Harvey makes landfall again, Texas toll 17

Hurricane Harvey makes landfall again, Texas toll 17



Tropical Storm Harvey has made landfall again near the Texas-Louisiana border, adding more rain after a record downpour that has caused catastrophic flooding and paralysed the city of Houston.
The storm that first came ashore on Friday as the most powerful hurricane to hit Texas in more than 50 years has killed at least 17 people and forced tens of thousands to leave their deluged homes.
Damage has been estimated at tens of billions of dollars, making it one of the costliest US natural disasters.

Harvey, which made landfall west of Cameron, Louisiana on Wednesday, was expected to produce an additional 15.24cm of rain to an area east of Houston as well as southwestern Louisiana, where some areas have already seen more than 48cm of rain.
It is projected to weaken as it moves inland to the northeast, the National Hurricane Centre said.
"We aren't going to be dealing with it for too much longer. It's going to pick up the pace and get out of here," said Donald Jones, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service in Lake Charles, Louisiana.

But nearly a third of Harris County, home to Houston, was under water, an area 15 times the size of Manhattan, according to the Houston Chronicle newspaper. It may take days for all floodwaters, which have spilled over dams and pushed levees to their limits, to recede, local officials said.
City officials were preparing to temporarily house some 19,000 people, with thousands more expected to flee. As of Tuesday morning, nearly 50,000 homes had suffered flood damage, Texas officials said, and the tally is certain to rise.
Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner announced curfew from 12am to 5am amid reports of looting, armed robberies and people impersonating police officers.

US President Donald Trump visited Texas on Tuesday to survey damage from the first major natural disaster to test his leadership in a crisis. The president said he was pleased with the response, but it was too soon for a victory lap.
"We won't say congratulations," he said. "We don't want to do that... We'll congratulate each other when it's all finished."

Moody's Analytics is estimating the economic cost from Harvey for southeast Texas at $US51 billion to $US75 billion ($A64 billion to $A94 billion).
The unprecedented flooding has left scores of neighbourhoods chest-deep in water and badly strained the dams and drainage systems that protect the low-lying Houston metropolitan area whose economy is about as large as Argentina's.

The National Weather Service has issued flood watches and warnings that stretch from the Houston area into Tennessee.

Harvey has drawn comparisons with Hurricane Katrina, which devastated New Orleans 12 years ago, killing 1,800 people and causing an estimated $US108 billion in damage.

Among the confirmed fatalities was Houston Police Sergeant Steve Perez, a 34-year veteran of the force who drowned while attempting to drive to work on Sunday.
In Beaumont, northeast of Houston, a woman clutching her baby daughter was swept away in raging flooding. The baby was saved but the mother died, Beaumont police said.





cred: Reuters

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