Harvey, the most powerful hurricane to strike Texas in more than 50 years, first hit land on Friday and has killed at least two people.
Brown said when Tropical Storm Harvey finally goes away, it will leave an incredible bill for taxpayers to pick up. Many schools are closed - as are the two main airports, with runways completely flooded. "Do not report your information on social media sites", the U.S. Coast Guard said Sunday, urging people in distress to call instead. Flooding forced many to turn around and drive the wrong way on freeways.
Dallas said it was preparing to open its "Mega Shelter" in the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center to handle a stream of people displaced from Houston and other coastal areas.
Much of the Houston area remained underwater on Tuesday, and unsafe rescues went on through the night as police, firefighters and National Guard troops in helicopters, boats and trucks pulled stranded residents from flooded homes. Cellphones beeped with constant tornado and flash-flood warnings.
- Houston officials will not ask for immigration status or papers from anyone at any shelter, according to tweets in English and Spanish from the city's verified account. "Protecting the lives of our people is my highest priority", Trump said. "The rain is more widespread than it was during Allison".
The death toll is expected to rise as Harvey lingers for days above the U.S. state, triggering more floods, storm surges and tornadoes.
Harvey was expected to blow across the coast and up through Louisiana for days, with forecasts for storm surges of up to 13 feet (four meters) and over three feet (90 cm) of rain.
Allison did $9 billion in damage and caused 41 deaths.
"People are concerned about what is happening to them, to their neighbors", VOA's Celia Mendoza said.
Residents sit on a fence surrounded by floodwaters from Tropical Storm Harvey on Sunday in Houston. | David J. Phillip Associated Press
Scientists are already starting to weigh in on how humans may have helped exacerbate the weekend's catastrophic flooding in Texas. The latest track of Harvey takes it south back into the ocean and then north again, possibly going back over Houston.
The slow-moving storm has brought catastrophic flooding to Texas, killed at least nine people, led to mass evacuations and paralyzed Houston, the fourth most-populous US city.
The Coast Guard also says nine helicopters are being brought in Tuesday to help with rescues.
Eighteen of those counties have been granted a federal disaster declaration, a move that triggers FEMA's support. Five people are reported dead and helicopters have plucked victims from rooftops.
Texas Governor Greg Abbott said he was activating 1,800 members of the military to help with the statewide cleanup, while 1,000 people would conduct search-and-rescue operations. Many residents climbed to the upper stories of their homes.
The community members living in and around Houston have either voluntarily abandoned their homes or have been evacuated to safer places, after flood water dangerously entered their homes, in a few cases touching the roof.
"You literally can not put 6.5 million people on the road".
Dick Gremillion has watched Houston officials come under fire for deciding not to order an evacuation ahead of the epic flooding that has left hundreds of people in the country's fourth-largest city trapped in their homes.
Water gushed from two reservoirs overwhelmed by Harvey as officials sought to release pressure on two dams that were at risk of failing from the vast floodwaters that have filled the city. "The goal is rescue", Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner told reporters Monday.
He repeated warnings from authorities not to retreat to attics amid rising water, because people can be trapped and it makes rescue hard, and he encouraged people who need help to mark their roofs.
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