*** LIVE WIRE *** Catastrophic Floods Hit Houston, ‘Harvey’ Begins March Back to Gulf

The Associated Press
The Associated Press

HOUSTON, Texas — Texans are facing what may become the worst flooding event in the state’s history as Tropical Storm Harvey continues to dump record levels of rainfall on the central and upper Gulf Coast region. Houston emergency management officials have run out of boats and other rescue equipment used to respond to people trapped in their flooded homes. Houston 911 officials are adding additional staff to handle the overwhelming number of calls being received.

UPDATES BELOW: All times are Central Daylight Time

UPDATE 8:00 a.m.: U.S. Coast Guard video shows rescue of Houston-area man from rooftop in flooded subdivision.

UPDATE 7:45 a.m.: An insurance group says that the damage from Harvey could match Hurricane Katrina.

From Reuters:

WASHINGTON, Aug 27 (Reuters) – Flood damage in Texas from Hurricane Harvey may equal that from 2005’s Hurricane Katrina, the costliest natural disaster in U.S. history, said an insurance research group on Sunday.

As heavy rain pounded Houston and Texas’s coastal counties, the Insurance Information Institute said it was still too soon to make precise estimates of the damage to homes and businesses.

“It could be a flood loss like Katrina because of the amount of water that’s coming in … not as much wind as it will be water,” said institute spokeswoman Loretta Worters.

Hurricane Katrina resulted in more than $15 billion in flood insurance losses in Louisiana and Mississippi that were paid by the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), a federal program that is the only source of flood insurance for most Americans.

Read the rest of the story here.

Final update for Sunday night: “Texas Men Rush into Flood Waters to Save Baby”

UPDATE 7:15 p.m.: Tornado warnings continue across the Houston area.

Williamson County Sheriff Robert Chody sent manpower and resources to help Houston emergency response crews. He said his deputies are determined to “make an impact 4Texans!”

More Good News Updates: 

Houston media honor work of first responders:

Cajun Navy Heads to Texas:

Dogs Rescued:

Update 7:05 p.m.: Texas A&M Forest Serves officials tweeted map of Harvey response resources.

UPDATE 7 p.m.: National Weather Service reported at 7 p.m. that Tropical Storm Harvey is continuing to move back to the Texas Gulf Coast. At this time, “Harvey” is moving southeast on a heading of 130 degrees at 3 miles per hour. The poorly defined center is now located about 10 miles northeast of Victoria. Maximum sustained winds remain at 40 mph. The barometric pressure has increased to 29.53 inches.

The storm is expected to meander back to the coast over the next two days. Forecasters predict the storm will re-enter the Gulf of Mexico on Monday or Monday night. “Harvey” could possibly re-organize and strengthen once it moves back into the hot waters of the Gulf of Mexico.

Hurricane to tropical force-winds have been pounding parts of Texas since Friday afternoon.

UPDATE 6:35 p.m.: The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers just announced they are releasing water from two of Houston’s major water retention areas. Water has been building in the resevoirs at a rate of about 4 inches per hour. It appears officials are attempting to take advantage of the current lull in the rain to gradually release water.

The Houston Chronicle reported:

Col. Lars N. Zetterstrom with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers announced late Sunday afternoon that rising levels in the Addicks and Barker reservoirs will force authorities to release water from both dams. Based on the corps data, the rising waters will place residents and their home in dangerous situations.

UPDATE 6:25 p.m.: Houston emergency management officials said “We’re not out of the woods yet,” as rainfall rates decrease across the 1,800 square footprint of Houston and Harris County.

The Harris County Flood Warning System shows rain has nearly stopped, at least for the last hour, all across the county. The highest rainfall is currently being recorded in far west Harris County where less than one inch fell in the last hour.

Harris County Flood Warning System

President Donald Trump to visit Houston on Tuesday: President Donald Trump announced he will travel to Texas to observe the damage and help coordinate rescue and recovery efforts as Houston continues to pelt the Texas coastal bend with rain. “We are coordinating logistics with state and local officials, and once details are finalized, we will let you know,” White House officials stated. “We continue to keep all of those affected in our thoughts and prayers.”

U.S. Coast Guard helicopters begin to survey the devastating floods in Houston:

UPDATE 6:00 p.m.: Law enforcement agencies around the state of Texas did what they could to send help to Houston. Williamson County Sheriff Robert Chody sent help from central Texas.

Fireants form an island and float to dry land in Houston:

UPDATE 5:50 p.m.: Rockport’s iconic “Big Tree,” a 1000-year-old oak tree located just north of Rockport in Goose Island State Park survived yet another direct hit from a hurricane. While the ancient tree has been struggling in recent years from the Texas drought, she stood strong against the 110 mph winds of Category 4 Hurricane Harvey.

