'GET OUT NOW!!' Public warned as Harvey strains Houston's dams and levees

American-Statesman Staff

Engineers began releasing water from the Addicks and Barker reservoirs on Monday to ease the strain on the 70-year-old dams, but the releases were not enough to relieve the pressure after one of the heaviest downpours in U.S. history, the Army Corps of Engineers said. Around 2:30 a.m. Monday, however, the rapidly rising water levels prompted the Army Corps to begin releasing water from both reservoirs.

Greg Abbott said Monday that the Houston community's response in the wake of Hurricane Harvey - including the scores of residents who have risked their lives to rescue others - shows "what Texas is all about".

"As we continue to congregate in these urban areas, particularly in coastal regions, I think urban flooding is going to be a paramount issue moving forward for this country", Brody said. The National Weather Service says some places could see up to 40 inches.

Already 14 sites in Houston have recorded more than 40 inches of rain and 36 different locations have recorded more than 3 feet.

The area is expected to have received a year's rainfall within a week.

Vice President Mike Pence is warning the people of Southeast Texas that Harvey is still unsafe and that life-threatening flooding will continue. Ben Taub Hospital has 350 patients to relocate, hopefully within one day, as floodwater and sewage have infiltrated the building, the AP writes.

According to Brody, Houston is prone to flooding for a number of reasons.

On Monday President Donald Trump also approved an emergency declaration for neighbouring Louisiana. The declaration, effective August 27, authorizes the Federal Emergency Management Agency to bolster the response efforts of local authorities.




"On Sunday, incessant rain covered much of Houston in turbid, gray-green water and turned streets into rivers navigable only by boat". Boats and kayaks are being used to reach people stranded on rooftops.

No one knows exactly where all the water from Addicks and Barker will go, but officials have estimated that some homes will be flooded for months.

"He was trying different routes, and took a wrong turn", one high-ranking official said, asking not to be identified. They urged people to get on top of their houses to avoid becoming trapped in attics and to wave sheets or towels to draw attention to their location.

Harvey made landfall late Friday along the Texas Gulf Coast as a Category 4 hurricane and is now a tropical storm. The average yearly rainfall is just under 50 inches; Houston's airport has recorded more than 46 inches.

A major dam in Houston has spilled over for the first time in history after Harvey's rains inundated its reservoir, a federal official said.

Officials gambled that releasing water from Addicks and Barker reservoirs in the middle of Harvey's catastrophic flooding would ease the pressure on the aging dams northwest of the city.

There are more than 100 subdivisions under voluntary evacuation orders and two under mandatory evacuation orders, though that is expected to expand.

Jeff Lindner with Harris County (Texas) Flood Control District tweeted early Monday morning that the water release of both reservoirs had started.

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