Tropical Storm Harvey has set all-time records for rainfall and wind speeds, according to a rain gauge from the National Weather Service.
A rain gauge in the southeast section of Houston reported 49 inches of rain Tuesday morning, nearly four days after Harvey made landfall. The total, which was recorded from Aug. 24 to Tuesday, is higher than the 48 inches set during tropical cyclone Amelia in 1978.
Officials suggest that things will likely get worse for Houston before they get better. Citizens should expect two more feet of rain on top of whatever amount has already fallen, authorities noted Tuesday, adding that the worst could be yet to come.
Rescue crews have already plucked 3,000 people from the rising waters. Local officials also warn that the death toll, which currently stands at about eight people, could rapidly increase once water levels in Houston begins receding.
Forecasters believe the storm system will continue to hover over the Gulf of Mexico’s warm waters and carry with it 45 mph winds during the next two days before traveling up the East Coast. It will eventually lose strength but not before stopping in Louisiana.
The heavy rainfall and high winds have prompted some to wonder why the city’s mayor, Sylvester Turner, did not mandate citizens evacuate the city before Harvey arrived.
Turner has repeatedly knocked down such criticisms, insisting that a mass evacuation of Houston’s 2 million citizens would create mass chaos and potentially threaten more lives than the storm. Houston has very narrow highway corridors, making it difficult for a mass evacuation.
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