Category: Syndicated

Trump Says ‘all options on table’ After North Korea Launches Missile Over Japan

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US President Donald Trump has warned that “all options are on the table” after North Korea launched a missile over Japan early Tuesday.

The missile was fired just before 6 a.m. in Japan, where the launch set off warnings in the northern part of the country urging people to seek shelter.

“The world has received North Korea’s latest message loud and clear,” Trump said in a statement. “This regime has signaled its contempt for its neighbors, for all members of the United Nations, and for minimum standards of acceptable international behavior.”

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe also denounced Tuesday’s launch, saying it represented a “most serious and grave” threat.

The unidentified missile flew over Erimomisaki, on the northern island of Hokkaido, and broke into three pieces before falling into the Pacific Ocean, about 1,180 kilometers (733 miles) off the Japanese coast.

The missile was in flight for about 15 minutes, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said at an emergency press conference. “There is no immediate report of the fallen objects and no damage to the ships and aircraft,” he added.

Tuesday’s launch is the first time North Korea has successfully fired a ballistic missile over Japan. Various stages of launch vehicles have overflown Japan during Pyongang’s attempts to launch satellites into space in 1998, 2009, 2012 and 2016.

This is the fourth missile North Korea has fired in four days — Pyongyang tested three short-range ballistic missiles, one of which failed, from Kangwon province that landed in water off the Korean Peninsula.

This time, the missile was launched near the capital of Pyongyang, a move CNN’s Will Ripley, who is reporting from Pyongyang, say is rare and “highly provocative.”

The test shows the mobility of North Korea’s arsenal, and may have been intended to deliver a message that pre-emptive US strikes on missile launch facilities could land uncomfortably close to civilians, Ripley said.

North Korea has launched missiles from various positions across the country in recent months, and it possesses trucks that have been converted into transporter-erector-launchers (TELs) — vehicles for quickly deploying and launching missiles — including some from China.

It also is developing missiles that use solid fuel, which are much quicker to deploy than their liquid-fueled counterparts.

Ripley said that as of about 6 p.m. Pyongyang time, the news had not been broadcast to people inside North Korea.

Abe speaks to Trump

Soon after the launch, Abe called it a “unprecedented serious and grave threat to Japan” that “significantly undermines the peace and security of the region.”

The Japanese leader said he spoke with US President Donald Trump for 40 minutes.

“Japan and the US completely agreed that an emergency meeting at the UN Security Council should be held immediately and increase the pressure towards North Korea.”

Trump reiterated that the United States “stands with Japan 100%,” Abe said.

While the missile flew over Japanese territory, one analyst said it wasn’t necessarily intended as a threat to Japan.

“If they’re going to launch to a distance they’ve got to go over somebody. It looks to me like a risk reduction measure, they want to reduce the populated areas they fly over just in case anything goes wrong,” said Joshua Pollack, a senior research associate at the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies.

South Korea response

South Korea responded by conducting a bombing drill at 9:30 a.m. local time to test its “capability to destroy the North Korean leadership” in cases of emergency, an official with the country’s Defense Ministry told CNN.

Yoon Young-chan, the head of South Korea’s Presidential Public Affairs Office, told reporters that four F-15K fighter jets dropped eight one-ton MK-84 bombs at a shooting range.

The operation was meant “to showcase a strong punishment capability against the North,” he said.

“We are fully ready to counter any threat from North Korea and will make unwavering efforts to protect the lives of our people and the security of our nation,” South Korean Foreign Ministry spokesman Cho June-hyuck said.

Alerts in Hokkaido

Analysts believe Tuesday’s launch shows a new level of confidence from the North Koreans.

“It is a big deal that they overflew Japan, which they have carefully avoided doing for a number of years, even though it forced them to test missiles on highly lofted trajectories, and forced them to launch their satellites to the south, which is less efficient than launching to the east (due to the Earth’s rotational motion),” said David Wright, co-director of the Global Security Program at the Union of Concerned Scientists.

Pyongyang’s missile tests are banned under United Nations Security Council resolutions, but that hasn’t stopped North Korean leader Kim Jong Un from attempting to rapidly develop his country’s nuclear and missile programs.

