CONTROVERSIAL TOPICS

CONTROVERSIAL TOPICS

Monday, August 28, 2017







Chest-high flooding sets USA record, dams on the verge of busting and 17,000 evacuees at overflowing shelters as Harvey takes Texas to the brink with official death toll of 10 feared to climb much higher


  • Nearly 20,000 people are in shelters across Texas and parts of Louisiana are now being evacuated 
  • Flood water in Houston continues to rise as US Army engineers release water from two nearby reservoirs 
  • Homes near the dams will be flooded for months as a result of the controlled release of water 
  • The storm has set a new record for the most rainfall from a single weather event with 49 inches falling in parts
  • There is no official death toll yet as emergency services are too overwhelmed with rescuing the living to look for the bodies of the dead
  • President Trump and First Lady Melania Trump flew in to Houston on Tuesday as the disaster continued 
  • More than 280,000 people are without power, hospitals are overflowing with patients and more rain is on the way 
  • To donate to the Red Cross's Hurricane Harvey relief fund, click here or call  1-800-435-766


A record 49.5 inches of rain has fallen in some parts of Texas, the highest amount to have ever fallen anywhere in the country, and experts say it is worse than Hurricane Katrina in 2005.  
Shelters across Houston are overwhelmed by 17,000 displaced residents and there are still thousands of rescues being made from the floodwater. 
The number of those killed in the disaster is not yet known, with emergency services focusing their efforts on rescuing the living instead of recovering any bodies, but the reality of the devastation is growing increasingly grave.  At least 11 are dead but it is likely that number will rise as the floods recede and more victims are found.
The storm is still thundering on off the coast of Texas and is making its way towards Louisiana where evacuations are already underway in preparation for its wrath. 
It is expected to make landfall in the town of Cameron Parish on Wednesday, dumping between four and six inches of rain on areas where 20 inches have already fallen. This will aggravate flooding in already swampy areas and threatens to burst rivers.   
The estimated cost of the storm damage is $40billion and it has crippled the country's oil trade, hampering 16 per cent of the US's refineries which are in the danger zone. 
Scroll down for videos 
An aerial view of an area in Houston near the Addicks reservoir on Tuesday shows the devastating floods from Hurricane Harvey 
An aerial view of an area in Houston near the Addicks reservoir on Tuesday shows the devastating floods from Hurricane Harvey 
Homes and businesses near the Addicks Reservoir in Houston on Tuesday as authorities race to release more water from it before it overspills, sending more floods on to the city which is already on the brink 
Homes and businesses near the Addicks Reservoir in Houston on Tuesday as authorities race to release more water from it before it overspills, sending more floods on to the city which is already on the brink 
An aerial view of downtown Houston shows the devastating flooding on Tuesday as the water levels continue to rise 
An aerial view of downtown Houston shows the devastating flooding on Tuesday as the water levels continue to rise 
An area near the Addicks Reservoir on Tuesday. Homes near the dam will be flooded for months as a result of a controlled release of its water which the US Army Corps of Engineers was forced to carry out on Monday to avoid the dam from failing 
An area near the Addicks Reservoir on Tuesday. Homes near the dam will be flooded for months as a result of a controlled release of its water which the US Army Corps of Engineers was forced to carry out on Monday to avoid the dam from failing 
Cars at a dealership in Houston float are almost entirely submerged in water as the flood levels continue to rise on Tuesday 
Cars at a dealership in Houston float are almost entirely submerged in water as the flood levels continue to rise on Tuesday 
Rescue efforts are ongoing in Texas where floods continue to wreak havoc on Houston and where almost 20,000 are taking shelter in refuges 
Rescue efforts are ongoing in Texas where floods continue to wreak havoc on Houston and where almost 20,000 are taking shelter in refuges 
Residents carry children on their backs and hold their belongings above their heads on Tuesday as they flee their home near the Addicks reservoir which is on the verge of over spilling 
