Harvey may be downgraded to tropical depression

By Advocate Staff
Aug. 26, 2017 at 1:13 a.m.
Updated Aug. 30, 2017 at 5:02 p.m.

Robert Spooner, a U.S. Customs and Border patrol officer, center, and other volunteers work to prepare boats to help people in the aftermath of Harvey, Wednesday in Houston.

Robert Spooner, a U.S. Customs and Border patrol officer, center, and other volunteers work to prepare boats to help people in the aftermath of Harvey, Wednesday in Houston.    AP for The Victoria Advocate

HOUSTON (AP) — The Latest on Tropical Storm Harvey (all times local):

4:45 p.m. Wednesday Forecasters predict a wobbling and weakening Harvey will be downgraded to a tropical depression late Wednesday or early Thursday and that the killer storm will completely dissipate within three to four days.

But with 40 mph winds as of Wednesday afternoon, Harvey still has lots of rain and potential damage to spread, this time further north.

The National Hurricane Center says that Harvey should drop 4 to 8 inches more of rain from the Louisiana/Texas border northeastward into Tennessee and Kentucky through Friday. Some spots may get as much as a foot of rain. Flooding is a possibility.

The threat of heavy rains for Houston has ended, but catastrophic and potentially deadly flooding will continue around Houston, Beaumont, Port Arthur and southwest Louisiana for the rest of the week.

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4:15 p.m. Wednesday Among the places to open their doors to victims of Harvey's flooding is a bowling alley in the coastal Texas city of Port Arthur.

Max Bowl general manager Jeff Tolliver says firefighters called Tuesday night to ask him to turn off the venue's alarm system. When he left around 2:30 a.m. Wednesday, there were 80 to 100 people sheltering there. By afternoon, there were more than 500, as well as 50 to 100 dogs and cats, a lizard and a monkey.

He says the monkey "was a little surprising," but that everyone is trying to help. The bowling alley's cafe is feeding people and others have been dropping off clothes, toiletries, water and other things.

Tolliver and his wife left their flooded home to stay with friends. He says he moved to Texas from Michigan a year ago to get away from the snow, but ended up with rain instead.

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4:05 p.m. Wednesday Authorities say a married couple who drove their pickup truck into Harvey's floodwaters has drowned after the current from a nearby creek swept them away.

Fort Bend County Sheriff's Maj. Chad Norvell says the couple was on the phone with 911 asking for help when the line went silent. When officers found the truck, it was completely submerged.

Norvell identified the couple as 65-year-old Donald Rogers and 58-year-old Rochelle Rogers.

They lived in a rural area of the county southwest of Houston and they were headed to a relative's house nearby.

The deaths raise the toll from Harvey to at least 23.

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4 p.m. Wednesday A Houston-based telemedicine practice has made its virtual network of 50 doctors available for free to patients affected by Harvey.

Dr. Latisha Rowe said Wednesday that Rowe Docs' physicians are coordinating with doctors and nurses volunteering at shelters to treat and write prescriptions for Harvey evacuees who fled their homes without medicine or who sustained injuries on the way out.

She said the greatest threat in shelters comes from the contaminated water many people treaded through to safety. She said infections need to be "contained and controlled" so they don't spread.

Among the network's doctors is Angela Nunnery, who escaped her flooded home on Houston's north side by boat and dump truck with her husband, children, 78-year-old mother and two dogs. In addition to a daily shift attending patients online, Nunnery has been volunteering at her church — a makeshift shelter for about 150 evacuees.

She said local pharmacists have been providing patients with a week's supply of free medicine.

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3:50 p.m. Wednesday Tropical Storm Harvey has spawned at least one tornado in Mississippi and created bands of strong winds that damaged homes and toppled some trees.

The National Weather Service says the tornado touched down Wednesday in the southern Mississippi town of Petal, which is near Hattiesburg. Local news outlets showed photos of damaged fences and shingles pulled off a home. No injuries were immediately reported.

The weather service was trying to determine whether damage further south was caused by tornadoes or other strong winds. Meteorologist Alek Krautmann says damage was reported in Pearl River County, in the city of Biloxi and in a subdivision between Ocean Springs and Gautier.

