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Houston's mayor has imposed a curfew to ensure public safety and prevent looting


Updated August 29, 2017 08:59 PM EDT

Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner said he is imposing a midnight to 5 a.m. curfew to ensure public safety and prevent looting.

Police Chief Art Acevedo said violators will be stopped, questioned, searched and arrested.

In addition, Turner said the Toyota Center has been opened as a shelter for those displaced by flooding brought on by Tropical Storm Harvey. The basketball arena will help reduce overflow at the George R. Brown Convention Center, which is currently sheltering 10,000 people.

Turner also tweeted, thanking Rockets owner Les Alexander for letting the city use the arena and for donating $10 million to relief efforts.

Updated August 29, 2017 05:58 PM EDT

The National Weather Service said the rainfall totals in one part of Texas have set a record for the state and the continental U.S.

The rain total in Cedar Bayou, Texas, reached 51.88 inches Tuesday at 3:30 p.m. CDT. Although that sets a record for the continental United States, it doesn't quite surpass the 52 inches tropical cyclone Hiki dumped on Kauai, Hawaii in 1950. That happened before Hawaii became a state.

Updated August 29, 2017 03:39 PM EDT
Officer confirmed dead from Harvey flooding

A Houston police officer drowned in his patrol car after getting trapped in Harvey floodwater, police chief Art Acevedo confirmed in a press conference Tuesday.

Sgt. Steve Perez, a 30-year officer, was on his way to work Sunday when he became trapped in high water on Interstate 45 in north Harris County and then couldn't get himself out of his car.

Updated August 29, 2017 03:14 PM EDT

Updated August 29, 2017 12:38 PM EDT
Ranchers in Texas evacuate cattle to higher ground

Ranchers south of Houston are evacuating cattle as floodwaters rise. Wendt Ranches in Bay City -- about 80 miles south of Houston -- posted on Facebook that it had moved the last of its cattle to higher ground and that it was unsure what would happen over the next 24 to 72 hours as rain from Tropical Storm Harvey continues to fall.

Updated August 29, 2017 12:23 PM EDT

Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner (D) on Tuesday said that his city isn't "turning anybody away" while Tropical Storm Harvey rages in the region.

"The point is they're in a point of need and we will be here for them," he said during a press conference of Houston's George R. Brown Convention Center. "They have to go somewhere. We're not turning anybody away."

"I want to underscore that this is a storm of historic proportions not just to the city of Houston. The city of Houston is serving as a hub center not just for the people of Houston but the other people who are in the area."

Updated August 29, 2017 11:48 AM EDT

Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo on Tuesday said his officers will not allow any "victimizing" from criminals as the city struggles with Tropical Storm Harvey.

"We are not going to tolerate people victimizing," he said during a press conference. "You take advantage of them and prey in these circumstances, that's despicable."

"We are going to urge judges and juries to give you the toughest sentence possible. We're going to push hard to make sure you don't see the sunlight for a while."

Acevedo also dismissed critics of the city's strategy for dealing with Harvey, which first made landfall along the Texas coast as a Category 4 hurricane last Friday.

"This is a catastrophic event I don't think we've seen," he said. "For all the Monday morning quarterbacking out there, you can't have hindsight on an event that's never occurred."

Updated August 29, 2017 10:53 AM EDT

Texas's Brazoria County on Tuesday announced that its levee at Columbia Lakes had been breached amid ongoing downpour from Tropical Storm Harvey.

Updated August 29, 2017 10:45 AM EDT

Two water resevoirs in Houston are starting to overflow as Tropical Storm Harvey continues pouring rain upon the city, according to Reuters.

Harris County officials told Reuters on Tuesday that they are monitoring six neighborhoods around reservoirs as the water there keeps rising.

Authorities have since been forced to release more water into Houston's straining drainage system in the hopes of easing pressure on both dams.