Rescue efforts are still underway with hundreds of people being removed from their homes in high water trucks and boats 
People have been forced to use kayaks and small boats to navigate their way through the floods in Houston 
People have been forced to use kayaks and small boats to navigate their way through the floods in Houston 
Men use jet skies to rescue stranded residents in Houston and tow them to safety as the flooding from Harvey continues
Men use jet skies to rescue stranded residents in Houston and tow them to safety as the flooding from Harvey continues
Volunteers on boats toe people on rubber rings (left) to safety as a man carries a woman through the floods (right)
Volunteers on boats toe people on rubber rings (left) to safety as a man carries a woman through the floods (right)
Volunteers on boats toe people on rubber rings (left) to safety as a man carries a woman through the floods (right) 
Michael Brown, the former head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, gave a bleak description of the storm on Tuesday.
'There are several factors that make it worse than Katrina. For one, there is the scope of the flooding. Harris County and the surrounding areas are so saturated.
'Also, the amount of damages will continue to grow. There will be mold and structural damages adding up,' he told The Houston Chronicle.
On Tuesday, the Governor of Louisiana said it would welcome victims from Texas into its own shelters. Storm evacuations have begun in the Lake Charles region of the state - where thousands were killed and rendered homeless by Hurricane Katrina in 2005. 
Brazoria County - a suburb south of Houston - issued this dramatic warning on Tuesday morning as the levees of the Brazos river burst in Columbia Lakes
Brazoria County - a suburb south of Houston - issued this dramatic warning on Tuesday morning as the levees of the Brazos river burst in Columbia Lakes
A state of emergency has been declared in Louisiana in anticipation of the storm.  
There are more than 9,000 people in one shelter in Texas - the George R. Brown Center - and it is still taking people in need. 
Churches have opened their doors to people in need and there are countless residents taking shelter in the homes of friends and well-wishers.  
On Monday, hospitals asked for trained nurses to volunteer at their centers. 
As Houston struggles with the storm's aftermath, help from other states and cities is pouring in. 
One Michigan-based company has donated 22,000 kayaks to help residents get around as the flood waters cease to drain.
On Monday night, 11 people had to be rescued after one private boat of volunteers capsized. They were all rescued by the Houston Fire Department and none have serious injuries. 
Major Houston prisons have been evacuated to save inmates from the floods. Six thousand prisoners have been bused to other correctional facilities across the state. 
At 6.45am on Tuesday, the National Weather Service revealed that rain was still falling to the east of Houston at a rate of 2 inches per hour. 
Even in homes which are not flooded, residents are running out of food and water and some cannot safely make their way to grocery stores. 
President Trump waves a Texas flag as he visits communities in Corpus Christi on Tuesday 
President Trump waves a Texas flag as he visits communities in Corpus Christi on Tuesday 
President Trump and First Lady Melania Trump arrive in Texas on Tuesday as the city continues to struggle under the floods
President Trump and First Lady Melania Trump arrive in Texas on Tuesday as the city continues to struggle under the floods
President Trump and Melania Trump left the White House on Tuesday morning in less practical outfits 
President Trump and Melania Trump left the White House on Tuesday morning in less practical outfits 
A satellite image shows Hurricane Harvey covering Louisiana on Tuesday morning as it moves away from Texas 
A satellite image shows Hurricane Harvey covering Louisiana on Tuesday morning as it moves away from Texas 
There are 17,000 people in shelters across Texas and more will flock to them as the disaster continues to unfold. Above, the George R. Brown Convention Center on Tuesday morning where 9,000 people are taking shelter 
There are 17,000 people in shelters across Texas and more will flock to them as the disaster continues to unfold. Above, the George R. Brown Convention Center on Tuesday morning where 9,000 people are taking shelter 