He says Harvey also caused flash flooding before dawn Wednesday in parts of Pascagoula.

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3:30 p.m. Wednesday The Environmental Protection Agency has issued emergency waivers allowing states from Maryland to Texas to ignore some clean-air requirements for gasoline to ensure an adequate fuel supply despite disruptions caused by Harvey.

EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt says the waivers issued Wednesday will help ensure an adequate supply of fuel throughout the South, Southeast and Mid-Atlantic.

In a letter to governors, Pruitt says the shutdown of nearly a dozen refineries and extreme weather conditions that have prevented fuel-barge movement in the Gulf Coast region justify the waiver. The designated states receive significant gasoline supplies from Gulf-area refineries.

The waivers are effective immediately and continue through Sept. 15 at least.

Affected states are Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia, as well as Washington, D.C.

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3:10 p.m. Wednesday Residents of a retirement home in Orange, Texas are being evacuated by airboat from the flooded facility about 30 miles east of Beaumont.

Agents from the Florida Wildlife Commission and two trucks from the Louisiana Army National Guard are participating in the evacuation of the Golden Years Retirement home.

Water in the parking lot was thigh deep about 3 p.m. Wednesday as guardsmen entered the building and carried residents from the second floor where they had been sheltering in a dry area of the small facility.

Wildlife agents then floated the residents, one-by-one in a Wildlife Commission airboat to the truck. About six residents had been rescued as of midafternoon and it was unclear how many more were sheltering on the second floor.

Texas Health and Human Services records show Golden Years has a licensed capacity of 16. Department spokeswoman Carrie Williams said more than 2,800 residents of about 120 long-term care facilities in areas affected by Harvey had been evacuated by Tuesday. That number was expected to grow.

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3:05 p.m. Wednesday The VA North Texas Health Care System in Dallas says 20 of its nurses have headed to Houston to relieve the staff at Houston's beleaguered Veterans Affairs hospital.

The team will join a 25-member team from the Austin-based Central Texas Veterans Health Care System, and 15 professionals from San Antonio-based South Texas Veterans Health Care System.

According to a statement Wednesday, Houston's VA hospital has had about 700 staffers staying onsite, sleeping on floors, in the auditorium and in offices to keep the facility open throughout the disaster.

A former U.S. Army ranger swam through flood waters to the hospital to be treated for a burst appendix.

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2:55 p.m. Wednesday Fort Bend County Sheriff Troy Nehls says one man is being detained and another is hospitalized in critical condition after an apparent road rage shooting in storm-related traffic.

The sheriff said high water across many streets and roads in the county west and southwest of Houston has forced traffic to the few roads opened, leading to congestion.

Nehls told television station KPRC that the incident "should not have happened."

Nehls says the man in custody after the shooting Wednesday afternoon is telling investigators he does have a license to carry a gun.

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2:45 p.m. Wednesday Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez says the bodies of six members of a Houston family have been recovered from a van that was swept off a Houston bridge and into a storm-ravaged bayou.

Gonzales says relatives returned to the scene Wednesday to look for signs of the van and notified authorities after spotting part of it poking above the water and seeing two bodies in the front seat.

The van was recovered from about 10 feet (3 meters) of muddy water in Green's Bayou in northeast Houston.

Gonzalez says bodies of two adults were recovered from the front seat and the four children were found in the back. He said it appeared the van was a work truck and the back section was separated by a steel screen partition.

Samuel Saldivar told deputies he was in his brother's van rescuing his parents and relatives from their flooded home Sunday when the van was tossed by a strong current into the bayou as it crossed a bridge. He escaped through a window but the others were trapped. The victims included his parents and their four great-grandchildren ranging in age from 6 to 16.

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2:40 p.m. Wednesday Authorities in the Houston-area say they are investigating 17 more deaths to see whether they qualify as storm-related.

Harris County Institute of Forensic Sciences spokeswoman Tricia Bentley says that the medical examiner is doing autopsies Wednesday and the agency will update its storm-related death toll in the evening.