This time, the missile was launched near the North Korean capital of Pyongyang, which is rare.

CNN’s Will Ripley, who is on the ground in Pyongyang, said the news had not been broadcast to people inside North Korea as of 9:45 a.m. local time.

Minutes after the missile was launched, residents in northern Japan received a text message urging them to seek shelter in a strong structure or a basement.

“We were awoken by sirens and messages from the government telling us to take cover,” one local resident told CNN.

China, North Korea’s only real ally and economic patron, called for restraint from relevant parties.

“China urges the relevant parties not to take actions that would provoke one another and escalate tensions in the region,” Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said.

Peaceful pressure

Japan was quick to condemn the launch as an unprecedented provocation.

“We will make a firm response,” said Japanese Minister of Foreign Affairs Taro Kono. “The United States made clear both in written and spoken statements that President Trump had instructed to put all options on the table regarding North Korea, and I highly value that stance.”

US President Donald Trump’s administration has been pursuing what it calls a strategy of “peaceful pressure” to rein in North Korea’s weapons programs.

The goal is to put enough diplomatic and economic pressure on Pyongyang in order to push them to the negotiating table.

Last week, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Trump hinted that the strategy appeared to be working.

Trump mused at a rally in Phoenix that Kim might now respect the United States. At a State Department briefing Wednesday in Washington, Tillerson said the brief respite in the missile launches may have been an example of North Korea demonstrating restraint.

“If Trump and Tillerson believed North Korea backed down, they were sorely mistaken,” said Adam Mount, a senior fellow at the Washington-based Center for American Progress.

“They’re not going to volunteer to do this (give up their weapons). Ever,” he said. “It’s a matter of bargaining. And North Korea has signaled over and over again that the price is really high.”

Analysts say North Korea believes developing a nuclear weapon that can fit atop a missile powerful enough to reach the United States is the only way Pyongyang can deter any US-led efforts at regime change.

“They cross line after line in an effort to say this is the new reality and you should accept it and go easy on us,” Mount said. “I think that’s a pretty unambiguous signal that they’re no longer going to be restrained by the United States.”

‘Very dangerous’

The launch was likely a signal to Japan, analysts say, as it comes the day after the Northern Viper military drills ended between the United States and Japan on Hokkaido — part of a North Korea strategy to drive a wedge between the US and its two main allies in the region — Japan and South Korea.

Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Suga told reporters this launch “could endanger peace and security in the Asia-Pacific region. It is also very dangerous and problematic in terms of the traffic safety of planes and ships.”

The United States is currently participating in its annual 10-day Ulchi Freedom Guardian military exercises with South Korea, which began on August 21.

Those drills are more logistical and defensive in nature — though Pyongyang sees them as provocative — whereas the Northern Viper drills could be considered more operational, Mount said.

South Korea’s Foreign Ministry condemned the North Korean launch as “yet another provocation despite grave messages of warning,” in a statement Tuesday.

“The North Korean regime needs to realize that denuclearization is the only true path to securing its security and economic development and needs to come to the path for nuclearization dialogue instead of conducting its reckless provocation,” the statement said.

Harvey Maintains Strength, Will Make Landfall Again

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Harvey’s havoc continued to pour down, three days after the storm rammed Texas as a Category 4 hurricane, unleashing a torrent of rain, turning streets into rivers, and leaving thousands of residents stranded in flooded homes.

Harvey, a tropical storm by Tuesday morning with its eye hovering over the Gulf of Mexico, could still dump up to 15 inches of rain on portions of southeastern Texas and southwestern Louisiana, including the saturated Houston area, where thousands have been rescued and many more still wait for help.

Headed east, the storm was due to dump more heavy rain across both states, worsening the “catastrophic and life-threatening” flooding situation, before making landfall again Wednesday morning, near the Texas-Louisiana border, according to CNN Weather Center.

Louisiana braces for Harvey’s rain

Four people have died as a result of the catastrophic storm, and thousands of Texans are believed to have sat in darkness overnight Monday amid rising floodwaters.

“The Coast Guard is continuing to receive upwards of 1,000 calls per hour,” US Coast Guard Lt. Mike Hart said on Monday. The Coast Guard rescued more than 3,000 people on Monday, he said.

