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Harvey Live Updates: Waters Still Rising as Death Toll From Storm Reaches 19

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More rain is expected through Friday.

Parts of Houston have been inundated by more than 40 inches, and totals could exceed 50 inches there and 20 inches in southern Louisiana, the National Weather Service reported. With sustained winds near 45 miles per hour, the storm is not expected to weaken until early Wednesday.

As for the record rainfall, a station at Clear Creek, near Interstate 45 southeast of Houston, measured 48.64 inches of rain since Harvey began, and one at Mary’s Creek in Pearland, a suburb, recorded 49.32 inches. The amount of 48.00 inches was recorded in Medina, Tex., during Amelia, a tropical storm in 1978.

Weather service officials said those numbers may soon surpass the overall United States record for total rainfall from a single cyclone. In Hawaii during Hurricane Hiki in 1950, 52.00 inches of rain were recorded at a ranger station on Kauai.

How long does it take for that much rain to fall where you live? You can ask The Upshot.

But in the Houston area, a sign of hope emerged Tuesday evening: The sun, not seen for days, broke through the clouds.

The president offered encouragement in a visit.

Mr. Trump arrived in Corpus Christi for a briefing on relief efforts, then headed to Austin for a tour of an emergency operations center and a briefing with state leaders.

“It’s a real team, and we want to do it better than ever before,” Mr. Trump said of the response effort during a meeting with officials from local, state and federal agencies in a Corpus Christi firehouse. “We want to be looked at in five years, in 10 years from now as, this is the way to do it.” Read more about his visit here.

Video

Harvey Flood Rescues: ‘We Got About 100 People Out’

Texans with boats are patrolling neighborhoods around Houston and bringing residents stranded by flooding to safety.


By BARBARA MARCOLINI on Publish Date August 28, 2017.


Photo by Tamir Kalifa for The New York Times.

Watch in Times Video »

A Houston police officer died trying to get to work.

Officials confirmed that Sgt. Steve Perez, of the Houston Police Department, died in floodwaters Sunday on his way to work. Mr. Perez, 60, left his home around 4 a.m. on Sunday and spent at least two and a half hours trying to make his way to work, Chief Art Acevedo said. When he wasn’t heard from, officials began a search. A dive team recovered his body Tuesday morning.

“Unfortunately, in the darkness, Sergeant Perez drove onto an underpass,” Chief Acevedo said.

Mr. Perez’s wife and father-in-law had urged him not to go to work that day, Chief Acevedo said. “His response was, ‘I’ve got work to do.’” Mr. Perez, who worked in the department’s division of traffic enforcement, was a “sweet, gentle public servant,” the chief added.

Outside Houston’s main shelter, lines formed.

As rain fell in the early afternoon, scores of people waited outside the George R. Brown Convention Center, where more than 9,000 people had already taken shelter. A pile of wet American Red Cross blankets sat near the end of one line.

On Sunday and Monday, evacuees were able to enter the sprawling complex without delay. Buy by Tuesday, while the convention center appeared to be organized, there were some signs of strain. Some people set up bedding in the main corridor, an area that had been mostly empty a day earlier, to get away from the increasingly crowded main dormitory.

Nathan Malbrue, who was sitting on the edge of an inflatable mattress, said he was not bothered by the growing crowd. He said he was in the hallway, near a medical station, because of a heart condition. “Just bring everybody in,” he said. “This is a big building.”

But Cora Watson, 58, feared that the convention center would be overwhelmed. “Move them to hotels or something,” she said, her voice barely audible.

A levee breach threatened a village near Houston.

A levee designed to protect the community of Columbia Lakes, 40 miles southwest of Houston, from the Brazos River was breached, Brazoria County officials said.

Columbia Lakes is a small resort village with a country club and golf course, and is surrounded by levees. Residents were ordered to “GET OUT NOW!!” according to a Twitter message, although many had already left after a mandatory evacuation order was issued Sunday.

Tom MacNeil, an owner of a real estate brokerage in the town, said residents told him that the breach had occurred in a levee alongside a creek that flows into the Brazos. Because the Brazos is rising, the creek backed up and poured through two low spots on the levee. The residents shored up the low spots and there was no water in the streets, Mr. MacNeil said.

The Brazos, currently just above flood stage at 30 feet, will rise another few feet by Wednesday and go over the levees, which are at 32 feet, the National Weather Service predicted. “That’s the scary part we’re watching for,” Mr. MacNeil said.

Reservoirs are above capacity in Houston.

Water rose to the top of an emergency spillway at a major flood-control reservoir west of downtown Houston, threatening to add to flooding in the area.

Levels at the Addicks reservoir dam read slightly more than 108 feet, the height at which water should overtop the spillway at the dam’s northern end. But officials said observers had so far seen no sign of water going over the structure.

“We do expect it to happen,” said Mike Sterling, lead water manager for Army Corp of Engineers’ Southwest Division. Efforts to release water through the dam’s gates have not kept the reservoir level from rising.

Mr. Sterling said that most of the overflow should enter drainage ditches and eventually flow into Buffalo Bayou, which passes through downtown Houston. But rising water is putting several neighborhoods north of the reservoir at risk of more flooding.

Levels at another nearby reservoir, Barker, are increasing as well and its spillway may overtop soon, Corps officials say.

And in a cruel paradox, the city also has to worry about having enough water. Houston’s Northeast Water Purification Plant, one of three plants that supply water to the city, is flooded. While the system is still working, even with much of its equipment underwater, city officials are worried about their ability to keep it running.

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