People line up for food at the George R. Brown Convention Center in Texas on Tuesday morning after spending the night. There are 17,000 people at shelters across Texas and more are expected to need cover in the coming days
People line up for food at the George R. Brown Convention Center in Texas on Tuesday morning after spending the night. There are 17,000 people at shelters across Texas and more are expected to need cover in the coming days
A woman naps on a chair while others sleep on the ground at the expansive shelter where hundreds are taking cover 
A woman naps on a chair while others sleep on the ground at the expansive shelter where hundreds are taking cover 
Thousands of people spent the night in shelters across Texas on Monday after being rendered homeless by the storm. A mother cradles a baby (above) at the George R. Brown Convention Center 
Thousands of people spent the night in shelters across Texas on Monday after being rendered homeless by the storm. A mother cradles a baby (above) at the George R. Brown Convention Center 
A man is searched by a police officer before being allowed in to the George R. Convention Center. Everyone is searched before going inside to prevent weapons being brought in 
A man is searched by a police officer before being allowed in to the George R. Convention Center. Everyone is searched before going inside to prevent weapons being brought in 
Mark Ocosta feeds his baby Aubrey at the George R. Brown Convention Center on Tuesday 
Mark Ocosta feeds his baby Aubrey at the George R. Brown Convention Center on Tuesday 
Two-year-old Malachia Medrano sleeps at the George R. Brown Convention Center in Houston, Texas, on Monday night 
Two-year-old Malachia Medrano sleeps at the George R. Brown Convention Center in Houston, Texas, on Monday night 
Capt Martha Nigrelle of the US Army National Guard enjoys a chicken wing in the flood water while taking a break from saving stranded residents 
Capt Martha Nigrelle of the US Army National Guard enjoys a chicken wing in the flood water while taking a break from saving stranded residents 
A woman and children are pushed through the storm in a kiddie pool by relatives as scores more try to escape the floods 
A woman and children are pushed through the storm in a kiddie pool by relatives as scores more try to escape the floods 
Andrew Brennan, a volunteer from Louisiana, drags a woman and her child to safety on board an inflatable raft 
Andrew Brennan, a volunteer from Louisiana, drags a woman and her child to safety on board an inflatable raft 
A woman is wheeled in to a shelter on a stretcher in Houston after being evacuated from her home on Tuesday 
A woman is wheeled in to a shelter on a stretcher in Houston after being evacuated from her home on Tuesday 
81-year-old Ramona Bennett is carried by Texas Army National Guardsmen Sergio Esquivel (L) and Ernest Barmore (R) after being evacuated from her home in Pine Forest Village
81-year-old Ramona Bennett is carried by Texas Army National Guardsmen Sergio Esquivel (L) and Ernest Barmore (R) after being evacuated from her home in Pine Forest Village
A handout image from the Texas Military Department shows the National Guard making its way through a boarded up street 
A handout image from the Texas Military Department shows the National Guard making its way through a boarded up streetDallas is preparing super shelters for thousands of displaced residents. On Monday afternoon, military planes transported the first evacuees to the Lively Point Youth Center in Irving. 
The space has capacity for about 200 evacuees and the shelter will be run by the Red Cross and City of Irving employees.
The city's emergency management coordinator said they are planning for the shelters to run 'long term'. 
Evacuees and those working the shelters have and will be vetted through criminal background checks.  
The City of Dallas is also planning to host more than 5,000 evacuees in a shelter at the convention center.
The President declared at a press conference Monday afternoon that the nation will emerge bigger, better and stronger than ever after the storm that's ransacking the Gulf.  
The Texas Military Department rescues people on kayaks on Tuesday as they continue to evacuate people from their homes  
The Texas Military Department rescues people on kayaks on Tuesday as they continue to evacuate people from their homes  
Texas National Guard evacuates families from Pine Forest Village on Tuesday morning 
Texas National Guard evacuates families from Pine Forest Village on Tuesday morning 