Keep track of Harvey

People have turned to the walkie-talkie app Zello to report their dire situations: an elderly couple trapped on a roof; a family caught in the maelstrom with three children, including one in the throes of a seizure and another with autism.

Search-and-rescue efforts unfolded at an inundated overpass in northeast Houston as residents walked through murky floodwater amid the rain. Many tried to help each other, and some guided seniors through the submerged street.

Stuck in the floods? Here’s what to do

And the water won’t stop rising anytime soon. Swollen rivers in east Texas aren’t expected to crest until later this week, and federal officials are already predicting the deadly storm will drive 30,000 people into shelters and spur 450,000 people to seek some sort of disaster assistance.

Latest developments

— President Donald Trump will head to Texas Tuesday to visit parts of the state battered by Hurricane Harvey over the weekend and to survey relief efforts.

“To the people of Texas and Louisiana, we are 100% with you,” Trump said Monday, adding that he believes Congress will act quickly to provide disaster-relief funding.

— Houston’s George R. Brown Convention Center had 9,021 evacuees on Monday night, said Bob Mayer, Red Cross disaster program manager. Those who couldn’t get a cot were given pillows and blankets to sleep on the floor, Red Cross spokeswoman Betsy Robertson said. Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner said city officials are looking for more shelter space.

— Houston officials will not ask for immigration status or papers from anyone at any shelter, according to tweets in English and Spanish from the city’s verified account.

— Dallas is preparing to open a mega-shelter at its downtown convention center as the city has been asked to get ready for what could be tens of thousands of evacuees from Harvey. Authorities aim to open the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center by Tuesday morning.

— Houston so far has seen few cases of looting. Turner issued this stern warning: “No looting allowed. Don’t take advantage, don’t prey on people who are distressed and have to leave their homes because they have no choice.”

— The local district attorney’s office will “seek prison or jail time in each and every forthcoming case where the defendant stands charged with theft (looting), burglary, robbery, or any similar crime committed during Hurricane Harvey,” Montgomery County, Texas District Attorney Brett Ligon warned.

‘None of us (is) giving up’

Thousands of calls for help have gone out across Houston.

Since midnight Sunday, more than 2,300 calls have poured in to the Houston Fire Department, including 400 calls for rescue Monday afternoon, Houston officials said Monday.

Houston police had rescued 1,000 people since Monday morning, bringing the total number rescued to more than 3,000 since the storm flooded the city, Turner told reporters Monday night.

State, local and military rescue units have plucked thousands of stranded residents from the water and deluged homes.

“None of us (is) going to give up,” Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo said.

The Pentagon is identifying resources, including trucks, aircraft and troops, that can be dispatched for hurricane relief if the request comes, defense officials said. Texas Gov. Greg Abbott activated the entire Texas National Guard, roughly 12,000 Guardsmen, he said Monday.

In Harris County, authorities asked stranded people to hang sheets or towels from their homes so rescuers could spot them more easily.

The scope of how many people are trapped in flooded homes remains unclear.

Rep. Al Gree told CNN that he believes 10,000 people are still trapped in flooded homes in just one section of Houston he toured Monday. Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee said she believes the total number of trapped across Houston could be “tens of thousands.”

Volunteers come to help

Citizens with boats were assisting authorities in search-and-rescue efforts. At a Monday news conference, FEMA Administrator Brock Long encouraged more citizens to volunteer, saying recovery efforts would require community involvement. The National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster website can direct people to religious and nongovernmental agencies that are helping people in at least 30 counties, he said.

But as water levels have risen, so has the desperation.

People started to panic, rushing rescue boats and even shooting at them if they didn’t stop, one volunteer rescuer said.

Clyde Cain, of the Cajun Navy, a Louisiana-based rescue force that gained fame during Hurricane Katrina, said in one instance, a boat broke down, and while the crew sought shelter in a delivery truck, people tried to steal the inoperable boat.

Nursing home residents rescued

“They’re making it difficult for us to rescue them,” he said. “You have people rushing the boat. Everyone wants to get in at the same time. They’re panicking. Water is rising.”

