HOUSTON, TEXAS, UNITED STATES (AUGUST 27, 2017) (U.S. DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE) – Tropical Storm Harvey was set to dump more rain on Houston on Monday (August 28), worsening flooding that has paralyzed the country’s fourth biggest city.
The rainwater has forced thousands to flee and swollen rivers to levels not seen in centuries.
Harvey is the most powerful hurricane to hit Texas in more than 50 years.
It first hit land late on Friday and has killed at least two people. It has since stayed around Texas’ Gulf of Mexico Coast where it is forecast to remain for several more days, drenching parts with a year’s worth of rain in the span of a week.
Schools, airports and office buildings in Houston, home to about 2.3 million people, were ordered shut on Monday as scores of roads turned into rivers and chest-high water filled neighborhoods in the low-lying city. Torrential rain also hit areas more than 150 miles (240 km) away, swelling rivers upstream and causing a surge that was heading towards the Houston area.
Authorities ordered more than 50,000 people to leave parts of Fort Bend County, about 35 miles (55 km) southwest of Houston as the Brazos River was set to crest at a record high of 59 feet (18 m) this week, 14 feet above its flood stage.
The Harris County Sheriff’s Office used motorboats, airboats, humvees and other vehicles to rescue more than 2,000 people in the greater Houston area on Sunday, a spokesman said.