Area officials also told Reuters they are urging residents of Houston, America's fourth largest city, to evacuate if they live in impacted areas there.

"This is something we've never seen before," said Jeff Linder of Harris County's flood control district. "We have uncertainty in how the water is going to react."

Linder said the water releases will add to flooding in regions close to Buffalo Bayou, which flows through the center of downtown Houston.

Controlled releases to reduce pressure on the dams have not significantly increased the amount of water in Houston's rivers, acording to Linder.

Houston's downtown area has not flooded yet, according to Reuters, but ongoing rain from Harvey may complicate efforts to prevent that scenario.

Updated August 29, 2017 07:23 AM EDT

Houston's George R. Brown Convention Center on Tuesday had thousands of people more than its maximum capacity inside of it due to Tropical Storm Harvey, according to ABC's "Good Morning America."

"Good Morning America" reported that the center had about 8,800 people inside it early that morning, well beyond its normal 5,000 people limit.

The American Red Cross is setting up stations at the center as victims pour in, which include blankets, cots, food, towels and medical attention.

Houston city officials also announced that there have been 4,000 water-related incidents and 290 water rescues there in the last 24 hours.

CNN reported that Harvey could drop up to 15 inches of rain on sections of eastern Texas (including the Houston area) and western Louisiana as Tuesday unfolds.

The National Weather Service said the storm is beginning to shift east and could dramatically worsen the "catastrophic and life-threatening" flooding situation in southeast Texas and southwest Louisiana.

Federal officials, meanwhile, are predicting that Harvey will force 30,000 people into shelters and 450,000 victims into seeking some form of disaster aid.

Harvey has played a part in the deaths of at least four people, according to CNN, and there is no indication that water will stop rising in impacted areas anytime soon.

Red Cross spokeswoman Betsy Robertson on Monday said that all of the people who made it to the center in Houston that evening had extra blankets or pillows while sleeping on the floor.

Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner (D) added that the city is looking for an additional shelter location and has so far seen few looting incidents.

U.S. Coast Guard Lt. Mike Hart on Monday said that the service had rescued over 3,000 people in storm areas thus far, adding that it was receiving "upwards of 1,000 calls per hour" as the natural disaster rages.

Updated August 28, 2017 09:13 PM EDT

Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner said police have rescued 1,000 people in the last eight hours.

That brings the total number of people rescued to 3,025 since Tropical Storm Harvey hit the Houston area.

The U.S. Coast Guard said Monday that it had rescued more than 3,000 people by boat and air and were still receiving over 1,000 calls per hour.

Updated August 28, 2017 09:13 PM EDT
Updated August 28, 2017 08:30 PM EDT

Rescue efforts in Houston are still underway as floodwaters continue to rise.

Officials in Baytown, a suburb of east Houston, are urging residents of two subdivisions to evacuate.

Baytown spokeswoman Patti Jett told the Associated Press that the 2,000 residents of Pinehurst and Whispering Pines subdivisions have to be cleared out by nightfall. Officials asked residents to put white towels or sheets on their windows so rescue teams will know to rescue them.

Updated August 28, 2017 07:31 PM EDT

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has added four more counties in the eastern part of the state to his disaster declaration.

The disaster declaration helps the state manage resources essential for search, rescue and relief.

Updated August 28, 2017 04:29 PM EDT

Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner said the city is working to open another shelter for those fleeing flooding brought on by now Tropical Storm Harvey.

The George S. Brown Convention Center, which was opened as a shelter over the weekend, has already reached its 5,000-person capacity.

Turner visited the convention center Monday, checking in with some of the evacuees.

Updated August 28, 2017 02:57 PM EDT

Officials say at least eight people have died as a result of Hurricane Harvey, which is now a tropical storm, The Washington Post reports.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said officials are still in the early stages of responding to the devastating effects of this historic storm. So far, 18 Texas counties are on the federal disaster declaration list.

"I do anticipate adding more counties," Abbott added.