Jim McIngvale, who owns furniture stores in Houston and Richmond, also pitched in. He opened his doors to evacuees Sunday and gave 600 people a place to sleep.

“We have tons of mattresses in our warehouse, and we can provide them with a blanket,” he told CNN. “We have a restaurant inside the stores, and we are feeding them for free.”

Iowa Volunteers Ready to Rescue Animals From Texas Floods

TEXAS  --  Some Iowans are traveling to Texas to help with hurricane relief efforts, including volunteers from AHeinz57 Pet Rescue & Transport.

The volunteers will drive to Texas on Tuesday to bring van loads of homeless dogs back to Iowa. The local rescue is working with shelters hit by Harvey to free up space for family pets who were flooded from their homes. Organizers have room to bring back around 70 dogs.

"We don't want to take people's pets that are in shelters right now because they need to be reunited with their pets when everything dries up, so we're working really hard with the rural shelters around the Houston area," said Amy Heinz.

Volunteers are scrambling to get supplies to take with them to Texas. If you want to make a donation, items can be dropped off at PetSakes in Des Moines and at Bone-A-Patreat in West Des Moines.

Central Iowa Man Braces for Tropical Storm Harvey’s Resurgence Along Texas Coast

GALVESTON, Texas  --  A central Iowa man now living in Texas says the worst of tropical storm Harvey has yet to come for him.

Forecasters predict Harvey will make its way back over the gulf and then return to the coast line, hitting cities later this week.

“It’s like the worst blizzard you've ever seen in your life, but with rain,” says Cory Elkin.

Elkin is from Iowa but lives part time in Galveston, just feet away from the Gulf of Mexico. The storm's severity in that area doesn’t come close to the flooding in Houston, but that could change later this week.

“I don't trust Harvey,” Elkin joked.

Instead, he's putting his trust in Galveston’s infrastructure. Since Hurricane Ike in 2008, homes there must now be built under a new "hurricane and flood-proof" code that requires windows to be able to withstand 130 miles per hour wind speeds. It also requires homes to be built tall enough to avoid high flood waters.

“The bottom of my house is 20 feet off the ground, so I have to go down two flights of stairs just to get to the ground level,” he says. “You're safer in here than you are out on the roads, I mean that's the truth.”

Officials say Houston is prone to severe flooding due to the lack of natural landscape to absorb storm waters. Elkin says Galveston doesn’t have that problem, which is one of the reasons he says he feels safe.

“We’re just going to ride it out and we have plenty of water and plenty of food. We'll be good.”

Thousands of Volunteers Needed for Hunger Fight

DES MOINES, Iowa  --  Thousands of volunteers are needed for Meals from the Heartland's 10th annual Hunger Fight.

The volunteers will pack millions of meals for those around the world who face hunger every day.

The Hunger Fight runs from August 30th to September 2nd at Hy-Vee Hall in Des Moines, and shifts are two hours long. You can sign up on the Meals from the Heartland website.

About 10,000 volunteers packaged more than four million meals last year, and organizers hope to package the 100 millionth meal during this 10th anniversary event.

Governor Signs Ag Proclamation, Supports Equality in Military Service

IOWA  --  Governor Kim Reynolds showed appreciation for agricultural entrepreneurs on Monday morning.

She signed the Agricultural Entrepreneurship Week Proclamation, which is meant to show an appreciation for the impact agricultural entrepreneurs add to the state and Iowa's legacy in helping create world changing technologies, products, and services.

Following Monday morning's signing, reporters asked the governor about her position on President Trump's transgender military ban. Governor Reynolds said anyone willing to serve in the military deserves the nation's respect.

"So less than 1% of Americans today sign up to serve and to defend those liberties and freedoms. And I think that anybody that signs up to serve our country and defend those liberties and freedoms deserves our utmost appreciation and respect," she said.

The governor said she and Iowa Senator Joni Ernst are both in agreement on the issue.

‘Texas has never seen an event like’ Harvey, FEMA Chief Says

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Swollen rivers in east Texas aren’t expected to crest until later this week, but federal officials are already predicting Tropical Storm Harvey will drive 30,000 people into shelters and spur 450,000 victims to seek some sort of disaster assistance.