'We ask God for his wisdom and strength. We will get through this,' Trump said. 'The rebuilding will begin. And in the end it will be something very special.'
The U.S. president said residents of the region have shown incredible teamwork in a time of tragedy.
'We are one American family. We hurt together, we struggle together. And believe me, we endure together,' Trump proclaimed. 'We are one family. To the people of Texas and Louisiana, we are 100 percent with you. ' 
Meanwhile, rescue efforts are in full swing in Houston and other areas devastated by Hurricane Harvey, which is slowly heading back towards the Gulf of Mexico and continues to drop heavy rains on the Houston and Galveston areas.
The National Hurricane Center said the center of the storm is expected to drift offshore through Tuesday before going in a 'slow northeastward motion', even bringing heavy rains to Louisiana.  
At the same time, the Coast Guard has been receiving more than 1,000 calls an hour, US Coast Guard Lt Mike Hart said Monday.  
Evacuees are helped to dry land after their homes were inundated with flooding from Hurricane Harvey in Houston
Evacuees from Dickinson, Texas, board an airplane at Scholes International Airport on Monday in Galveston, Texas. Texas Air National Guard planes took evacuees to cities, including Dallas, where they can stay in shelters
Oscar Galindo, Donato Galindo, 2, Oscar Galindo, 11, Andre Galindo, 9, and Maria Rodriguez relax while taking shelter at the George R Brown Convention Center on Monday in Houston, after living inside a car since Saturday after the rain from the Tropical Storm Harvey flooded their home in Dickinson
Genice Gipson (right) comforts her lifelong friend, Loretta Capistran (left), outside of Capistran's apartment complex in Refugio, Texas, on Monday. 'We got to be strong, baby,' Gipson told Capistran
Texas Governor Greg Abbott looks over destroyed stores in Rockport during a tour of areas damaged by Hurricane Harvey, on Monday
Texas Governor Greg Abbott looks over destroyed stores in Rockport during a tour of areas damaged by Hurricane Harvey, on Monday
A view of Rockport Donuts, local restaurant serving food to residents and aid workers, in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey in Rockport, Texas
A view of Rockport Donuts, local restaurant serving food to residents and aid workers, in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey in Rockport, Texas
'Today alone, the Coast Guard has rescued over 3,000 people,' he said. 'That includes both air rescues and rescues using boats.' 
Texas Governor Greg Abbott visited some of the devastated areas Monday before he gave an update on the aftermath of the storm in a press conference.
'A Texas-sized storm requires a Texas-sized response, and that is exactly what the state will provide,' he said.
'While we have suffered a great deal, the resiliency and bravery of Texan's spirits is something that can never be broken. As communities are coming together in the aftermath of this storm, I will do everything in my power to make sure they have what they need to rebuild.' FEMA, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, estimates that 30,000 will be in need of shelter by the time the storm passes and there is already an estimated $40billion in damage. The agency also estimates that more than 450,000 people are likely to seek federal aid. 
FEMA has around $3billion in its disaster relief fund but the sum is dwindling. 
At a press conference mid-morning, Mayor Sylvester Turner pleaded for help from other cities and plugged charity relief funds to care for the thousands of Houston residents in crisis. 
Two major dams which sit to the east of the city are being gradually drained by the army to stop them from overflowing. 
The Addicks and Barker Reservoirs are both dangerously close to their capacities. With more rain on the way, US Army experts are racing the storm to release water from each dam. 
Evacuees in Houston make their way to dry land after leaving their homes that were inundated with flooding from Hurricane Harvey
This aerial photo shows a view of damage in the wake of Hurricane Harvey on Monday in Corpus Christi, Texas
Todd Witherington searches his trailer that was overturned by the effects of Hurricane Harvey on Monday in Aransas Pass, Texas
This house in Bayside, Texas, was destroyed after Hurricane Harvey hit Bayside, Texas
This house in Bayside, Texas, was destroyed after Hurricane Harvey hit Bayside, Texas
Debris lies on the ground near homes in the Key Allegro subdivision of Rockport, Texas on Monday
An apartment unit sits completely destroyed from Hurricane Harvey in Refugio, Texas on Monday
Todd Witherington searches his trailer that was overturned by the effects of Hurricane Harvey on Monday in Aransas Pass, Texas
Dead livestock lie on the ground in the wake of Hurricane Harvey on Monday in Bayside, Texas
This photo shows The First Baptist Church roof after it was peeled off by Hurricane Harvey in Refugio, Texas, on Monday
This aerial photo shows a view of damage in the wake of Hurricane Harvey on Monday in Corpus Christi, Texas
A truck navigates a road flooded with rain water, remnants of Hurricane Harvey, on Monday in Houston
A boy is lifted from a rescue truck on a street at the east Sam Houston Tollway
US and Texas flags fly in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey in Rockport, Texas on Monday
Aerial footage shows the floods in Rockport, Texas, after Hurricane Harvey on Sunday (right) and before (left)
Aerial footage shows the floods in Rockport, Texas, after Hurricane Harvey on Sunday (right)
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Aerial footage shows the floods in Rockport, Texas, after Hurricane Harvey on Sunday (right) and before (left) 