She says authorities expect to find more bodies in homes and cars as the waters from Harvey begin to recede. The 17 bodies at the morgue do not include the bodies of six relatives found in a van in Houston on Wednesday.

The overall death toll from Harvey is at least 21.

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2:25 p.m. Wednesday Some motorists have been stranded along Interstate 10 in southeast Texas for nearly 24 hours after they pulled off the freeway but couldn't re-enter.

More than two dozen vehicles, including a TV news crew's, remained clustered Wednesday afternoon around a closed convenience store in Orange, Texas.

I-10 is elevated and passable between Orange and Lake Charles, Louisiana, about 35 miles to the east. But many on- and off-ramps are too flooded from Harvey's rains to allow vehicles to pass.

Erin Gaudet of Beaumont, Texas, is among those stranded at the store. She said she left her house Tuesday to pick up a kitten, then had to spend the night with it in her SUV. She says she's planning to name it Harvey.

Harvey made landfall again Wednesday near the Texas-Louisiana border.

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2:20 p.m. Wednesday About 10,000 additional National Guard troops from around the U.S. are being deployed to Texas as Harvey continues dumping rain on the region.

Gov. Greg Abbott said Wednesday that "the worst is not over" for southeastern Texas as widespread flooding continues.

The Republican says the arrival of additional Guard members from around the country will bring the total number of deployments to about 24,000. Abbott earlier this week activated all available members of the Texas National Guard.

Abbott says the Guard has conducted more than 8,500 rescues and more than 1,400 shelter-in-place and welfare checks.

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2 p.m. Wednesday A woman whose body was found floating in floodwaters near a residential area in southeast Texas is believed to be at least the 21st person to have died in Harvey's path.

Beaumont police say the woman's body was discovered Wednesday morning. Authorities have not released her name and are not certain of the circumstances that led to her death.

The woman is the second person to have died in Beaumont this week.

Authorities found a shivering 3-year-old clinging to the body of her drowned mother in a rain-swollen canal Tuesday after the woman tried to carry her child to safety.

Beaumont police on Wednesday identified the mother as 41-year-old Colette Sulcer and said her daughter was being treated for hypothermia but doing well.

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1:45 p.m. Wednesday Forecasters are looking at a weather system off the Mexican coast just south of Texas that they say has a one-in-five chance of developing into something tropical in the next five days.

Dennis Feltgen, a meteorologist at the National Hurricane Center, says if it does develop, it would do so slowly and that it shouldn't be seen as an imminent threat. He says it wouldn't necessarily hit Harvey-flooded areas, but there's a chance.

The system is so far out that forecasters can't say how much more rain it would bring.

Hurricane Harvey has weakened to a minimal tropical storm, with maximum sustained winds of 40 mph, down from 45 mph. Warnings and watches have been dropped for nearly all of Texas, except Sabine Pass.

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1:40 p.m. Wednesday A 36-year-old inmate scheduled for execution in Texas next week has been granted a temporary reprieve because of Harvey.

Bexar County prosecutors cited "extraordinary circumstances" in asking to move Juan Castillo's execution to Dec. 14 because some of his legal team is based in Harris County, which has been slammed by the tropical storm. On Wednesday, a state judge agreed.

Gov. Greg Abbott has designated Harris County — which includes Houston — a disaster area along with dozens of other Texas counties after the tropical storm submerged Southeast Texas with torrential rain.

Castillo had been scheduled for lethal injection Sept. 7 in Huntsville for the slaying of 19-year-old Tommy Garcia Jr. during a 2003 robbery in San Antonio.

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1:35 p.m. Wednesday Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards says the threat of flooding in the state's southwest appears to be diminishing as Harvey pulls away from the region.

He says Louisiana remains committed to assisting officials in Texas, where another overnight round of torrential rains stranded many residents in flooded homes.

Edwards says 330 people were staying at a Lake Charles shelter as of Wednesday afternoon. He expects that number to grow as more people are rescued from floodwaters in eastern Texas, just across the state line.

He says a shelter in Shreveport is ready to accommodate up to 3,400 flood victims from Texas if officials accept the state's offer to shelter them in northern Louisiana.