FEMA Administrator Brock Long said his agency will likely be working in Texas for "several years."

Updated August 28, 2017 01:23 PM EDT

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has activated the state's entire National Guard in the wake of Hurricane Harvey, his office announced Monday.

The guardsmen will assist in search, rescue and recovery efforts.

"It is imperative that we do everything possible to protect the lives and safety of people across the state of Texas as we continue to face the aftermath of this storm," Abbott said in a press release.

The move increases the number of deployed guardsmen to around 12,000.

Updated August 28, 2017 12:32 PM EDT

Hurricane Harvey by the numbers:

Hurricane Harvey by the numbers

Updated August 28, 2017 11:01 AM EDT

Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner (D) on Monday said that his city remains focused on helping as many citizens as possible left stranded by Hurricane Harvey and related flooding.

"The goal is rescue," he said during a press conference. "That's my focus for the day. We fully recognize that there are many other people out there in stressful situations."

Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo, meanwhile, issued a warning to those in Houston who would use the storm as an excuse for criminal activity.

"We've had four people that tried to loot and were arrested," he said. "We have every one of our police forces deployed."

"If you try to commit a criminal offense, especially try to take advantage of our citizens who have already been victimized enough by mother nature, rest assured you will be arrested."

Turner also said that more flooding in parts of Houston remains possible as officials there release water from the Addicks and Barker reservoirs.

"For right now, the flood level is steady," he said. "The more they release, the more could go. It could create an additional problem of additional flooding."

"The reality is that water continues to rise," Turner added. "This is a dynamic situation. And things could change. They could change by the hour, or literally, by the day."

Turner added that at least 5,500 people had been accounted for in shelters in Houston, and that officials there expected the total to rise as Harvey continued.

"People who were not in a crisis state yesterday may find themselves in a crisis situation today," he cautioned.

Turner additionally thanked those who had donated to disaster relief funds association with Houston, which is America's fourth largest city.

"After the storm has passed, the needs of people and families will continue," he said. "That will be a tremendous need."

Turner urged Houston's citizens to remain patient, adding that they should not give up hope as the city faces prolonged severe weather from Harvey.

"Every storm is different," he said. "Every storm has its own personality. This one is different because it is so widespread and it's ongoing. This isn't one of those storms that came in and moved out."

"The emotional cost this storm is having, for example, is hard to measure," Turner continued. "We are now in the recovery phase. I understand frustration."

"We'll be doing everything we can to address their problem regardless of the level of that problem. We'll be up. We'll stay up for 24 hours. We'll worry about the cost and all of that later."

Turner later defended his office's decision not to evacuate the entirety of Houston, which houses about 6.5 million people.

"It's difficult to evacuate 6.5 million people," he said. "It's just very, very difficult. The best thing to tell people was just to stay in place and make the necessary preparations for food and medical supplies and so on."

"If you are in a stressful situation, we don't care who you are or what your status is. We don't want you to lose your life, or that of a family member."

Updated August 28, 2017 11:21 AM EDT

The Harris County Sheriff's Office asked residents awaiting rescue to "hang a towel or sheet prominently so we can find you."

"Addresses are hard to spot," the tweet noted.

Updated August 28, 2017 08:29 AM EDT

Acting Homeland Security Secretary Elaine Duke says that Hurricane Harvey remains an ongoing danger to the Texas coast despite the storm's battering of the region all last weekend.

"We are not out of the woods yet, not by a long shot," she said during a press conference Monday. "People need help and we are working to provide it."

"We are committed to getting the resources local officials need, as soon as possible," Duke added. "If local officials deem it safe, please take time to check on your neighbors and friends, particularly the elderly, who may need assistance."

Brock Long, the Federal Emergency Management Agency's (FEMA) administrator, added Harvey is "still an ongoing situation" for the Texas coast.

