Texas death toll rises

Thurs­day, Au­gust 31, 2017 Flood­wa­ters drop but storm takes sec­ond swipe

Metro Canada (Calgary) - - BUSINESS - The As­so­ci­ATed press KiRsTy WiGGlesWoRTh/AP

Har­vey’s flood­wa­ters started drop­ping across much of the Hous­ton area and the sun peeked through thin­ning clouds Wed­nes­day in the first glim­mer of hope in days for the be­sieged city. But the cri­sis was far from over, with the storm dou­bling back to­ward land and bat­ter­ing com­mu­ni­ties near the Tex­as­Louisiana line.

The storm, mean­while, be­gan to give up some of its dead.

The con­firmed death toll from the hur­ri­cane climbed to 21 after a woman’s body was dis­cov­ered afloat in Beau­mont. Also, the bod­ies of six fam­ily mem­bers, in­clud­ing four chil­dren, were pulled from a van that had been swept off a Hous­ton bridge into a bayou, and au­thor­i­ties were in­ves­ti­gat­ing 17 more deaths to de­ter­mine whether they were storm-re­lated.

“Un­for­tu­nately, it seems that our worst thoughts are be­ing re­al­ized,’’ Har­ris County Sher­iff Ed Gon­za­lez said after the van was found in 10 feet of muddy wa­ter.

While con­di­tions in Hous­ton ap­peared to im­prove, the dis­as­ter took a turn for the worse east of the city, close to the Louisiana line.

Beau­mont and Port Arthur, Texas, strug­gled with ris­ing flood­wa­ters and worked to evac­u­ate res­i­dents after Har­vey com­pleted a U-turn and rolled ashore early Wed­nes­day for the sec­ond time in six days, hitting south­west­ern Louisiana as a trop­i­cal storm with heavy rain and winds of 70 km/h.

For much of the rest of the Hous­ton area, fore­cast­ers said the rain is pretty much over. Nev­er­the­less, many thou­sands of homes in and around the na­tion’s fourth-largest city still were un­der wa­ter from the record-break­ing del­uge of four feet of rain and could stay that way for days or weeks.

Bri­tain’s prince Wil­liam, left, and prince harry walk away after plac­ing flow­ers amongst the flo­ral and pic­to­rial trib­utes to their late mother princess diana placed on the gates of Kens­ing­ton palace in Lon­don on Wed­nes­day. The princes paid trib­ute to their mother on the eve of the 20th an­niver­sary of her death by vis­it­ing the palace’s sunken Gar­den to hon­our diana’s work with char­i­ties.

Gov. Greg Ab­bott warned that “the worst is not over” for south­east­ern Texas as wide­spread flood­ing con­tin­ues.

RyAn Pel­hAm/The beAu­monT en­TeR­PRise/The As­so­ci­ATed PRess

vol­un­teers help evac­u­ate chil­dren from flood­ing in Beau­mont, Texas, on Wed­nes­day.

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