Houston, America’s fourth most populous city, has implemented a night-time curfew to prevent looting from abandoned homes as authorities and volunteers battle to rescue stranded people and provide shelter for those made homeless by the rising waters.
The curfew runs from 00:00-05:00 local time for an indefinite period. Relief volunteers, first responders, and those going to and from work are exempt.
According to the National Weather Service, the rainfall in Texas set a new record for the continental US. A rain gauge in Cedar Bayou recorded nearly 52in of rain since August 25.
President Donald Trump visited Texas on August 29 to survey the damage brought by Harvey.
He arrived in Corpus Christi, where Hurricane Harvey first made landfall last week, accompanied by First Lady Melania Trump.
President Trump said he wanted the relief effort to stand as an example of how to respond to a storm.
“We want to do it better than ever before.
“This storm, it’s epic what happened. But you know what, it happened in Texas and Texas can handle anything.”
President Trump will not be visiting Houston.
According to the White House, the president did not want his visit to disrupt the emergency response.
President Trump has declared a federal state of emergency in both Texas and Louisiana. The move releases emergency government funding and other assistance.
Harvey was the most powerful hurricane to hit Texas in more than 50 years when it made landfall at Corpus Christi, 220 miles south-west of Houston. The storm is expected to continue dumping huge amounts of rain in the coming days over already flood-hit areas.
Forecasts say that up to 40in of rain could fall in some areas of the middle and upper Texas coast, the hurricane center (NHC) warned. Such precipitation could trigger flooding in low-lying areas and near water outlets and rivers.
The National Weather Service cautioned that the storm was so severe that many areas could be uninhabitable for months.
Harvey has now mostly moved inland, officials say, with several places already reported to have received well over 10in of rain.
However, coastal areas will also be flooded by storm surges during high tide, the NHC said.
Meteorologist Wendy Wong told the Houston Chronicle that at least seven tornadoes stemming from the hurricane had struck the Houston area between Friday evening and Saturday afternoon.
The tornadoes destroyed buildings and homes and are likely to continue throughout Sunday and Monday.
Earlier, Hurricane Harvey made a double landfall: north-east of the city of Corpus Christi initially late on Friday local time, then just north of Rockport a few hours later.
When Harvey struck close to Corpus Christi it had winds of up to 130mph, but by noon its sustained winds had dropped to 70mph – therefore becoming a tropical storm.
It was moving at an extremely low speed – 2mph.
The port of Corpus Christi – which closed on August 24 in preparation for the storm – only received “minor damage”. Its navigation channel is due to reopen after a survey is completed by engineers.
Texas City also expects to open its port within 48 hours.
Utility companies say nearly 300,000 customers have been without electricity.
President Donald Trump has freed up federal aid for the worst-affected areas and Governor Greg Abbott praised the administration for “stepping up”.
In a teleconference with cabinet members, President Trump “emphasized his expectations that all departments and agencies stay fully engaged and positioned to support his number one priority of saving lives”, the White House said.
At least 18 people have been rescued from vessels in distress by Coast Guard helicopters. ABC News has tweeted a video of four people being rescued off the coast of Port Aransas.
Rockport, normally home to about 10,000 people, appears to have been the hardest hit town.
Port Aransas, a city on Mustang Island, near Corpus Christi, is also reported to have extensive damage. Local media reports say a search and rescue operation is under way at a trailer park.
Harvey is the first major storm of the Atlantic hurricane season. It is forecast to meander across south-east Texas until Wednesday.
President Trump is likely to visit Texas early next week, the White House said.
According to the Houston Chronicle, Harvey is the strongest storm to hit the US since Charley in August 2004 and the most powerful to hit Texas since Hurricane Carla in 1961, which killed 34 people.
President Trump has approved a federal aid for the worst-affected areas and praised emergency services in a tweet: “You are doing a great job – the world is watching! Be safe.”
Texas Governor Greg Abbott warned of record flooding in multiple regions after Harvey made a double landfall: north-east of the city of Corpus Christi initially, then just north of Rockport a few hours later.
Rockport, normally home to about 10,000 people, appears to have been the hardest hit. Emergency services there say a number of buildings have suffered structural damage.
Images posted on social media show collapsed trees and houses.
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