Hurricane Harvey Kills 6 in Texas

Hurricane Harvey has caused catastrophic flooding and damage in Houston, Texas, and has killed at least six people.

Harvey, which has now been downgraded to a tropical storm, hit Houston on Friday night and lashed the fourth largest city in the US with heavy rainfall all weekend.

Meteorologist Steve Bowen commented: “What we’re seeing is the most devastating flood event in Houston’s recorded history. We’re seeing levels of rainfall that are unprecedented.”

The historic storm has flooded streets and filled homes and buildings up to two-storeys-high. There was no evacuation, and many residents were left stranded and forced to flee to their rooftops, hoping to be picked up by rescue services. Other residents chose to brave the outdoors and waded to safety through chest-high waters, carrying their belongings above their heads.

Some even used rubber rafts and inflatable mattresses to float down the flooded streets.

Causes of death so far include fire, being swept away, and being trapped in a flooded car. The death toll is expected to rise, as rescue workers have not yet been able to reach some of the areas worst hit.

Governor of Texas Greg Abbott has warned that the floodwaters will most likely continue to rise, as the rain persists. “We’re measuring rain these days not in inches, but in feet,” Abbott said on Sunday.

Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner has come under fire for failing to order an evacuation before Harvey hit, especially because Houston is known for its risk of flooding. Turner defended his decision, saying: “You literally cannot put 6.5 million people on the road. If you think the situation right now is bad, you give an order to evacuate, you are creating a nightmare.”

President Donald Trump is set to visit Texas on Tuesday to discuss recovery from the storm.