Edwards planned to travel to southwest Louisiana on Wednesday afternoon to meet with local officials there.

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1:10 p.m. Wednesday Residents along the Texas-Louisiana border are feeling Harvey's second punch as flash flooding inundates homes and overwhelms first responders trying to pluck people from the water.

Police in Beaumont, Texas, have been recruiting anyone people with boats Wednesday to help check neighborhoods for potential rescues. Police said many were not calling 911, instead calling for help on social media, adding to the chaos.

Twenty-five miles west in Orange, Texas, Anna McKay says she tried calling 911 for help, but nobody answered. Neighbors helped bring her and 12 other people who had sought refuge at her home to dry ground. They gathered at a Baptist church where people were planning to cook food to offer comfort.

Harvey made its second landfall Wednesday as a tropical storm after roaring ashore last week as a hurricane.

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1:05 p.m. Wednesday The Texas Department of Public Safety says more than 48,700 homes have been affected by flooding and other damage brought by Harvey since it first came ashore Friday.

A report released Wednesday shows more than 1,000 homes have been destroyed while about another 17,000 have sustained major damage. Approximately 32,000 have damage described by state authorities as minor.

In Harris County, one of the state's largest and home to Houston, about 43,700 homes have been damaged, with some 11,600 receiving major damage and another 770 destroyed.

Harvey has also damaged nearly 700 businesses in the state.

DPS says its report will be updated each day so the number of damaged structures is expected to rise, particularly with expanding floodwaters in Southeast Texas as Harvey moves into Louisiana.

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1 p.m. Wednesday Downtown Houston business district officials say the city's center has survived Harvey in relatively good shape, though flooding has damaged several buildings, including City Hall and the city's main performing arts centers.

Officials said Wednesday that flooding damaged the ground floor or basements of more than two dozen buildings or businesses downtown, primarily along Buffalo Bayou, a river-like waterway that meanders west to east through the city.

Among the damaged buildings are the Alley Theatre, Wortham Theater Center, Hobby Center and Jones Hall, home of the Houston Symphony.

Streets to and within downtown are open, although some freeway exit ramps leading into downtown remain impassable. There are some scattered power outages and some traffic signals are out.

There is isolated flooding in the pedestrian tunnels what wind through downtown.

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12:50 p.m. Wednesday The federal Department of Education is easing financial aid rules and procedures for those affected by Harvey.

The department is encouraging students whose financial needs have been altered by the storm to contact their school's financial aid office. The agency says in a statement that colleges and career schools will be allowed to use "professional judgment" to adjust a student's financial information in the aftermath of Harvey.

A school may even be able to waive certain paperwork requirements if documents were destroyed in the flooding.

The department says borrowers struggling to pay off loans because of Harvey should inform their loan servicers — and they've been directed to give borrowers flexibility in managing loan payments.

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12:45 p.m. Wednesday All students in the largest district in Texas will be eligible to receive three free meals per day at school as the state recovers from Harvey.

The Houston Independent School District on Wednesday announced the plan promising free meals on campus to 216,000 students during the 2017-2018 school year.

An HISD statement says federal and state agriculture departments have waived the usual required application process, part of the National School Lunch/Breakfast Program, to help with Harvey recovery.

Superintendent Richard Carranza says the waiver will give families one less concern as they begin the process of restoring their lives.

Thousands of people have been forced from their homes in Houston since Harvey struck, submerging the city with torrential rain.

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12:40 p.m. Wednesday There are more than 32,000 people in shelters across Texas as Harvey continues drenching the state's Gulf Coast.

Gov. Greg Abbott says Texas also has an additional 30,000 beds "available as needed" for those who fled or are still fleeing floodwaters associated with the storm.

At a news conference in Austin, Abbott said there are still about 107,000 power outages statewide, down from nearly 140,000 over the weekend. Harvey roared ashore as a hurricane Friday, then triggered deadly floods as a tropical storm.

Abbott refused to speculate on the final costs of the storm in terms of property damage. But he suggested that the scope of destruction far exceeded that of Hurricane Katrina in 2005 or 2012's Superstorm Sandy, meaning the financial impact will likely be far greater than both.

