President Trump visited Texas on Tuesday as rescue efforts for those affected by Tropical Storm Harvey continue. We’ll be providing you the latest about conditions on the ground in Houston and Southeast Texas through the rest of the day. Here’s where things stand at the moment:
Harvey has moved into the Gulf, although bands of rainfall from the storm are continuing to affect Houston and surrounding areas. Areas of Southeast Texas have received about 40 inches of rain since the storm began. The Weather Channel reports that a rain gauge near Friendswood, Texas, has registered nearly 50 inches of rain, possibly the largest ever rainfall total from a tropical cyclone in the continental U.S. Harvey is now making its way back to shore, meaning there are still days of rain ahead in Texas and Louisiana—including an additional 5 to 8 more inches in Houston—before the storm finally moves away from the Gulf region toward the end of the week. Harvey, thankfully, isn’t expected to strengthen any further.
At least 14 people are reportedly dead in the Houston area, including a family of six who are thought to have drowned in a van and a police officer who drowned in his patrol car. More than 3,500 people have been rescued, and about 30,000 are thought to have been displaced, including 9,000 or so currently taking shelter at Houston’s convention center. The center has a capacity of 5,000. More than a quarter of a million Texans were without power Monday.
Water has risen above the spillway at the Addicks Reservoir dam in Houston for the first time ever. That dam and another, the Baker Reservoir Dam, were supposed to be relieved partially by the controlled flooding of the already inundated Buffalo Bayou over the weekend. The Army Corps of Engineers has said, however, that it isn’t worried about either dam failing. Levees at Columbia Lakes, a community south of Houston, were breached this afternoon, prompting emergency officials to order an immediate evacuation.
As many as 30,000 National Guardsmen could be deployed for relief efforts over the next several days, and 3,000 Texas guardsmen are already at work. More than 22,000 families have applied for emergency housing and disaster assistance, according to an interview Vice President Mike Pence did with KKTX radio. Pence said half a million Texans could qualify for aid.