America’s fourth-largest city is underwater.

Residents use boats to evacuate flood waters from Tropical Storm Harvey along Tidwell Road in East Houston. | (REUTERS/Adrees Latif)

In the days since Hurricane Harvey was downgraded to a tropical storm, Houston and other parts of southeast Texas have suffered cataclysmic flooding. The storm has dumped more rain, and at a faster rate, than any other storm in U.S. history. By the time it’s over, the worst-hit areas will see between 40 and 50 inches of rain — more than some regions of the U.S. will get in an entire year.

Those rising waters have put the city in an extended search-and-rescue mode, with first responders stretched thin. But citizens have been stepping up to help, saving neighbors from their flooded homes by any means possible — boats, kayaks, inflatable pools.

FEMA estimates some 30,000 people will need shelter for the next several days. The city has already been forced to use dump trucks to transport large groups of displaced residents to area convention centers. Soaked refugees arrive with just a few belongings in plastic garbage bags, worried of what they’ve left behind, fearful of what they’ll …read more


Source:: The Week – Science

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