Hous­ton en­dures more rain, chaos

The Sentinel-Record - - FRONT PAGE -

HOUS­TON — Flood­wa­ters reached the rooflines of sin­gle-story homes Mon­day and peo­ple could be heard plead­ing for help from in­side as Har­vey poured rain on the Hous­ton area for a fourth con­sec­u­tive day af­ter a chaotic week­end of ris­ing wa­ter and res­cues.

The na­tion’s fourth-largest city was still mostly par­a­lyzed by one of the largest down­pours in U.S. his­tory. And there was no re­lief in sight from the storm that spun into Texas as a Cat­e­gory 4 hur­ri­cane, then parked over the Gulf Coast. With nearly 2 more feet of rain ex­pected on top of the 30-plus inches in some places, au­thor­i­ties wor­ried that the worst might be yet to come.

Har­vey has been blamed for at least three con­firmed deaths.

The dis­as­ter un­folded on an epic scale in one of Amer­ica’s most sprawl­ing metropoli­tan cen­ters. The Hous­ton metro area cov­ers about 10,000 square miles, an area slightly big­ger than New Jer­sey. It’s criss­crossed by about

1,700 miles of chan­nels, creeks and bay­ous that drain into the Gulf of Mex­ico, about 50 miles to the south­east from down­town.

The storm is gen­er­at­ing an amount of rain that would nor­mally be seen only once in more than 1,000 years, said Ed­mond Russo, a deputy district en­gi­neer for the Army Corps of Engi­neers, which was con­cerned that flood­wa­ter would spill around a pair of

70-year-old reser­voir dams that pro­tect down­town Hous­ton.

Res­cuers con­tin­ued pluck­ing peo­ple from the flood­wa­ters — more than 3,000 times by Mon­day evening, Mayor Sylvester Turner said.

Fore­cast­ers ex­pect the sys­tem to stay over wa­ter with 45 mph winds for 36 hours and then head back in­land east of Hous­ton some­time Wed­nes­day. The sys­tem will then head north and lose its trop­i­cal strength.

Be­fore then, up to 20 more inches of rain could fall, Na­tional Weather Ser­vice Di­rec­tor Louis Uc­cellini said Mon­day.

That means the flood­ing will get worse in the days ahead and the flood­wa­ters will be slow to re­cede once Har­vey fi­nally moves on, the weather ser­vice said.

The As­so­ci­ated Press

MASS EVAC­U­A­TION: Vol­un­teers use their boat to help evac­u­ate res­i­dents as flood­wa­ters from Trop­i­cal Storm Har­vey rise Mon­day in Spring, Texas.

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