And yet, forecasters say, more rain is coming. Lots more.

Several locales have already received 2 feet or more of rain, and forecasters say a reprieve won’t arrive till week’s end at the earliest. By then, rain totals could reach another 2 feet — with isolated instances of 40 to 50 more inches — along the upper Texas coast.

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“This is a landmark event for Texas,” FEMA Administrator Brock Long said. “Texas has never seen an event like this.”

But, Long warned, Harvey presents a dynamic situation, and “every number we put out right now is going to change in 30 minutes.”

Harvey will likely surpass 2008’s Hurricane Ike and 2001’s Tropical Storm Allison, two of the most destructive storms to hit the Gulf Coast in recent memory, he said. Around 13 million people from Corpus Christi to New Orleans were under flood watches and warnings as of Monday morning as Harvey’s storm bands repeatedly pummel the same areas.

Keep track of Harvey

Early Monday, Harvey was just barely clinging to tropical storm status, but the danger is far from over. The storm is forecast to head southeast toward the Matagorda Bay and Gulf of Mexico where it will pick up additional moisture before sliding back over Galveston and Houston, cities it’s already hammered.

Even when the rain is gone, dangers will persist, said National Weather Service Director Louis Uccellini, because “the flooding will be very slow to recede.”

Here are the latest developments:

— The average annual rainfall in Houston is 50 inches. The city has seen 25 inches of rain in two days. Another 25 could fall by Saturday.

— Several cities, including Alvin, Friendswood, League City, Pasadena, Pearland, Seabrook and Webster, have issued 11 p.m. curfews.

— A mandatory evacuation order was issued for areas along the Brazos River in Fort Bend County.

— Dallas is opening a “mega-shelter” capable of accommodating 5,000 evacuees at the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center by Tuesday morning.

— The Houston Independent School District has canceled school for the week for the district’s 215,000 kids.

— President Donald Trump will travel to Texas on Tuesday, press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said. Gov. Greg Abbott and Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, are scheduled to tour the coastal bend region Monday.

— Energy provider CenterPoint says 96% of its Houston customers have power, but more than 93,000 are without electricity as the company’s crews experience difficulty reaching the affected areas.

— The storm killed two people in Texas — a woman in Houston and a man in Rockport — authorities said, and the death toll will likely rise.

Finding a ‘new normal’

Flooding continued in and around Houston on Sunday as citizens with boats assisted authorities in search and rescue efforts on roads that have turned into rivers.

A CNN crew was with one such volunteer when he used his vessel to rescue an elderly couple, their daughter and two dogs in Dickinson, Texas.

“It was shocking,” daughter Pam Jones said of the floodwaters. “It just creeped up.”

At Monday’s press conference, Long encouraged more citizens to come forward, saying the rescue and recovery efforts would require community involvement. He said the National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster website would direct folks to religious and nongovernmental agencies through which residents can help out.

Nursing home residents rescued

“It’s going to require the citizens getting involved,” said Long, who was headed to Corpus Christi. “Donate your money. Figure out how you can get involved as we help Texas find a new normal.”

The victims so far span at least 30 counties, the FEMA chief said, and that number may be as high as 50 counties.

1,000s of rescues

One victim, Aaron Mitchell of Aransas Pass, appeared shell-shocked as he recounted riding out the storm in his mobile home, which he said “felt like ‘The Wizard of Oz,’ man.” He had walked 12 miles to find his father in Rockport, to no avail. Left without cell service for days, he hadn’t been able to touch base with his mother in Oklahoma, either.

Though he has no intention of abandoning the place he calls home, he was second-guessing his decision not to evacuate, he said.

Why didn’t Houston evacuate?

“I just lost everything I worked for. Everything,” he told CNN. “I don’t know. Maybe I should’ve left.”

(Following his interview, Mitchell was able to reach his father via telephone and, in tears, told him, “OK, dad, I’m going to jump on a bus. I’ll be there.”)

Houston resident Louise Walker also chose to brave Harvey’s wrath, leaving her trapped in a neighbor’s apartment, watching as authorities prioritized rescues based on who was in the most immediate danger.