Interstate 45 Highway in Houston in 2005
Interstate highway 45 in Houston on
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Interstate 45 Highway in Houston in 2005 (left) and on Sunday (right) after the Hurricane Harvey floods swept the city 
The theatre district shown under normal weather conditions
The threatre district of Houston was entirely flooded on Sunday
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The theater district is shown above in ordinary conditions (left) and on Sunday (right). The total damage of Hurricane Harvey has been estimated as $40billion 
Another view of Houston's theater district taken on an ordinary day (left) and on Sunday (right) as water flooded the city
Another view of Houston's theater district taken on an ordinary day (left) and on Sunday (right) as water flooded the city
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 Another view of Houston's theater district taken on an ordinary day (left) and on Sunday (right) as water flooded the city 
The colorful bridges above highway 59 towered over a bleak scene on Sunday (right), with large portions of the road under water
The colorful bridges above highway 59 towered over a bleak scene on Sunday (right), with large portions of the road under water
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The colorful bridges above highway 59 towered over a bleak scene on Sunday (right), with large portions of the road under waterHowever as the storm moved further inland on Saturday and Saturday, floods - the likes of which the city has never before seen - swept through. 
The city woke up to a water world and many, with no alternative, swam to safety or climbed in to rescue boats. 
Now, many are trapped in their homes with no way out. They have been left to wait for rescue boats but the situation is bleak. 
Another view of the theater district shows it completely submerged in water
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Another view of the theater district shows it dry (left) before the storm and completely submerged in water (right) afterwards
An aerial view of downtown Houston (left) and the same view after the Hurricane Harvey floods (right)
An aerial view of downtown Houston (left) and the same view after the Hurricane Harvey floods (right)
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An aerial view of downtown Houston (left) and the same view after the Hurricane Harvey floods (right)
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 A home in the area of Cottage Grove, Houston, before and after the Hurricane Harvey floods swept through on Saturday 
The coastal town of Rockport was spared severe flooding but was battered by 130mph winds on Friday night and Saturday morning
Rockport, Texas, shows the devastation if Hurricane Harvey after the town was battered by 130mph winds
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The coastal town of Rockport was spared severe flooding but was battered by 130mph winds on Friday night and Saturday morning 
In Rockport, Texas, 130mph winds removed the dome roof of this building and battered the rest of its shell
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In Rockport, Texas, 130mph winds removed the dome roof of this building and battered the rest of its shell'The goal is rescue. That's the major focus for the day. We want to focus on getting them out of their homes or whatever their stressful situation may be,' he said. 
With 911 operation centers inundated, panicked residents turned to social media to be saved. 
They shared pictures of frightened children cowering on kitchen work tops as water covered the floors of their homes. 
Heartbreaking photographs from nursing homes showed elderly residents floating around in their wheelchairs and hospital beds. President Trump is scheduled to visit Texas on Tuesday. 
As the devastation continues to unfold, authorities are now turning their attention to fundraising efforts. 
The Red Cross has launched a designated relief fund (which can be found here) and there will be a Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund organized by the City of Houston. 
Celebrities shared their thoughts and prayers for the city's residents en masse but were taken to task by actor Kevin Hart who, after pledging $25,000 to relief funds, called on a number of stars including Jay Z, Beyonce, Jerry Seinfeld and Justin Timberlake, to make donations.  
They had just crossed a bridge in Houston when their van was swept away by strong flood-water currents. Devy Salvidar, 16, also died
Dominic Salvidar, 14, was also killed
They had just crossed a bridge in Houston when their van was swept away by strong flood-water currents. Devy Saldivar (left), 16, and her brother Dominic (right), 14, also died
Their great-grandparents Manuel and Belia Saldivar (pictured), aged 81 and 83, respectively, also drowned. The driver - the children's great-uncle - survived the accident
Their great-grandparents Manuel and Belia Saldivar (pictured), aged 81 and 83, respectively, also drowned. The driver - the children's great-uncle - survived the accident
He was able to escape as water rushed in to the vehicle but the others could not and he watched as they perished in the water, other relatives said. 
The official death toll on Saturday was two - meaning authorities have so far been able to confirm two deaths. They are inundated with crisis situations, however and are therefore redirecting attention to rescuing people who are trapped.
This makes it difficult to deliver an exact number but the total was reported as five on Sunday. 
The family's deaths bring this to 11.  