Rockport’s “Big Tree” (Photo: Texas Parks and Wildlife)

UPDATE 5:45 p.m.: Traffic jam in Houston.

Boats move out to rescue stranded Houstonians. (NBC News Video Screenshot)

The City of Dallas has received a formal request by the State to house up to 5,000 Gulf Coast victims of Hurricane Harvey. The city is preparing the Dallas Convention Center and are working to have it ready to take in people on Tuesday morning, August 29.

UPDATE 5:25 p.m.: Texas Governor Greg Abbott requested Defense Secretary James Mattis to set up a Texas National Guard Dual Stats Command to provide a single commander for both federal and state authorities to respond to the devastation of Hurricane Harvey.

“It is imperative that we give our military and first responders on the ground the most efficient method of execution when responding to the urgent needs of Texans,” Governor Abbot said in a statement obtained by Breitbart Texas. “The Dual Status Command will ensure that the Texas National Guard is overseeing all response efforts in a way that most closely coordinates with federal troops and military efforts to ensure the needs of the victims of Hurricane Harvey are being met as swiftly and effectively as possible. I thank Secretary Mattis for his cooperation and immediate response to our request and continue to assure the people of this state that Texas is doing everything possible to aid in your time of need.”

Abbott deployed more than 3,000 Texas National Guard members and 2,000 Texas Department of Public Safety troopers.

Texas Governor Greg Abbott and Texas Military Department Commander, Maj. General John F. Nichols. (Photo: Office of the Texas Governor)

UPDATE 5:20 p.m.: Centerpoint Energy reports more than 80,000 customers without power in the Houston area.

Good News Update: Ten people who were on their roofs near Braes Bayou were rescued by good Houstonians with a high truck.

“Monster Truck to the Rescue!”

UPDATE 4:55 p.m.: Twitter user posted before and after pictures of the bayou leading into downtown Houston.

A similar comparison from the Texas Tribune:

Meanwhile, “Harvey” continues to mess with Texas:

National Weather Service Houston reports that widespread rain totals in the Houston area as of 3 p.m. was over a foot of rain.

UPDATE 4:50 p.m.: Earlier on Sunday, Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez warned Houstonians against driving the wrong way on freeways, even if they are blocked by water.

UPDATE 4:35 p.m.: Relief may be coming to the Houston area as the latest radar images show rain bands from Tropical Storm Harvey beginning to move north. The southeast parts of the county which experienced up to 25 inches of rain in the past 24 hours are coming into the clear. This should allow floods to begin draining.

The Harris County Flood Management System reports most rain gauges showing less trace amounts to just over 1 inch of rain in the past most parts of southeast Harris County report zero to .2 inches of rain in the past hour. Harris County’s far west side is reporting the heaviest rainfall at this time with about 1 to 1.5 inches of rain.

UPDATE 4:15 p.m.: “It is brutal out here,” rescue workers told KPRC NBC2 in Houston. “With darkness approaching, we are going to have to shut down these rescues soon.”

On its first day in Houston, the flooding caused from #Harvey-related storms has surpassed that of Tropical Storm Allison in 2001. KPRC’s Justin Stapleton tweeted, “TS Allison has been dethroned.” Thru 2:00 p.m. Sunday afternoon, the rainfall has made August the wettest month on record.

UPDATE 4:12 p.m.: Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez jumps in the water with @HCSOTexas rescue teams to help retrieve a man who had been in eight feet of water since 2 a.m.

UPDATE 4:10 p.m.:  The Houston Office of Emergency Management reported at around 4 p.m. Sunday that Houston 911 received over 56,000 calls from 10 p.m. Saturday, to 1:00 p.m. Sunday.

UPDATE 4:05 p.m.:  The finger pointing begins as Fox News Channel’s Britt Hume and the Washington Post as why Houston wasn’t evacuated.

Harris County Judge Ed Emmitt addressed this issue in an exclusive interview with Breitbart Texas early Sunday morning.

“We knew this was coming,” Emmett said. “Unfortunately, we are now experiencing exactly what we predicted.”

“Because this is a rain event, we don’t know where or when particular areas will flood,” Judge Emmett explained. “Right now, our focus is on southeast Harris County. That is where we are moving our resources.”

“We have 4.7 million people spread over 1,800 square miles,” he concluded. “It would be impossible to know where or who to evacuate in advance. We have to be reactive.”