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12:25 p.m. Wednesday Officers have located a submerged van in which six members of a Houston family were traveling when it was swept off a Houston bridge and into a storm-ravaged bayou.

Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez says the van is in about 10 feet (3 meters) of muddy water in Green's Bayou in northeast Houston. He says the bodies of two adults can be seen in the front seat but that if the four children's bodies are inside they are obscured because of the water conditions and the angle of the vehicle.

Authorities are trying to decide whether dive team members will retrieve the bodies or if it would be safer to pull the van from the treacherous water first.

Samuel Saldivar told deputies he was in his brother's van rescuing his parents and relatives from their flooded home Sunday when the van was tossed by a strong current into the bayou as it crossed a bridge. He escaped through a window but the others were trapped.

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12:05 p.m. Wednesday Authorities say a 3-year-old girl who was found clinging to the body of her drowned mother in a rain-swollen canal in Southeast Texas is doing well and should be released from the hospital soon.

Beaumont police on Wednesday identified the girl's mother as 41-year-old Colette Sulcer.

Officer Carol Riley says the toddler, who was suffering from hypothermia when she was rescued Tuesday afternoon, has now been reunited with her family. Riley says the girl is in stable condition and should be released from the hospital on Wednesday.

Authorities have said the mother's vehicle got stuck in a flooded parking lot of an office park just off Interstate 10. A witness saw the woman take her daughter and try to walk to safety when the swift current of a flooded drainage canal next to the parking lot swept them both away.

Officials say the child was holding onto the floating woman when police and fire-rescue team in a boat caught up to them a half-mile downstream.

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11:45 a.m. Wednesday U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement says it has assigned about 150 employees from around the country to help with disaster relief efforts in Houston.

The agency said Wednesday that 139 agents and officers from Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Detroit, El Paso, Houston, Washington, New York, San Diego and Tampa are on scene. They are on 25-member teams that answer to the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

ICE also has another dozen employees on another team that assists FEMA. It says it is prepared to send more employees if needed.

The agency says it is not doing immigration enforcement operations in storm-affected areas.

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11:30 a.m. Wednesday President Donald Trump is promising billions to help Texas rebuild from Harvey, but his Republican allies in the House are looking at cutting almost $1 billion from disaster accounts to help finance the president's border wall.

The pending reduction to the Federal Emergency Management Agency's disaster relief account is part of a spending bill that the House is scheduled to consider next week when Congress returns from its August recess. The $876 million cut, part of the 1,305-page measure's homeland security section, pays for roughly half the cost of Trump's down payment on a U.S.-Mexico border wall.

It seems sure that GOP leaders will move to reverse the disaster aid cut next week. The optics are politically bad and there's only $2.3 billion remaining in disaster coffers.

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11:20 a.m. Wednesday U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement says it's not conducting immigration enforcement operations in storm-affected areas.

The agency's statement Wednesday came in response to reports a day earlier that impersonators were knocking on doors in Houston and identifying themselves as Homeland Security Investigations agents. ICE says the impersonators are reportedly telling people to evacuate, presumably with the intention of robbing their empty homes.

ICE is encouraging people to demand to see badges and credentials. The agency has sent employees to help with search-and-rescue operations.

The latest statement is more explicit than one issued earlier this week and perhaps more reassuring to people in the country illegally. On Monday, ICE said it won't conduct "routine, non-criminal immigration enforcement operations" at evacuation sites and shelters, but that the law will not be suspended.

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11:05 a.m. Wednesday Venezuela says it will offer aid to victims of Harvey through the U.S. subsidiary of its state oil company.

Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza announced Wednesday that President Nicolas Maduro had ordered Venezuelan officials to develop a plan to help those affected by the storm.

Arreaza says that Citgo will provide up to $5 million in heating products to people in Houston and that when someone fills up their tank at a Citgo, station "they will be supporting the recovery."

Harvey hit Southeast Texas last week as a Category 4 hurricane and has since downgraded to a tropical storm.

The gesture follows the imposition of U.S. sanctions on Venezuela's government that prohibit banks from providing it with new financing. Citgo is also restricted from sending dividends back to Venezuela. The sanctions were imposed because of the country's creation of a government-loaded constitutional assembly that overrides the opposition-dominated congress.