Recovery could take years

“Our bottom level is waist-deep in water,” she said. “We have people who are living in these first-floor apartments, like I have. They have been breaking into empty second-level apartments just to have somewhere to go because we can’t get out. We’re simply completely surrounded with water,” she said.

State, local and military rescue units have plucked thousands of stranded residents from the water and from deluged homes. That includes well more than 1,000 victims in Houston and between 800 and 1,200 in Galveston County, officials said.

The US Coast Guard has contributed 19 helicopters to the effort, Capt. Kevin Odditt said. Gov. Abbott late Sunday called in an additional National Guard troops to bolster the force of 3,000 he initially mobilized, he tweeted.

Dam releases

The US Army Corps of Engineers began the controlled release of water from the Addicks and Barker dams in west Houston early Monday, said Jeff Linder, Harris County flood control district meteorologist

This is ahead of schedule because the water levels at the dam began to rise quickly, Linder says.

Harvey’s impact by the numbers

“Residents adjacent to the reservoirs need to be vigilant because the water in the reservoirs is rising rapidly,” said Col. Lars Zetterstrom, Galveston District commander. “Both reservoirs are rising more than half a foot per hour.”

In Conroe, an hour’s drive north of Houston, record levels of water are also being released from Lake Conroe Dam and flooding is imminent in some areas. The city will be evacuating some neighborhoods as a result,

“Public safety officials have been overwhelmed by the number of calls and are currently prioritizing calls as they come in,” the city said in a statement.

Cities, counties struggling

In Fort Bend County, a voluntary evacuation order was made mandatory for areas along the Brazos River, with the National Weather Service predicting river levels of 56.1 feet — nearly two feet above the record during flooding last year.

“Harvey continues to batter Fort Bend County,” said County Judge Robert Hebert. “Residents who flooded last year know how serious this situation is.”

In Brazoria County, south of Houston, officials set up an evacuation route for its more at-risk residents, ordering them to “LEAVE NOW!” under a mandatory evacuation order. Those in need of shelter can take refuge in the Bell County Expo Center in Belton, officials said.

Stuck in the floods? Here’s what to do

Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner warned Sunday night that some 911 calls are going unanswered as operators “give preference to life-threatening calls.”

The 911 dispatchers in the nation’s fourth-most populous city had received 2,000 requests for rescue, Turner said. Houston Fire Chief Samuel Peña said his department had responded to 2,500 calls and have about 1,000 more waiting to be serviced.

As Abbott equated driving into the state’s high waters with “taking your life into your own hands,” officials reported that many thoroughfares throughout eastern Texas were submerged and unnavigable. Among them were portions of interstates 10, 45 and 610 in Houston.

Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez said he understands the compulsion to find safer ground, but urged people to think twice before venturing out into high water and to consider unforeseen dangers, such as manhole covers being lifted from their holes.

With neighboring Louisiana in Harvey’s sights this week, Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards wrote to Trump on Sunday requesting that he issue a disaster declaration for the state. Search and rescue initiatives and shelter accommodations will be especially important in Beauregard, Calcasieu, Cameron, Jefferson Davis and Vermillion parishes, the governor wrote.

Trump approved the emergency declaration Monday.

CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story incorrectly reported that the Addicks and Barker dams are in Galveston. They are in west Houston.

Reporter Shares Photo of Dogs Left Behind as Family Flees Flood

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DICKINSON, Texas — It is a heartbreaking picture that shows the devastation caused by flooding from Hurricane Harvey.

CNN reporter Ed Lavandera shared a picture that shows two dogs sitting in a boat in Dickinson, Texas.

The dogs apparently had to be left behind when their owners had to evacuate due to flooding caused by heavy rains from Harvey.

In a comment on his Instagram post, Lavandera provided an update. “I should add, I think the people have every intention of coming back to get the dogs. Food was left behind and I suspect it had to be a tough choice and that they will come back for them as soon as they can.”

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Houston Inundated by Water as Harvey Pummels Texas

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Around 13 million people are under flood watches and warnings stretching from Corpus Christi to New Orleans as the remnants of Hurricane Harvey menace drenched Texas and Louisiana.

