While countless Houstonians are still waiting for rescue, Tropical Storm Harvey has now swallowed another Texas city.
“Our whole city is underwater right now but we are coming!” Port Arthur Mayor Derrick Freeman postedWednesday morning on Facebook. “If you called, we are coming. Please get to higher ground if you can, but please try stay out of attics.”
Port Arthur — about 90 miles east of the devastated Houston area — is so deluged that floodwater has overwhelmed an evacuation center. Murky brown water nearly reached the top of cots at the shelter.
Photos: Hurricane Harvey slams Texas
It’s all part of Tropical Storm Harvey’s devastating encore. Harvey made landfall once again Wednesday morning, slamming into the Louisiana coast near the Texas border.
26 inches in 24 hours
Harvey has now busted the US record for rainfall from a single storm, CNN senior meteorologist Dave Hennen said. It’s dumped almost 52 inches of rain in parts of Texas.
The coastal cities of Beaumont and Port Arthur got pummeled with 26 inches of rain in 24 hours — and it’s still raining.
“Life-threatening flash flooding continues in far east Texas around Beaumont and Port Arthur,” Hennen said.
And Port Arthur, a city of about 55,000, is in exceptional danger because water from Beaumont is expected to flow toward it.
Misery in Houston
While heavy rains have ended in the Houston area, the danger is far from over.
Emergency workers and throngs of volunteers are going door to door for a fifth day Wednesday, trying to rescue victims of the flood. Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo said authorities have received 60,000 to 70,000 calls for help.
“We just pray that the body count that we know will rise … won’t rise significantly.” Acevedo said.
At least 11 people have already died in the Texas flooding. One of them, Houston police Sgt. Steve Perez, drowned while trying to get to work.
About one-third of the Houston area is covered in water. And it’s unclear exactly how many people still need to be rescued, Texas Military Department spokesman Lt. Col. Travis Walters said.
One of those stranded is Anike Allen. From her home in a northeast Houston suburb, Allen said she has seen neighbors get airlifted as she slowly runs out of food.
While her home is not completely flooded, she’s not sure if there’s a way out of her neighborhood.
“The water is receding here, but we are not sure if it’s going to come back,” Allen said.
For the first time since the weekend, authorities say the flooding in Houston is slowly receding in some areas.
But dangerous flooding will continue from Houston all the way into southwestern Louisiana for the rest of the week, the National Weather Service said.
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