the water keeps rising," Houston resident Janet Castillo told CNN. "We have called already to several numbers but no luck. We have [tried] but their lines are all busy or they don't answer."
The storm, which hit coastal land on Friday as a Category 4 hurricane, has not ended, although it was downgraded to a tropical storm by Saturday afternoon.
The storm is still expected to bring 40 to 50 inches of rainfall to the flood-prone area throughout the week.
“It's going to last four to five days," Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner said at a press conference Sunday. "We have had an unprecedented amount of water. I don’t think I need to tell anyone at this point that this is a very, very serious and unprecedented storm.”
Houston said the city opened up a convention center as a shelter for people impacted by severe flooding, but encouraged people to stay home if they could.
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott declared a state of disaster for 30 counties on Wednesday before Harvey made landfall.
President Trump announced Sunday that he will travel to the Lone Star State on Tuesday.
HISTORIC rainfall in Houston, and all over Texas. Floods are unprecedented, and more rain coming. Spirit of the people is incredible.Thanks!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 27, 2017
Trump took to Twitter several times over the weekend to comment on the storm, often praising first responders and the people of Texas.
Brock Long, director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, said the recovery effort after the storm will not be a short one.
"FEMA is going to be there for years,” he said.
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