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10:50 a.m. Wednesday The National Hurricane Center says Harvey should soon slow to a tropical depression.

Meteorologist Dennis Feltgen said Wednesday that Harvey is "spinning down," and while it is still a tropical storm with 45 mph winds, "it should be a depression sometime tonight."

A depression has maximum sustained surface winds of 38 mph or less.

Feltgen says Beaumont, Texas, and Cameron, Louisiana, are "still under the gun" for rain from Harvey, and conditions won't improve until Wednesday night.

The storm is forecast to then move from Louisiana into northwestern Mississippi, Tennessee and Kentucky.

The National Weather Service is predicting 5 to 6 inches of rain in western Tennessee. Flood watches and warnings have been issued for parts of Louisiana, Mississippi, Arkansas and Tennessee.

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3:20 p.m. An official says that a levee protecting a subdivision of homes in a county south of Houston has been fortified after being breached but warns the threat is far from over.

Brazoria County spokeswoman Sharon Trower said Tuesday afternoon that the levee had been fortified. Earlier in the day the county had posted on Twitter: "NOTICE: The levee at Columbia Lakes has been breached!! GET OUT NOW!!"

She says that some water did get through but it wasn't substantial. She warns that authorities don't know how long the fortification will hold. She also notes the breach happened due to rainwater but that the nearby Brazos River continues to spill out of its banks.

Trower says that the mandatory evacuation ordered Sunday morning still stands and notes that most of the residents in the area have left.

Brazoria County Judge Matt Sebesta has said that there are hundreds of homes in the tree-lined subdivision situated around a golf course.

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3:10 p.m. Federal regulators say dozens of offshore oil-and-gas platforms and rigs in the Gulf of Mexico have been evacuated as Tropical Storm Harvey continues to dump heavy rainfall on the region.

The U.S. Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement said in a statement Tuesday that workers were evacuated from 102 production platforms, which is nearly 14 percent of the 737 manned platforms in the Gulf.

Five of the 10 drilling rigs currently operating in the Gulf also had been evacuated as of noon Tuesday. The bureau estimated that approximately 19 percent of the Gulf's oil and natural gas production was "shut-in," or temporarily halted, as of midday Tuesday. Offshore facilities will be inspected once the storm has passed.

The Texas Gulf is a key area for U.S. oil refineries and oil and gas production.

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2:55 p.m. Facebook and Google are matching donations to people affected by Hurricane Harvey, the tech giants announced on Tuesday. Facebook says it will match every dollar raised through its platform, up to $1 million, for the Center for Disaster Philanthropy's Hurricane Harvey Recovery Fund. The money will support local recovery and rebuilding efforts. U.S. Facebook users are getting a message at the top of their news feed on how to donate.

Google says it is matching $1 million in donations to the American Red Cross. To donate, go to https://www.google.org/harvey-relief/ . The company also matched donations from employees, and said Tuesday it donated $750,000 between its nonprofit arm, Google.org, and employee contributions to organizations such as the American Red Cross, Habitat for Humanity and Save the Children.

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2:30 p.m. Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner confirmed that police Sgt. Steve Perez has died after he became trapped in his patrol car as he was driving to work.

The Houston Chronicle has reported that the 30-year officer was heading to work Sunday when he became trapped in high water on Interstate 45 in north Harris County and then couldn't get himself out of his car.

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Updated at 1:30 p.m. Tuesday

AccuWeather reports some of the worst flooding from Harvey may be yet to come even as rain diminishes in the next 24 to 48 hours over parts of Texas and Louisiana.

"This is a devastating flooding event, the likes of which we have not seen in at least the last 12 years, since the Hurricane Katrina disaster," AccuWeather Meteorologist Brett Rossio said.

This may already be the costliest natural disaster in United States history.

Communities will be under water for weeks and perhaps a month or more even after the rain stops. Power will remain out for an extended period until it is safe for crews to repair the lines.

