Tropical Storm Harvey dumps half a year’s worth of rain in 24 hours

World Today

Dickinson, Texas, residents wait for help on the second floor of their apartment complex Sunday, Aug. 27, 2017, after remnants of Tropical Storm Harvey inundated the city. The U.S. Coast Guard, emergency responders and volunteers with boats were helping people evacuate their homes. (Kelsey Walling/The Galveston County Daily News via AP)

Tropical Storm Harvey is dumping catastrophic rains and leaving flooding in its wake. The former Category 4 hurricane is now stalled over southern Texas, hammering cities like Houston.

CGTN’s Nitza Soledad Perez reports.

The state of Texas has activated 3,000 National Guard and State Guard members to help with rising waters caused by Tropical Storm Harvey. Reports said at least five people have died in what authorities fear could be the worst flooding in the state’s history.

The National Weather Service says flooding in the city of Houston – home to 2.3 million people – is expected to get worse in the coming days, and could become historic.

In just 24 hours, Houston received about sixty centimeters – nearly two feet – of rain. That’s nearly half a year’s worth of precipitation in one day.

Surging water swallowed cars and trucks, while motorized boats navigated the streets, rescuing whole families wading through waist-deep water.

The Ben Taub hospital was evacuated after the first floor was flooded and power went out.

For the moment, authorities are urging those who can to stay in their homes, and others to make their way to roofs for possible rescue. In some neighborhoods, the waters are already creeping up to the second floor.

Volunteers and officers from the neighborhood security patrol help to rescue residents in the upscale River Oaks neighborhood after it was inundated with flooding from Hurricane Harvey on August 27, 2017 in Houston, Texas. Scott Olson/Getty Images/AFP

“In the Houston and Harris County area, they will have helicopters that can make roof rescues,” Texas Governor Greg Abbott told the media. “And we are prepared to continue that process.”

President Donald Trump, who is monitoring the storm from Camp David in Maryland, tweeted: “Experts are calling Harvey a once in 500 year flood.”

The White House said that the president will visit Texas on Tuesday.

Authorities are worried about the slow speed of the storm, which is heading south-southeast at just three kilometers per hour. This means days of more punishing rain for the millions who live in Houston and the surrounding counties.

Fearing thousands will be displaced from their home, local officials have turned Houston’s massive George R. Brown convention center into a shelter.

Once in a lifetime flood created by Tropical Storm Harvey? Bob Henson discusses

Tropical Storm Harvey, downgraded from a Category 4 hurricane, has stalled over southern Texas. The system is dumping massive amounts of rain; in just 24 hours, nearly two feet fell on the city of Houston. Weather and climate blogger Bob Henson joins CGTN’s Wang Guan to discuss the scale of the disaster and the state of relief efforts.