“Catastrophic and life-threatening flooding” continues in southeastern Texas, where bands of storm have been repeatedly pummeling the same areas.

Over the next few days, Tropical Storm Harvey is forecast to head back into the Gulf of Mexico, where it will pick up moisture before moving back over Galveston and into Houston again, CNN meteorologist Karen Maginnis says, meaning at least four more days of rain.

The National Weather Service (NWS) warns that flash flood emergencies are in effect for some areas and the rain — which can be measured by feet rather than inches — is not letting up.

It says that up to 25 inches of rain (2 feet) could fall through Friday over the upper Texas coast, while “isolated storm totals may reach 50 inches over the upper Texas coast, including the Houston Galveston metropolitan area.”

Latest developments

— Over two days, Houston got 25 inches of rain — more than half of its annual rainfall.

— 11 p.m curfews were introduced Sunday in the City of Alvin, City of Friendswood, League City, City of Pasadena, City of Pearland, City of Seabrook and City of Webster.

— A mandatory evacuation order was issued for areas along the Brazos River in Fort Bend County.

— Several states and the US military are sending emergency workers and equipment to Texas.

— Dallas is opening a “mega-shelter” capable of accommodating 5,000 evacuees at the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center by Tuesday morning.

— The Houston Independent School District has canceled school for the week.

— President Donald Trump will travel to Texas on Tuesday, press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said.

— 316,000 customers had lost electricity across the state.

Follow live updates

Houston volunteers

Flooding continued in and around Houston on Sunday night as citizens with boats assisted authorities in search and rescue efforts on roads turned rivers.

A CNN crew was with one such volunteer when he used his vessel to rescue an elderly couple, their daughter and two dogs in Dickinson, Texas.

The family became trapped upstairs when flood waters came through the garage, filling the house with about three feet of water.

“It was shocking,” Pam Jones said. “It just creeped up.”

Houston resident Louise Walker told CNN she was trapped in her neighbor’s apartment.

“Our bottom level is waist-deep in water. We have helicopters that are flying over us rescuing people, we have people who are living in these first-floor apartments like I have. They have been breaking into empty second level apartments just to have somewhere to go because we can’t get out. We’re simply completely surrounded with water,” she said, adding that the helicopters were only rescuing people who were in immediate danger.

“My only plan at this point is to stay out of the water. I’ve been keeping in contact with family and friends, but other than that we can’t do anything. We are literally stuck here,” Walker said.

Officials say they have executed over 250 water rescues and rescued over 1,000 people from floods. The US Coast Guard’s Captain Kevin Odditt says 19 Coast Guard helicopters are also involved in relief efforts.

As of Sunday evening, between 800 and 1,200 people had been rescued from their homes in Galveston County, County Judge Mark Henry said.

One thousand additional National Guard members are being called in to help Houston flood victims affected by flooding, Texas Governor Greg Abbott announced via Twitter Sunday evening.

The governor is expected to tour the Texas Coastal Bend region Monday with Senator John Cornyn.

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Dam releases

The US Army Corps of Engineers began the controlled release of water from the Addicks and Barker Dams in Galveston early Monday, after water levels began rising quickly, according to Harris County Flood Control District Meteorologist Jeff Linder.

This is ahead of schedule because the water levels at the dam began to rise quickly, Linder says. The engineers are expecting spillways and roads in the area to be impacted, according to a release from the agency.

“Residents adjacent to the reservoirs need to be vigilant because the water in the reservoirs is rising rapidly,” said Col. Lars Zetterstrom, Galveston District commander. “Both reservoirs are rising more than half a foot per hour.”

The City of Conroe says record levels of water are also being released from Lake Conroe Dam and flooding is imminent in some areas.

“The City of Conroe will be evacuating McDade Estates. Other neighborhoods will be evacuated by the County,” it said.” Public Safety Officials have been overwhelmed by the number of calls and are currently prioritizing calls as they come in.”

Evacuation orders

The rainfall threatens to exacerbate an already dangerous situation, as Harvey’s rains have left many east Texas rivers and bayous swollen to their banks or beyond.