Startling before and after photographs reveal the devastating floods in Houston as Hurricane Harvey swamps the city and promises to do even more damage with another 50inches of rain this week


  • Hurricane Harvey has left thousands homeless in Houston with more than 5,000 people currently in shelters
  • The number was expected to rise as more rescues were carried out across the Texan city on Monday morning
  • Another 50 inches of rain is set to fall over the coming days which will exasperate the catastrophe 
  • System is expected to stay over water with 45 mph winds for 36 hours, then head back inland Wednesday
  • Two major dams 20 miles outside of the city are being drained, sending more water cascading into homes
  • Despite the unfolding disaster, the mayor has still not issued a mandatory evacuation order across the city
  • Scores of panicked residents are taking to social media to beg for help after becoming stranded in houses
  • 911 operators are stretched to their limit - on Sunday there was a backlog of 150 calls at any given time 
  • Fundraising efforts by the Red Cross are underway and celebrities are donating thousands to relief funds 
  • In total, 11 people are feared dead across the entire state as a result of the storm, including a family of six
  • Texas Governor Greg Abbott has deployed the entire National Guard of 12,000 to rescue stranded citizens 
Huge swathes of the city now sit underwater as flood water continues to rush through its streets. 
Thousands are without homes, even more have lost power and 11 people are feared dead across the entire state as a result of the storm. 
There is no respite on the horizon, with another 50 inches of rain scheduled to land over the course of the week. 
Harvey increased slightly in strength Monday as it drifted back over the warm Gulf of Mexico, according to the National Hurricane Center.
Forecasters expect the system to stay over water with 45 mph winds for 36 hours and then head back inland east of Houston sometime Wednesday. The system will then head north and lose its tropical strength. 
Many residents have been left no choice but to wait in their homes to be rescued but emergency services have been pushed to the limit. 911 operators are having to choose between life-fearing callers and panicked residents are clambering to their roofs to wave towels in the hope that someone will rescue them. 
Here, in a collection of photographs taken around the city before and after the storm hit, the scope of the damage is laid bare. 
There were 5,500 people in shelters on Monday morning and 911 operators had responded to 75,000 calls alone by 10.30am. 
More than 2,000 people have been rescued from the flood water and at any given time, there is a 15 person backlog for 911 calls. 
FEMA, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, estimates that 30,000 will be in need of shelter by the time the storm passes and there is already an estimated $40billion in damage.   
Aerial footage shows the floods in Rockport, Texas, after Hurricane Harvey on Sunday (right) and before (left)
Aerial footage shows the floods in Rockport, Texas, after Hurricane Harvey on Sunday (right)
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Aerial footage shows the floods in Rockport, Texas, after Hurricane Harvey on Sunday (right) and before (left) 
Interstate 45 Highway in Houston in 2005
Interstate highway 45 in Houston on
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Interstate 45 Highway in Houston in 2005 (left) and on Sunday (right) after the Hurricane Harvey floods swept the city 
The theatre district shown under normal weather conditions
The threatre district of Houston was entirely flooded on Sunday
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The theater district is shown above in ordinary conditions (left) and on Sunday (right). The total damage of Hurricane Harvey has been estimated as $40billion 
Another view of Houston's theater district taken on an ordinary day (left) and on Sunday (right) as water flooded the city
Another view of Houston's theater district taken on an ordinary day (left) and on Sunday (right) as water flooded the city
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 Another view of Houston's theater district taken on an ordinary day (left) and on Sunday (right) as water flooded the city 
The colorful bridges above highway 59 towered over a bleak scene on Sunday (right), with large portions of the road under water
The colorful bridges above highway 59 towered over a bleak scene on Sunday (right), with large portions of the road under water
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The colorful bridges above highway 59 towered over a bleak scene on Sunday (right), with large portions of the road under water
It will stop an uncontrollable wave of water from rushing through homes.
The total cost of the damage has been put at $40 billion and FEMA, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, has warned it will be take years for the city and coastal towns to recover.
As the situation became more grave, criticism of Mayor Turner's decision not to evacuate the city grew.   
When the storm began on Friday, Houston was not immediately hit. It was safe from the battering winds which tore apart towns on the coast and many felt confident enough to remain in their homes. 
However as the storm moved further inland on Saturday and Saturday, floods - the likes of which the city has never before seen - swept through.  
Another view of the theater district shows it completely submerged in water
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Another view of the theater district shows it dry (left) before the storm and completely submerged in water (right) afterwards
An aerial view of downtown Houston (left) and the same view after the Hurricane Harvey floods (right)
An aerial view of downtown Houston (left) and the same view after the Hurricane Harvey floods (right)
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An aerial view of downtown Houston (left) and the same view after the Hurricane Harvey floods (right)
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 A home in the area of Cottage Grove, Houston, before and after the Hurricane Harvey floods swept through on Saturday 
The coastal town of Rockport was spared severe flooding but was battered by 130mph winds on Friday night and Saturday morning
Rockport, Texas, shows the devastation if Hurricane Harvey after the town was battered by 130mph winds
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The coastal town of Rockport was spared severe flooding but was battered by 130mph winds on Friday night and Saturday morning 
A home in Cottage Grove which is among flooded areas in Houston before (left) and after (right). There is still no mandatory evacuation order in place for the city
A home in Cottage Grove which is among flooded areas in Houston
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A home in Cottage Grove which is among flooded areas in Houston before (left) and after (right). There is still no mandatory evacuation order in place for the city 
In Rockport, Texas, 130mph winds removed the dome roof of this building and battered the rest of its shell
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In Rockport, Texas, 130mph winds removed the dome roof of this building and battered the rest of its shell
The city woke up to a water world and many, with no alternative, swam to safety or climbed in to rescue boats. 
Now, many are trapped in their homes with no way out. They have been left to wait for rescue boats but the situation is bleak. 
Oliver Simpson, 35, a father of four from west Houston, is stuck in his home with his children. He told DailyMail.com on Monday: 'It's horrible. I feel helpless - sitting with no power and just waiting to see what happens. And we have it so much better than many others.
'I have a neighbor who had a tree fall on his garage, it went across a gas line. There is a gas leak and despite calls to 911 still no one been out. That was at 4am this morning.
'To be clear, authorities are doing everything they can [there are] just many people in far worse situation than us.' 