"We're not at recovery yet," he said. "The next objective is to stabilize disaster survivors. We've got to get them into shelters. We're anticipating over 30,000 people being placed in shelters temporarily."

FEMA expects more than 450,000 victims of Harvey to seek assistance.

"This is a whole community effort," Long added. "We need citizens to be involved. This is a landmark event [for Texas]. We have not seen an event like this."

The victims of Harvey are in urgent need. Here's how you can help.

Updated August 28, 2017 07:08 AM EDT

Hurricane Harvey is heading back toward the Gulf of Mexico at a slow pace, meaning it has virtually stalled over the Texas coast and may continue pummeling the region with heavy rain.

The National Hurricane Center early Monday said that the storm boasts sustained winds of up to 40 mph and is essentially creeping southeast at 3 mph.

The hurricane is reportedly centered 20 miles east of Victoria, Texas, which is approximately 120 miles away from Houston, America's fourth-largest city.

Harvey thus continues to downpour upon the Houston and Galveston areas, with numerous spots in the region having received more than 25 inches of rain so far.

The National Hurricane Center added that Harvey's center is predicted to drift off the middle Texas coast Monday before becoming offshore Tuesday and continuing in "a slow northeastern motion."

People in the upper Texas coast and southwestern Louisiana should subsequently monitor the storm's progress, according to the organization.

Harvey has impacted roughly 6.8 million people across 18 counties in Texas, judging from federal disaster declarations, or about a quarter of the state's population. The storm has been blamed for at least two deaths.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Updated August 27, 2017 08:15 PM EDT

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has expanded his State Disaster Declaration Sunday to include four more Texas counties.

Abbott issued a statement Sunday night to declare a disaster in Bastrop, Burleson, Polk, and San Jacinto counties in the state of Texas.

"I authorize the use of all available resources of state government and of political subdivisions that are reasonably necessary to cope with this disaster," he said.

The governor tweeted out a photo earlier with the caption "Working to coordinate our response to hurricane #<b>harvey</b> and ensure the safety of all Texans affected by this storm."

President Donald Trump took to Twitter and called the people of Texas "incredible."

Trump is expected to visit the state on Tuesday.

Updated August 27, 2017 03:25 PM EDT

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said the state has activated 3,000 National Guard and State Guard members in response to the severe damage and flooding brought on by Harvey.

Along with the guard, Abbott said 500 vehicles and 14 aircraft have also been put into service to aid in rescue efforts. Officials in Harris County have also asked for members of the public who own boats to help rescue Houston residents trapped in flooded homes.

"We desperately need boats and high water vehicles," Harris County Judge Ed Emmett said. "We can't wait for assets to come from outside."

Updated August 27, 2017 02:46 PM EDT

Gov. Greg Abbott speaks on the latest involving Sunday's catastrophic flooding in Houston, Texas.

Updated August 27, 2017 02:23 PM EDT

Rescue efforts are still underway in Houston as people begin to arrive at the George Brown Convention Center, which was opened as a shelter for people fleeing flooding.

Many of those arriving at the center are from a public housing complex about a mile north.

Police are using boats to evacuate residents of the Clayton Homes public housing complex and bring them to the convention center in pickup trucks.

Updated August 27, 2017 01:44 PM EDT

Harris County Judge Ed Emmett said Ben Taub Hospital, the county's public hospital, is being evacuated because flooding has endangered the hospital's electrical system.

Patients in critical condition will be evacuated first.

It wasn't immediately clear how many patients would be taken to other area hospitals.

Updated August 27, 2017 01:31 PM EDT

The National Weather Service says some parts of Houston and areas just west of the city could receive a record of 50 inches of rain as Tropical Storm Harvey hovers over Texas.

"We're in kind of unprecedented territory with this storm," said NWS meteorologist Patrick Burke.

If rainfall amounts reach 50 inches, that would exceed any previous Texas rainfall on record.

