Catastrophic scenes in Houston as 200,000 people are forced from their homes by flooding and 9,000 survivors fill convention center to TWICE its capacity as Harvey breaks American rainfall record

Tuesday, August 29, 2017
By Paul Martin

The George R Brown Convention Center in downtown Houston, Texas, has a capacity of up to 5,000 people
However, Monday night 9,021 flood evacuees crammed into the center, sleeping on chairs and even the floor
People continued to flock to the overcrowded shelter Tuesday as Houston plans to open more mega-shelters
US Homeland Security Secretary Elaine Duke said there are about 20,000 Harvey evacuees in shelters
Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards offered to take in evacuees from Texas even as southwest Louisiana suffers from flooding and hundreds of people were evacuated on Monday night and Tuesday morning
Record for rainfall for a tropical system was set Tuesday for continental US – 51.88inches in Cedar Bayou
Mayor Sylvester Turner implemented an overnight curfew Tuesday from 10pm to 5am to prevent crime
Residents near Columbia Lakes were told Tuesday morning to leave immediately after a levee was breached
Chemical plant Arkema SA in Crosby, Texas, was evacuated Tuesday because of the rising risk of an explosion
Residents within 1.5miles of the chemical facility were also told to evacuate as a ‘precautionary measure’

29 August 2017

Hurricane Harvey has dumped the most rain in American history as catastrophic scenes unfold in Houston with shelters overwhelmed with survivors, a curfew in place to prevent looting, dams overflowing and a chemical plant at risk of exploding.

According to Department of Homeland Security Secretary Elaine Duke, there are currently about 20,000 Hurricane Harvey evacuees in shelters.

Many of Houston’s evacuees are crammed into the city’s convention center which is overcrowded with more than 9,000 evacuees – almost double what officials initially planned.

The George R Brown Convention Center in downtown Houston, Texas, has a capacity of up to 5,000 people, but Monday night 9,021 people stayed in the center, many sleeping on chairs and on the floor because of a shortage of cots. The city plans on opening up two to three more shelters in the coming days.

More people continued to flock to the city’s overcrowded main shelter Tuesday as floodwaters kept rising after five consecutive days of rain that set a new continental US record for rainfall for a tropical system after five days of rain.

In Cedar Bayou, Texas, rains reached 51.88inches Tuesday afternoon, the record for Texas and the continental US, but does not pass the record of 52inches of rain in Kauai, Hawaii in 1950 from Tropical Cyclone Hiki. That record was set before Hawaii became a state.

The previous continental US record was 48inches set in 1978 in Medina, Texas, by Tropical Storm Amelia. A weather station southeast of Houston reported 49.32inches of rain as of Tuesday morning.

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