WHY HOUSTON IS PRONE TO FLOODS 

Though the most severe, Hurricane Harvey's floods are not the first to ever torture the city of Houston. 
Less extreme flooding was seen in 2001 with Tropical Storm Allison, in 2015 on Memorial Day and on Tax Day last year. 
The city is predominantly flat and sits little above sea level - 50 feet above in the center and 40 feet above in some downtown suburbs to be exact.
This makes it easier for water from heavy rainfall to gather on the ground.
When the bayous flood, the freeways act as an unofficial flood control system. Once water spills over them, it pours in to residential streets and rises from there.  Mayor Turner is now asking anyone with a boat to help with the rescue efforts. Many Texans responded bravely to his call to arms and were out in force on Saturday saving vulnerable neighbors and strangers from the floods. 
'The goal is rescue. That's the major focus for the day. We want to focus on getting them out of their homes or whatever their stressful situation may be,' he said. 
With 911 operation centers inundated, panicked residents turned to social media to be saved. 
They shared pictures of frightened children cowering on kitchen work tops as water covered the floors of their homes. 
Heartbreaking photographs from nursing homes showed elderly residents floating around in their wheelchairs and hospital beds. President Trump is scheduled to visit Texas on Tuesday. 
As the devastation continues to unfold, authorities are now turning their attention to fundraising efforts. 
The Red Cross has launched a designated relief fund (which can be found here) and there will be a Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund organized by the City of Houston. 
Celebrities shared their thoughts and prayers for the city's residents en masse but were taken to task by actor Kevin Hart who, after pledging $25,000 to relief funds, called on a number of stars including Jay Z, Beyonce, Jerry Seinfeld and Justin Timberlake, to make donations.  
To donate to the Red Cross Hurricane Harvey relief fund, click here or call 1-800-435-7669. 
Good Samaritans have come out in force and, in some cases, from other states.Alexandre Jorge evacuates Ethan Colman from his home in Houston on Monday
Alexandre Jorge evacuates Ethan Colman from his home in Houston on Monday
Jose Garcia carries Heidi, his German Shepherd, to safety after fleeing their home in Houston on Monday 
Jose Garcia carries Heidi, his German Shepherd, to safety after fleeing their home in Houston on Monday 
The pair hitched a ride on Murphy Fire Department's Todd Herrington's boat on Monday morning 
The pair hitched a ride on Murphy Fire Department's Todd Herrington's boat on Monday morning 
A family uses toys to safely push a young relative through water as they carry umbrellas after fleeing their home in Houston 
A family uses toys to safely push a young relative through water as they carry umbrellas after fleeing their home in Houston 
Residents flee their homes in Houston on Monday as flood waters continue to rise in parts of the city 
Residents flee their homes in Houston on Monday as flood waters continue to rise in parts of the city 
Residents hitch a ride on a construction vehicle with children hiding inside next to the driver to try to stay warm 
Residents hitch a ride on a construction vehicle with children hiding inside next to the driver to try to stay warm 
Some residents maintained their smiles despite the treacherous conditions and waved for news photographers as they fled their homes 
Some residents maintained their smiles despite the treacherous conditions and waved for news photographers as they fled their homes 
New mother Shardea Harrison watches over her three-week-old baby as she is rescued from her home by Dean Mize and Jason Legnon 
New mother Shardea Harrison watches over her three-week-old baby as she is rescued from her home by Dean Mize and Jason Legnon 
Houston Fire Department's Dive Team power through flood water in a motor boat looking for people who need to be saved
Houston Fire Department's Dive Team power through flood water in a motor boat looking for people who need to be saved
Apartment residents flee their home in North Braeswood Boulevard as the flood waters continue to rise on Monday 
Apartment residents flee their home in North Braeswood Boulevard as the flood waters continue to rise on Monday 
Two men carry their belongings across a flooded road after fleeing their apartment in North Braeswood Boulevard on Monday 
Two men carry their belongings across a flooded road after fleeing their apartment in North Braeswood Boulevard on Monday 
Volunteer Dean Mize holds on to two frightened and soaking children as he and his friend Jason Lengon rescue more stranded residents on their boat 
Volunteer Dean Mize holds on to two frightened and soaking children as he and his friend Jason Lengon rescue more stranded residents on their boat 
Belinda Penn carries her two dogs from a boat after being rescued from their home in Houston on Sunday 
Belinda Penn carries her two dogs from a boat after being rescued from their home in Houston on Sunday 