Harrowing tales from Houston

“The breadth and intensity of this rainfall are beyond anything experienced before,” the NWS said. “Catastrophic flooding is now underway and expected to continue for days.”

In Fort Bend County, a voluntary evacuation order was made mandatory for areas along the Brazos River, with the NWS predicting river levels of 56.1 feet — nearly two feet above the record during flooding last year.

“Harvey continues to batter Fort Bend County,” said County Judge Robert Hebert. “Residents who flooded last year know how serious this situation is.”

Fort Bend had worked with the Red Cross to establish shelters for residents, Herbert said.

Stuck in the Texas floods? Here’s what to do

911 overwhelmed

The storm killed two people in Texas, authorities said, and the death toll will likely rise. A woman who drove her vehicle into high water in Houston was killed, and fire killed a man in Rockport.

Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner warned that some 911 calls are going unanswered as operators “give preference to life-threatening calls.”

The 911 dispatchers in the nation’s fourth-most populous city have received 2,000 requests for rescue, Mayor Turner said. Houston Fire Chief Samuel Peña said his department had responded to 2,500 calls and have about 1,000 more waiting to be serviced.

People are also taking to social media to announce their locations and ask for help.

How social media is helping

Many roads impassable

In a Sunday news conference, Gov. Abbott said, “We want to stress when there is heavy rainfall and flooding, the importance of staying off the road. If you drive into water, you’re taking your life into your own hands.”

Portions of major highways, including Interstates 10, 45 and 610, were submerged and unnavigable. Houston resident Dion Laurent said the White Oak Bayou flooded I-10 and I-45.

Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez said he understands the compulsion to find safer ground, but urged people to think twice before venturing out into high water and to consider unforeseen dangers, such as manhole covers being lifted from their holes.

In Brazoria County, south of Houston, officials set up an evacuation route for all residents living west of State Highway 288 and south of State Highway 6, ordering them to “LEAVE NOW!” under a mandatory evacuation order. Those in need of shelter can take refuge in the Bell County Expo Center in Belton, officials said.

Louisiana in Harvey’s sights

Meantime, Louisiana Gov John Bel Edwards wrote to President Trump requesting that he declare an Emergency Disaster for the state.

“The National Weather Service forecasts that remnants of Hurricane Harvey will bring heavy rainfall to Louisiana posing serious danger to life and property of the citizens of our state. Significant lifesaving efforts such as search and rescue, transportation to shelters, logistical support, and shelter operations are particularly needed in Beauregard, Calcasieu, Cameron, Jefferson Davis, and Vermillion parishes,” Edwards wrote. The NWS predicted 10 to 20 inches of rain between Sunday night and Monday, he said, with “major river flooding” anticipated.

Harvey blasted ashore as a Category 4 hurricane on Friday night, making landfall just north of Corpus Christi before quickly being downgraded to a tropical storm.

Keep track of Harvey

“What is unique in Harvey is that as the storm moved inland, a large high pressure built in to the north and, basically, the steering currents, which guide Harvey, collapsed,” said CNN senior meterologist Dave Hennen. “This has caused the extremely slow movement of the storm, moving only around 60 miles, less than 2 miles per hour. This has allowed the bands of storms to move over the same areas over and over.”

Senator Visits Iowa Coop

Iowa Senator Joni Ernst is touring through the 99 counties of Iowa and made a stop at Two Rivers Cooperative in Monroe.

At a roundtable discussion, many questions were asked about regulation such as OSHA's role in the Trump Administration, the Waters of the U.S. rule, or how much grain weight a truck can have before going on the federal interstates.

Another point made by co-op representatives were the little rules, like mandates to have a safety gate on top of grain bin ladders. That rule cost the co-op $25,000 to comply

Ernst says,  "That's a lot of dollars that are then passed onto the members of that coop. So what we have to figure out is that cost. What is that associated with or attributed to? Is it worth the additional expense? We have to evaluate that. Sometimes the government goes way too far and the benefit doesn't necessarily equal the cost."

The farm bill is another big topic for farmers, Ernst is optimistic, "I think this is something that we have to get done and as we look ahead in the next several months. The intent is to really work very hard, diligently on this package. Have it to the floor of the Senate by Christmas."