Texas Officials After Levee Breach: 'GET OUT NOW!!'

Harvey also overflows dam near Houston
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 29, 2017 12:38 PM CDT
Updated Aug 29, 2017 2:53 PM CDT
Harvey Causes Levee Breach, Overflows Dam Near Houston
Rescue boats fill a street as flood victims are evacuated as floodwaters from Tropical Storm Harvey rise Monday in Houston.   (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott calls it "one of the largest disasters America has ever faced," the New York Times reports. And the numbers back him up. According to USA Today, a National Weather Service gauge outside Houston measured 49.32 inches of rain—the most ever from a tropical storm or hurricane in the continental US. And with Tropical Storm Harvey still dumping water, things aren't likely to get better anytime soon. The levee at Columbia Lakes south of Houston breached Tuesday, and Brazoria County officials weren't mincing words in a tweet: "GET OUT NOW!!" Meanwhile, the Brazos River 30 miles outside Houston measured nearly 52 feet Tuesday and is expected to reach 59 feet by Thursday—easily a record. Officials say Addicks Dam near Houston hit its overflow level, and they're worried about Barker Dam as well, the BBC reports. Here's what else you need to know:

  • Harvey's death toll stands at 15—including a Houston police officer who drowned Sunday in his patrol car while trying to get to work—and is expected to rise. "I'm really worried about how many bodies we're going to find," Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo says.
  • The Texas Attorney General's office says it's received at least 600 reports of price gouging and fraud, including a gas station charging $20 per gallon and a business selling cases of bottled water for $99, the Hill reports.
  • Adam Schrader tells the Ladders he was supposed to start a job as managing editor at a Texas newspaper Monday but was fired—via text—after getting trapped in Houston while working on a freelance assignment about Hurricane Harvey over the weekend. The text noted he "failed to start on the date in your offer letter."
  • The AV Club reports the backlash was swift after ABC World News Tonight anchor Tom Llamas tweeted about calling the police on a group of people scavenging supplies at a waterlogged Houston grocery store : “We informed police of the looting and Coast Guard is flying overhead. Multiple officers now on the scene," Llamas said in a now-deleted tweet.
  • Finally, a University of Tampa sociology professor has been fired after tweeting that Hurricane Harvey was "instant karma" for Texas voting Republican, the Tampa Bay Times reports.
(More Hurricane Harvey stories.)

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