As of Thursday afternoon, about 25 inches of rain had fallen in south Houston. In Dayton, located 38 miles northeast of Houston, rainfall has already reached 27 inches.

Updated August 27, 2017 12:35 PM EDT

The National Weather Service tweeted, saying the "catastrophic" flooding that's hit the Houston area is "unprecedented."

The United States Coast Guard has already requested extra help to conduct rescue operations. Emergency personnel have be inundated with 911 calls.

The head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) told CNN Sunday that his agency will likely "be there for years" helping clean up all the damage brought on by Harvey.

"This disaster is going to be a landmark event," Brock Long added.

Updated August 27, 2017 11:48 AM EDT

Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner defended his decision not to evacuate residents before "catastrophic" flooding hit the nation's fourth-largest city.

In a news conference Turner said there was no way to pinpoint which neighborhoods would be hit the hardest. So far, he said every neighborhood has seen some degree of flooding.

"If you think the situation right now is bad and you give an order to evacuate, you are creating a nightmare," he said.

Turner added that emergency personnel have responded to more than 2,000 calls. Life-threatening calls are being prioritized and city officials are urging residents to stay in their homes and not drive if possible.

The mayor also ordered that the downtown George R. Brown Convention Center be opened as a shelter. The convention center has 1.8 million square feet of space.

The New York Times is reporting that at least five deaths and more than a dozen injuries have been linked to Harvey.

Updated August 27, 2017 11:23 AM EDT

A television station in Houston was forced to evacuate Sunday due to extreme flooding brought on by Tropical Storm Harvey.

By 9 a.m. water was reportedly rushing into the front entrance of KHOU.

The station was forced to move its broadcast and all other news operations to the second floor.

Updated August 27, 2017 08:41 AM EDT

More than 1,000 people were rescued overnight as Harvey brought what the National Weather Service is calling "catastrophic" flooding to the Houston area.

As of Sunday morning hundreds of calls had been fielded for water rescues, The Houston Chronicle reports. Houston police officials evacuated two apartment complexes and rescued more than 50 children from the flooding.

Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez and Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner are urging residents via Twitter to "shelter in place" and stay off flooded roadways.

Gonzalez used Twitter overnight to coordinate rescue efforts for those trapped inside their homes, attics and vehicles.

"I have 2 children with me and the,water is swallowing us up," one person tweeted, pleading for the sheriff to send help.

At one point Gonzalez asked everyone to remain calm and patient, adding that officials were "trying to make it to everyone as best we can."

Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez describes the 'catastrophic' flooding that's hit Texas

Authorities also confirmed a second death linked to Harvey. Art Acevedo, Houston's police chief, confirmed late Saturday that one person died in the flooding.

"Sadly we have lost one female member of our community who encountered floodwaters in her vehicle, got out and was swept away," Acevedo said. "We also have reports of one other brutality but have not confirmed it."

Harvey is expected to drop an additional 15 to 25 inches of rain across middle and upper Texas through Thursday.

Updated August 26, 2017 03:23 PM EDT

President Trump said Saturday that he wants to travel to Texas "ASAP" to show Texas that it has support from the federal government, according to CNN.

At least one person has died and a dozen or so were injured from Hurricane Harvey, according to Circa's CBS affiliate in Austin.

The confirmation came only minutes after a separate press conference where Texas Gov. Greg Abbott reported that flooding remains the primary concern.

Separately, the White House said President Donald Trump met with his Cabinet and other senior administration officials Saturday to discuss the federal response to damage caused by Harvey.

President Trump wrote on Twitter: "THANK YOU to all of the great volunteers helping out with #HurricaneHarvey relief in Texas! "

Updated August 26, 2017 02:55 PM EDT

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said so far there are no confirmed deaths linked to Tropical Storm Harvey.

During Saturday's news conference in Austin, Abbott said he's working with local officials to gain more information about the storm damage. He added that it is still too early to tell just how much property damage the storm has caused.

