The storm that inundated Houston swamped the cities with a record 30 inches of rainfall, unleashed flash flooding that police said claimed two lives in Beaumont and forced hundreds of residents to flee to local shelters.
Similar scenes were repeated up and down the gulf coast of the Lone Star state in the aftermath of Harvey, which struck Texas on Sunday as a Category 4 hurricane and is now blamed for 17 deaths, including a Houston family of six who perished when their van was swept away by floodwaters.
The National Hurricane Center described the flooding in southeastern Texas as “catastrophic” and “life-threatening.” Port Arthur Mayor Derrick Freeman warned those menaced by flooding to seek higher ground and stay out of attics to avoid being trapped by rising water.
“Our whole city is underwater right now,” Freeman said in a Facebook post earlier Wednesday, as distressed residents posted addresses and phone numbers on his official page and pleaded for help.
“We’re stuck in the house, six kids, one adult mom is disabled and oldest child is on medication …water is knee high in the house and about 10 inches or less away from the wall power outlets,” one resident posted on the page.
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