UPDATE 4.00 p.m.: On Sunday afternoon, Harris County Emergency Management officials open George R. Brown Convention Center to serve as a shelter for evacuees.

Other shelters can be found here.

UPDATE 3:55 p.m.: Sprint waives fees for text messages and phone calls through Sept. 1 to help people keep in touch, according to text message received by Breitbart Texas on Sunday afternoon.

UPDATE 3:40 p.m.:  Texans don’t wait for federal assistance — 15-year-old Houstonian responds with his personal boat to help rescue people in Meyerland (SW Houston).

UPDATE 3:25 p.m.: Houston Transtar traffic management officials ask Houstonians to remain off the roadways unless absolutely necessary to move: Flooded roadways and highways can be seen on the network of traffic cameras maintained by the agency.  Although a list of road lanes affected by the flooding can also be found, authorities are asking people to stay where they are. A link to statewide road conditions is also on the homepage of the website.

UPDATE 3:30 p.m.: Houston’s downtown floods threaten Harris County Courthouse Annex and Jail.

Flood waters submerge cars in Texas Medical Center.

Meteorologist Jacob DeFlitch shows the extent of flooding in Houston’s downtown area.

UPDATE 3:20 p.m.: National Weather Service officials now predict record setting rainfall totals in excess of 50 inches in “Harvey’s” wake. “The breadth and intensity of this rainfall are beyond anything experienced before. Catastrophic flooding is now underway and expected to continue for days.”

The FAA advised drone pilots to refrain from flying in the storm’s aftermath. “Allow 1st responders to work,” officials Tweeted.

UPDATE 3:15 p.m.: Texas National Guard in action — Neighbors helping neighbors.

ABC13’s Joe Gleason visits flooded home in the Houston area:


UPDATE 3:10 p.m.:  Tired of waiting for help, Houstonians find ways to get themselves, and their pets, out of harm’s way.

Fox 26’s Mike Iscovitz reports Highway 288, on Houston’s south side, is completely flooded.

UPDATE 3:05 p.m.: Climate activists blame global warming and climate change for Hurricane Harvey and the Houston floods, Breitbart Texas reported. Twitter user @NashvilleResist wonders how long it will take for Al Gore to comment on the matter.

UPDATE 3:00 p.m.:  Current radar shows center of Tropical Storm Harvey remains stationary over Cuero, Texas:

Radar Image: MyRadar app.

24 Hour Rainfall Totals from Harris County Flood Warning System as of 3 p.m. on Sunday.

UPDATE 2:55 p.m.: A report late Sunday morning from the National Weather Service shows an accumulation of nearly 30 inches of rain in a 60-hour period:

DAYTON 0.2 E 27.45
SANTA FE 0.7 S 27.42
LA MARQUE 1.8 E 24.53
LA GRANGE 10.2 NW 18.89
SUGAR LAND 1.0 W 17.97
MAGNOLIA 2.8 S 17.80
WALLER 3.0 WSW 17.57
HOUSTON 1.4 NE 17.22
CLEVELAND 3.6 S 16.43
NEW ULM 5.1 S 16.14
ALVIN 3 SW 15.16

UPDATE 2:50 p.m.: Does anyone know if this family was ever rescued?

UPDATE 2:45 p.m: The Texas National Guard is responding to their neighbors in need and Governo Abbott deploys over 1,000 Guardsmen and equipment.

Governor Greg Abbott expressed his “tremendous support” provided by President Trump and his staff.

UPDATE 2:40 p.m.: Fifteen people rescued from Dickinson nursing home:

UPDATE 2:35 p.m.: “It’s already the biggest storm in Texas history,” Texas Lt. Governor Dan Patrick, a Houstonian, said during an interview on KPRC. “I do believe the state, and we’ve gotten great assistance from the federal government… I believe we were as well prepared as we could be. It is still difficult to handle the magnitude of this.”

“We are looking at weeks and months,” Patrick said. “We are going to need a lot of labor to rebuild.”

A video on Twitter shows a Houston man bringing his own boat to flooded areas to attempt to rescue those stranded by the record floods.

UPDATE 2:30 p.m.: KPRC anchor Bill Balleza, reporting from his home because of flooding, said: “This is the worst thing I have ever seen.”

Harris County Judge Ed Emmett reported the 911 emergency dispatch system and rescue teams are inundated with calls for rescues, Breitbart Texas reported. The judge, who heads up the county’s emergency response services said boats and high-water vehicles are desperately needed.

Texas Governor Greg Abbott has deployed Texas National Guardsmen to help rescue flood victims:

UPDATE 2:25 p.m.: The National Weather Service says up to 50 inches of rain may fall in the Houston area over the next few days.

