Monster storm Harvey made landfall again on Wednesday in Louisiana, evoking painful memories of Hurricane Katrina’s deadly strike 12 years ago, as time was running out in Texas to find survivors in the raging floodwaters.
The fresh hit comes five days after the monster storm slammed onshore as a Category Four hurricane, pummeling the US Gulf Coast with torrential rains that turned neighborhoods into lakes in America’s fourth largest city, Houston.
While Harvey is technically packing less of a wallop as a tropical storm, heavy rains are still drenching parts of southeastern Texas and neighboring southwestern Louisiana, complicating rescue missions and compounding the misery for millions of Americans.
So far, only a handful of deaths have been formally confirmed, however, when combined with
suspected deaths, US media reported that the toll could be 30 so far — and still rising — as floodwaters recede in some areas and bodies are found.
Hundreds of people are still unaccounted for, though officials stress they may simply have no access to phones or power.
More than 30,000 people found refuge in shelters across the Lone Star State, from the giant Houston convention center to small churches, according to the head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), Brock Long.
“We are in this for the long haul,” acting Homeland Security secretary Elaine Duke told reporters in a Wednesday briefing on emergency operations, adding: “We’ll continue to support the people of Texas as long as necessary.”
In Houston, Mayor Sylvester Turner issued an nighttime curfew aimed at aiding search efforts and thwarting potential looting in the flood-ravaged city.
At least a quarter of Harris County, which includes Houston and the immediate surrounding area, is now under water, affecting tens of thousands of homes, local officials have said.
Harvey shatters U.S. rainfall record
Harvey, that is now the heaviest tropical downpour in U.S. history, battered Texas for the fifth day on Wednesday claiming at least 30 lives.
of rain recorded in Cedar Bayou, Texas. That’s a record for both Texas and the continental United States.
57 trillion litres of water has so far been dumped by the hurricane over Texas.
The previous record was 122cm set in 1978 in Medina, Texas, by Tropical Storm Amelia.
Estimated losses mostly due to flooding. That would put Harvey among the top five costliest storms in US history.
Harvey made landfall on Friday near Corpus Christi as a Category 4 hurricane, the most powerful storm to strike the United States in over a decade.