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‘Catastrophic’ flooding traps Houston residents

 

Rescue workers in Houston renewed search efforts Sunday morning for residents trapped in their homes by Tropical Storm Harvey’s rising floodwaters.

More than 1,000 people were rescued overnight from record flooding in the area, authorities said.

The storm so far has killed two people in Texas, said authorities, who added they expect the death toll to rise.

Law enforcement agencies advised people trapped in their houses not to take shelter in their attics unless they carried axes so they could break through to their roofs and within sight of rescue workers.

“Two people have died so far in the storm: a woman who drove her vehicle into high water in Houston and a man killed by a fire in Rockport.” the report said.

Florida and New York City are sending emergency workers and equipment to Texas. “After Superstorm Sandy, so many cities stepped up to help our people. We’ll do all we can to help those affected by this storm,” New York Mayor Bill de Blasio said on Twitter.

More than 24 inches of rain fell in 24 hours in Houston, the National Weather Service reported Sunday morning.

Harvey may soon weaken into a tropical depression, but the storm has stalled and will keep pounding the region with rain and wind through the coming week, forecasters said. “It’s going to last four to five days,” Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner said.

People told CNN they were stranded in houses and hotels and hoped for help now that morning has come to Texas.

“We are still stranded in our home with little kids and the water keeps rising,” Houston resident Janet Castillo told CNN on Sunday morning. “We have called already to several numbers but no luck. We have (tried) but their lines are all busy or they don’t answer.”

Jake Lewis said he woke up to ankle-deep water in the Houston hotel where he was staying.

“We have nowhere to go,” said Lewis, of New Braunfels, Texas. “If you go out and look at the service road it’s flooded. I have a 2016 Chevy Silverado and the water is up to the door panels. The water keeps rising.”

 

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