FAMILY OF 6 'DROWNS IN THEIR VAN TRYING TO ESCAPE'

Six members of the same family died by drowning in their van as they tried to escape Harvey's floods on Saturday, according to other members of the family.
KHOU reports that the victims - four children under the age of 16 and their grandparents - were traveling in a van being driven by their great uncle near Greens Bayou when they ran into trouble.

Six members of a family - including Xavier Salvidar, 8, and siblings and great-grandparents - died in the Hurricane Harvey floods Monday
Daisy Salvidar, 6, also died in the accident

Six members of a family - including Xavier Saldivar (left), 8, and his sister Daisy (right), 6, as well as their siblings and great-grandparents - died in the Hurricane Harvey floods Monday

They had just crossed a bridge in Houston when their van was swept away by strong flood-water currents. Devy Salvidar, 16, also died
Dominic Salvidar, 14, was also killed

They had just crossed a bridge in Houston when their van was swept away by strong flood-water currents. Devy Saldivar (left), 16, and her brother Dominic (right), 14, also died
Their great-grandparents Manuel and Belia Saldivar (pictured), aged 81 and 83, respectively, also drowned. The driver - the children's great-uncle - survived the accident
Their great-grandparents Manuel and Belia Saldivar (pictured), aged 81 and 83, respectively, also drowned. The driver - the children's great-uncle - survived the accident
He was able to escape as water rushed in to the vehicle but the others could not and he watched as they perished in the water, other relatives said. 
The official death toll on Saturday was two - meaning authorities have so far been able to confirm two deaths. They are inundated with crisis situations, however and are therefore redirecting attention to rescuing people who are trapped.
This makes it difficult to deliver an exact number but the total was reported as five on Sunday. 
The family's deaths bring this to 11.  As the kind-hearted rushed to save strangers from rising waters, a small crop of evil, opportunist scammers popped up. 
One viral social media post for distressed residents advised anyone seeking the help of emergency services to call a phone number DailyMail.com is not publishing. The phone number led vulnerable callers to Foremost, a private insurance company. 
There have been four arrests for looting in Houston so far and more disruption is feared. 
Former President George H.W. Bush and his wife Barbara, who are Houston residents, escaped the disaster and are in Maine. They released a statement on Monday expressing their gratitude for the emergency services. 
'Barbara and I are in Maine but our hearts are in Houston. 
'We are praying for all of our fellow Houstonians and Texans affected by Harvey, and truly inspired by the flotilla of volunteers — Points of Light all — who are answering the call to help their neighbors. 
'We salute them, the first responders, and the local elected officials for their grit and determination in the face of this extraordinary storm. This we know: Houston, and Texas, will come together and rebuild,' they said. 
FEMA has advised that 30,000 people will be displaced and in need of shelter. 
At a news conference, administrator Brock Long said: 'The sheltering mission is going to be a very heavy lift. 
'We need citizens to be involved. You could not draw this forecast up, you could not dream this forecast up.' 
Creative residents used kiddie pools to transport their belongings through the flood water in swamped residential streets 
Creative residents used kiddie pools to transport their belongings through the flood water in swamped residential streets 
The water level continues to rise in Houston, with more water expected to cascade through the city's streets as authorities release water from two major dams which sit on the city's outskirts 
The water level continues to rise in Houston, with more water expected to cascade through the city's streets as authorities release water from two major dams which sit on the city's outskirts 

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