Twenty to 40 inches of rain has fallen across a large portion of southeastern Texas as Harvey stalled following landfall. As of Tuesday midday, top rainfall from Harvey had eclipsed the 48-inch record set during Amelia in 1978 with 49 inches and counting in northern Brazoria and eastern Harris counties.

In Texas, the heaviest rain for the duration of the storm will fall from just east of Houston to the Louisiana border, along the Sabine River.

More water may need to be released from Barker and Addicks reservoirs to release the strain, further inundating some communities. Officials are trying to avoid water spilling over the top of the reservoirs, which may lead to erosion, undermining of the levees and finally sudden, catastrophic failure.

The ground around all levees is soggy due to days of rain. Brazoria County, Texas, officials warned that the levee at Columbia Lakes had failed and urged immediate evacuation on Tuesday morning.

Many bayous and large rivers will remain well above flood stage well into September. Some will exceed record crests by a sizable margin in the coming days.

Rising rivers, such as the Brazos, will lead to flooding in communities that have been spared thus far.

Tens of thousands may still need to be rescued as limited food and water run out. Many in need of assistance may now be without communication. It has been days without power in some communities and their cell phones may be dead.

"Drinking water will likely be contaminated, leading to potential bacterial infections through ingestion," Rossio said.

"Water should be boiled until the all clear is given," AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Alex Sosnowski said. "Poisonous snakes, alligators and other wild creatures will be displaced and will add to the danger."

To reduce the risk of infection, people with open wounds should avoid wading in flood waters.

The center of circulation from Harvey will stay just offshore of the Texas coast through Tuesday, before moving back onshore at midweek.

"Harvey will reacquire some of its lost intensity if it gets back over the Gulf of Mexico," Rossio said. "This would yield more gusty winds right along the upper Texas Coast and western Louisiana coasts until Harvey moves ashore for the last time."

It will take a lower wind gust than normal to knock down trees and power lines given the saturated soil.

The risk of a few isolated tornadoes and waterspouts will continue near and northeast of the center.

Regardless, downpours will continue to frequent the periphery of the storm. This will put the upper Texas coast and southwestern Louisiana in the swath of persistent rainfall into midweek.

"During Monday night and Tuesday, enough heavy rain fell on the Houston metro area to cause additional rises in water levels," Sosnowski said. "However, there is a little good news in that the rain may cease in part of the Houston metro area Tuesday night."

A larger portion of Louisiana will be at risk for flooding this week when compared to over the weekend. People from Baton Rouge and Alexandria on southwest should be on guard for rising water levels.

"Some heavy rain will fall on New Orleans through Wednesday night and may cause incidents of urban flooding due to ongoing issues with pumping operations," Sosnowski said.

Winds blowing in off the Gulf of Mexico will continue to push rough surf toward the coast, leading to extensive erosion on the beaches.

With Harvey's anticipated track to the north later this week, tropical downpours may expand across the Arklatex and lower Mississippi Valley.

Harvey will continue to pack a punch in terms of rainfall despite eventually weakening to tropical rainstorm.

While feet of rain is not anticipated farther north, several inches of rain could easily be enough to flood some streets and poor drainage areas. At the very least, travel disruptions will increase during the second half of the week.

Harvey is projected to get pulled northeastward as a tropical rainstorm. Harvey's moisture may reach the Ohio Valley as early as Friday afternoon and part of the Northeast during the Labor Day weekend. Areas along the upper Gulf Coast may finally get a chance to dry out this weekend as a result.

Updated at 1 p.m. Tuesday

Weather forecasters expect Tropical Storm Harvey to come ashore somewhere near Louisiana's southwestern corner, following its trip through Texas and return to the Gulf.

National Weather Service meteorologist Roger Erickson said Tuesday that officials project a landfall in Cameron Parish around midday Wednesday. Erickson says another 4 to 8 inches of rain is likely across southwest Louisiana.

Forecasters also project heavy rain running east from New Orleans to Pensacola along the Gulf Coast.

Harvey is expected to bring gusts up to 45 mph in coastal areas and gusts of up to 35 mph in Lake Charles and along the Interstate 10 corridor.