UPDATE 2:20 p.m.: Caution, graphic language in video. A video published on Sunday shows one of many tornadoes that touched down in the Houston area during storms caused by the remnants of Hurricane Harvey:

UPDATE 2:15 p.m.: Houston’s Hobby Airport and George Bush Intercontinental Airport are closed until further notice. Flooding of the inbound and outbound runways of Hobby Airport went completely underwater.

UPDATE 2:10 p.m.: Video shows KHOU reporter @BrandiKHOU flagging down a rescue truck as an 18-wheeler is trapped in rapidly rising water on the freeway:

KHOU had its own flooding problems as its station and studio became part of Houston’s Buffalo Bayou, Breitbart Texas reported.

Huffington Post reporter Tweeted a photo of a totally submerged car on Interstate 10 on Houston’s east side:

UPDATE 2:00 p.m.: Texas Governor Greg Abbott announced a mobile hospital is being dispatched to the Houston area. Transportation and communication equipment is being dispatched to Houston and the devastated areas along the Texas coast, including Rockport.

UPDATE 1:55 p.m.:  Houstonians are in desperate need of help. Emergency crews are inundated with calls for service and rescue equipment has been maxed out.

UPDATE 1:45 p.m.: Ben Taub Trauma Center surrounded by flood waters:

UPDATE: 1:30 p.m.: The National Weather Service (NWS) is predicting that up to 50 inches of rain will fall in the Houston/Galveston area over the next few days.

“Harvey is expected to produce additional rainfall accumulations of 15 to 25 inches through Friday over the middle and upper Texas coast, including the  Houston/Galveston metropolitan area,” NWS officials posted in the 10 a.m. advisory Sunday morning. “Isolated storm totals may reach 50 inches in this region.

“Harvey” continues to retain its tropical storm ranking as it holds nearly stationary near Cuero, Texas. Sustained winds are reported to be 40 mph. The storm is moving toward the Texas coast at about 2 mph.

UPDATE: 12:10 p.m.:  Harris County Sheriff’s Office calls for more rescue equipment:

Coast Guard rescue teams rescue a crew from a sinking boat:

Large sinkhole opens in Rosenberg, Texas, as flood waters continue to devastate south Texas:

UPDATE: 11:30 a.m.: Houston man claims hawk would not leave his car during Hurricane Harvey storms.

UPDATE 11:15 a.m.: Houston Ship Channel officials report the largest port on the Gulf of Mexico is closed for at least 24 hours.

UPDATE: 11:00 a.m.: Houston emergency management officials said the 911 emergency dispatch system is overwhelmed with calls as the city experiences an “unprecedented rain event.” Flood victims have taken to social media to cry for help as they are unable to reach officials via telephone.

KHOU’s Jason Miles reported the body of an unknown man has been found at a Walmart parking lot in La Marque, Texas. It is not known how he died. The area reportedly had been flooded and the man died grasping the rail of a shopping cart corral.

Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner told reporters the city’s 911 system has received more than 2,500 calls for service during the flood event thus far. Most of those calls have not been for life-threatening emergencies.

“All of the 911 call centers are experiencing EXTREMELY high call volume,” Houston Office of Emergency Management officials said in a statement obtained by Breitbart Texas. “DO NOT contact 911 to check the status of the weather, flooded roads, road closures, power outages, or other non-emergency inquiries. These calls are delaying help to true emergencies.”

Because of the overwhelming number of calls and long 911 wait times, flood victims took to social media to ask for help.

KHOU CBS 11 Tweeted to Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez and the Houston Fire Department about a baby girl on a ventilator who was in need of rescue. “Please help this baby @SheriffEd_HCSO @cohoustonfire.”

Breitbart Texas reported Friday night that President Trump signed an emergency disaster declaration for Texas as Hurricane Harvey made landfall Friday night in Rockport, Texas. “At the request of the Governor of Texas, I have signed the Disaster Proclamation, which unleashes the full force of government help!” President Trump Tweeted Friday night. His signature opens the door for federal resources and manpower to come to the assistance of Texas as officials begin the work of recovering from the storm while devastating rains and winds continue.

Follow complete coverage of Hurricane Harvey and Houston Floods on Breitbart Texas.

Lana Shadwick is a writer and legal analyst for Breitbart Texas. She has served as a prosecutor and associate judge in Texas. Follow her on GAB @lanashadwick and on Twitter @LanaShadwick2.

Bob Price serves as associate editor and senior political news contributor for Breitbart Texas. He is a founding member of the Breitbart Texas team. Follow him on Twitter @BobPriceBBTXGab, and Facebook.


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