In perhaps the most destructive storm in the United States since Superstorm Sandy in 2012, more than 30,000 people are expected to be placed in temporary shelters in the US state of Texas due to widespread flooding caused by Tropical Storm Harvey, US officials said, with more rain expected in the coming days.
Brock Long, director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, said on Monday that 50 counties in Texas are affected by the floods, which were brought about by an estimated six months-worth of rain falling in the last three days alone.
“We have not seen an event like this. You could not draw this forecast up, you could not dream this forecast up,” Long said.
Earlier, Texas Governor Greg Abbott deployed an additional 1,000 National Guard troops, on top of the 3,000 already sent in the flood-stricken state, which is the size of France, Belgium and Switzerland combined.
At least five people have been reported killed in the storm and the flooding that followed, according to reports. But, more may perish as the slow moving storm continues to dump water on the flooded area and officials contemplate lowering pressures on dams by releasing water.
Aside from the 50 counties affected in southern Texas, a portion of south-western state Louisiana was also affected by Harvey, which made landfall late on Friday as a Category 4 hurricane. Harvey has since been downgraded to a tropical storm, but the damage it has left is extensive.
About 450,000 people are anticipated to apply for disaster assistance, which would make them eligible for financial support, possible replacement of property and other disaster-related aid.
President Donald Trump is expected to visit Texas on Tuesday, but not Houston as flooding in the US’s fourth largest city continues.