Erickson warns that some coastal rivers won't be able to drain rains effectively because Harvey's winds are pushing storm surge into coastal waters, aggravating flooding in places that have already received more than 20 inches of rain.

Updated at 10 a.m. Tuesday

Tropical Storm Harvey has sustained winds of 45 mph and is moving east-northeast at 3 mph toward the Louisiana coast.

The storm is expected to make landfall Wednesday, and the forecast shows the storm downgrading to a tropical depression and dissipating somewhere near Kentucky.

Updated at 10 a.m. Monday

Tropical Storm Harvey is now in the Gulf, right off the coast.

Crossroads residents will see rain begin to taper off over the coming hours and days.

Harvey is expected to move north and make landfall between the Texas and Louisiana coast as a Tropical Storm sometime Wednesday morning. Harvey is expected to downgrade to a tropical depression Friday, and it is forecast to dissipate Saturday morning somewhere between Arkansas and Tennessee.

Updated at 7:10 a.m. Monday

Tropical Storm Harvey is nearing Port O'Connor as it moves slowly southeast into the Gulf of Mexico, the National Weather Service reported Monday morning.

The heaviest rains have shifted east of the Houston area, but flooding along the Guadalupe River still poses a threat, with major flooding expected in several locations.

The storm had maximum sustained winds of 40 mph at 7 a.m. and was moving about 3 mph, the National Hurricane Center reported.

Updated at 8 a.m. Sunday

Tropical Storm Harvey is expected to produce catastrophic flooding as it lingers in the Crossroads, according to the National Hurricane Center.

The storm had maximum winds of about 45 mph at 7 a.m. Sunday morning and is practically stationary about 45 miles northwest of Victoria.

The storm may weaken to a tropical depression late Sunday.

Updated at 5:22 p.m. Saturday.

Tropical Storm Harvey continues churning slowly west of Victoria County, inundating DeWitt and Lavaca counties, as well as San Antonio, San Marcos and New Braunfels.

Little change is in the latest National Hurricane Center advisory. The storm has winds of about 65 mph. The storm is stationary as of 4 p.m. In the last hour, the storm has had little to no change.

Harvey is still forecast to drop possibly more than 20 inches, with 40 inches in isolated spots.

The storm will eventually inch back southeast, south of Victoria County into Goliad County, dumping more rain on an area already soaked by Harvey's original track as a Category 4 hurricane.

The storm will remain in the Crossroads area through Wednesday.

Updated at 1:10 p.m.

The National Hurricane Center has downgraded Hurricane Harvey to a tropical storm at its 1 p.m. forecast.

Harvey is moving north-northwest at 2 mph. Little motion is expected in the next few days.

This forecast means rain will continue to dump over the Crossroads; however, throughout Saturday and Sunday the heaviest of the rain will remain in DeWitt and Lavaca counties, as well as counties in the San Antonio, San Marcos and New Braunfels area.

By Monday, the tropical storm should become a depression and will make its way back to Victoria County, where it will continue to dump rain.

The area is still expecting 15-30 inches, with some isolated areas receving 40 inches.

Life-threatening floods are still expected, and the National Weather Service says the situation is an "extremely serious flooding event unfolding."

Updated at 8:30 a.m.

The National Hurricane Center is reporting that Hurricane Harvey now has sustained winds of 80 mph, meaning the storm is now a Category 1.

These winds are closest to what remains of the eye, which was located south of Victoria, between Victoria and Goliad counties as of 8:30 a.m.

Although the hurricane's major element, the wind, will decrease, heavy, life-threatening flooding will continue through at least Wednesday.

The forecast calls for Harvey to stay a hurricane throughout much of Saturday as it stalls out between Victoria and DeWitt counties.

By 1 a.m. Sunday, Harvey is expected to downgrade to a tropical storm. At that time, Harvey will then loop back south from DeWitt County into Victoria and Goliad counties, where it will remain for another 24 hours until 1 a.m. Monday.

The extended forecast shows the then tropical storm will then inch its way into Calhoun County by 1 a.m. Tuesday.

By Wednesday, the storm will then move north into Jackson and Matagorda counties, where it will eventually dissipate north of the Crossroads.


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