The Texas governor did, however, expand his disaster declaration to include 20 additional Texas counties.

"The addition of these counties to the state disaster declaration will continue to allow Texas to quickly deploy all available resources to those affected by this devastating storm," Gov. Abbott said. "Hurricane Harvey has had a catastrophic impact on Texans and their property, and this declaration will help them rebuild and recover. The state will continue to provide as much aid as possible to these communities that have already lost so much."

Updated August 26, 2017 02:13 PM EDT

The National Hurricane Center says Harvey is now a tropical storm.

Officials said they are still worried about the catastrophic rainfall that will continue for days.

Updated August 26, 2017 12:48 PM EDT

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott provides an update on Hurricane Harvey at the State Operations Center in Austin, Texas.

Updated August 26, 2017 12:56 PM EDT

FEMA issued a statement asking those in the path of Hurricane Harvey who are "sheltering in place" to "stay indoors to avoid endangering yourself and first responders."

Updated August 26, 2017 12:21 PM EDT

The Texas Department of Criminal Justice is evacuating inmates from three prisons due to heavy rain brought on by Hurricane Harvey.

The evacuation will affect approximately 4,500 inmates in the Ramsey, Terrell, and Stringfellow Units in Rosharon, Texas, as the Brazos River continues to rise. Corrections officers and other staff are evacuating inmates to facilities in East Texas.

Inmates will not be allowed to have visits, but will be able to call home, according to a statement from the Texas Department of Criminal Justice.

Updated August 26, 2017 11:26 AM EDT

Hurricane Harvey has knocked out power to nearly 300,000 customers along the Texas coast.

The Electric Reliability Council of Texas, which manages about 90 percent of the state's electrical grid, said there were 211,000 outages in the hours after Harvey made landfall.

In addition to power outages, emergency personnel in the areas northeast of Corpus Christi are experiencing the loss of cellphone service. Federally licensed radio hobbyists have activated a shortwave network along the Gulf Coast in case they are needed to cover interruptions in communications from Hurricane Harvey.

The National Hurricane Center released a statement Saturday morning saying that although Harvey's winds have begun to weaken, heavy rainfall and storm surge continue to threaten parts of Texas.

"Catastrophic and life-threatening flooding is expected across the middle and upper Texas coast from heavy rainfall of 15 to 30 inches, with isolated amounts as high as 40 inches, through Thursday," according to the National Hurricane Center.

Residents in the path of the storm are urged not to drive on flooded roadways.

Hurricane Harvey slammed Texas overnight, lashing the state's Gulf Coast with damaging winds and torrential rain.

The fiercest hurricane to hit the U.S. in more than a decade made landfall as a Category 4 storm around 11 p.m. Friday, just 30 miles northeast of Corpus Christi.

Fulton, TX Hurricane Harvey Eyewall Destroying Buildings - 8/25/2017

The storm came ashore with 130 mph winds but gradually weakened after a several hours. The National Hurricane Center said that by 5 a.m. Saturday Harvey was downgraded to a Category 1, with winds of 90 mph.

By 6 a.m. local time, the storm had weakened further, with maximum sustained winds at 85 mph.

Harvey's approach sent tens of thousands of residents fleeing the Gulf Coast, hoping to escape the wrath of the menacing storm. Texas Gov. Greg Abbott warned that the monster storm would be "a very major disaster." Many compared predictions for Harvey to Hurricane Katrina, one of the deadliest storms to ever strike the U.S.

Harvey is the strongest storm to strike Texas since 1961's Hurricane Carla. It also ties for the 18th strongest hurricane on landfall in the U.S. since 1851 and the ninth strongest in Texas.

The White House said President Donald Trump has been closely monitoring the storm and plans to travel to Texas early next week.

Trump applauded Brock Long, the head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), for his response to the hurricane. In a Saturday morning tweet addressed to Long, Trump said: "You are doing a great job - the world is watching! Be safe."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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