A Facebook warning from emergency management officials in Texas' Tyler County shows just how dire the effects of Harvey continue to be. Citing rising flood levels, the post late Wednesday warned everyone in affected areas to evacuate immediately. "Anyone who chooses to not heed this directive cannot expect to be rescued and should write their social security numbers in permanent marker on their arm so their bodies can be identified," the message read, per the Houston Chronicle. "The loss of life and property is certain," it continued. The final words read, "GET OUT OR DIE!” though they have since been removed. In Fort Bend County, officials also announced mandatory evacuation orders near Buffalo Bayou early Thursday, per the AP.
Harvey, downgraded from a tropical storm to a tropical depression late Wednesday, is still expected to deliver 4 to 8 inches of rain into parts of Texas and Louisiana as well as Tennessee and Kentucky through Friday. The death toll continues to climb and now stands at 38, reports the New York Times. "The sad thing is, of the deaths we've seen, we're going to see more," the deputy director of the National Center for Disaster Preparedness tells the AP. "That number doesn't stop moving up until we're well into the recovery phase." With floodwaters receding in Houston, officials have begun searching thousands of flooded homes for bodies. The effort could take up to two weeks with 911 centers still fielding more than 1,000 calls per hour, the AP reports.