At least 30 people are known to have died after Hurricane Harvey hit Texas over the weekend. It’s now been downgraded to a tropical storm and is causing flooding across large swaths of the American state.
Photos and videos have been uploaded to social media, illustrating just how much water has been pouring in. Since the storm began, nearly 52 inches (132cm) has fallen on the Houston area, with authorities estimating about 20 to 30 percent of Harris County is flooded.
Watch this footage of Interstate 10:
Credit: Associated Press
This is what it usually looks like.
Credit: Google Maps
— Wes Callison (@WesCallisonTNN) August 29, 2017
Absolutely insane time lapse footage of a Houston garage flooding…
— Harlan Z. Hill (@Harlan) August 29, 2017
The Houston Police Department says it has rescued more than 3,500 people from flooded areas. The tropical storm is expected to make landfall again, this time in Louisiana, which has already been experiencing mild flooding. Meteorologists are predicting another 10 inches (25cm) of rain to fall, with winds expected to reach as much as 60 mph (100km/h).
According to the New York Times, the storm’s downpour is reaching the American record for total rainfall in a single cyclone, which was set by Hurricane Hiki in 1950 in Hawaii.
Texans were buoyed by the presence of the sun yesterday for the first time since the storm set in.
My heart & prayers go out to the people of Texas as the sun finally shines down near Houston. May God give them strength. pic.twitter.com/8WQvJCjQ48
— Dylan Dreyer (@DylanDreyerNBC) August 29, 2017
— Allison Harris (@AllisonFox4News) August 30, 2017
Houston has enacted a curfew for residents to ensure they remain safe; they have to stay indoors from midnight until 5am until further notice. The Houston Police Department says the move is also partly in response to mild looting that’s been spotted.
Under Texas law, the punishment for looting during a disaster is much higher: a person convicted of burglary could face anywhere between five years to life in prison, compared to two to 20 years under normal circumstances. More than a dozen people have been arrested on suspicion of looting.
Houston police have lost one of their own in the flooding, Sergeant Steve Perez, who had served the force for an astonishing 34 years. A statement released on their Twitter reads: “The death of Sergeant Perez reminds us of the dangers that police officers willingly face every day in order to serve this great city.
It is with a heavy heart that we announce the tragic in the line of duty death of Sergeant Steve Perez. pic.twitter.com/cHJxjnFgII
— Houston Police (@houstonpolice) August 29, 2017
President Donald Trump announced last night, via Twitter, that he was on his way to Texas to speak to the emergency service personnel who have worked tirelessly since the weekend. He first arrived in Corpus Christi, which was the closest he could get to the worst affected areas.
He told response teams: “It’s a real team, and we want to do it better than ever before. We want to be looked at in five years, in 10 years from now as ‘this is the way to do it’.”
Sources: The New York Times, Mirror
Featured Image Credit: Logan Wheat/Storyful