Water Tops Houston Dam's Spillway As Harvey Drifts Toward Louisiana

30 August, 2017, 01:37 | Author: Pamela Mathis
  • American-Statesman Staff

The water level surpassed the top of Addicks Dam just before 8 a.m. CT, when the water level rose to 108.1 feet, exceeding the reservoir's capacity of 108 feet, according to the Harris County flood warning website.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers began controlled water release of the Addicks Reservoir Monday in an attempt to manage flood levels in the immediate area. Around 2:30 a.m. Monday, however, the rapidly rising water levels prompted the Army Corps to begin releasing water from both reservoirs.

Several deaths have been reported in the floodwaters, but the exact number is unclear.

The reservoirs, which flank Interstate 10 on the west side of Houston, flow into the Buffalo Bayou and are surrounded by parks and residential areas. It is a "catastrophic flooding event" not isolated to one area, said a firefighter talking with reporters.

Tuesday morning, a rain gauge southeast of Houston reported 49.32 inches - breaking a state record that was set by cyclone Amelia in 1978, the National Hurricane Center said.

"Localized storm-total rain amounts of up to 50 inches are not out of the question" by later this week, The Weather Channel warned. That's the average annual rainfall in the area.

On Saturday, the Coast Guard rescued several people in distressed vessels due to the storm. The problem pump is the same one, WWNO adds, that had recently undergone repairs after "flooding earlier this month exposed infrastructure failures and unreported maintenance issues".

Houston has always been flood-prone.




"The Colorado River at La Grange is expected to rise as high as 53 feet later this morning - 27 feet above flood stage", member station KUT reports.

President Donald Trump arrived in nearby Corpus Christi to tour affected areas. The declaration, effective August 27, authorizes the Federal Emergency Management Agency to bolster the response efforts of local authorities.

Pence is urging residents to continue to listen their state and local officials. The city's fire chief, Samuel Peña, says the fire department had responded to 1,000 calls. Subdivisions that could be impacted if water gets around the northern part of the Addicks spillway. Boats and kayaks are being used to reach people stranded on rooftops.

"Volunteers joined emergency teams in pulling people from their homes or from the water".

"We are getting calls from people climbing into their attic".

With more rain to come, the ongoing storm has already capped off a three-month period in which Houston has received almost a year's worth of rain, the National Weather Service says.

So, when a slow-moving storm like Hurricane Harvey hits the city, flooding can be intense - more intense than ever.

Jeff Lindner, from Harris County Flood Control District, said he was certain more homes and streets would flood as a result, and the county was trying to determine where the water will go, specifically from the north end of the Addicks reservoir. This means they will have no control over how much water is released at one time, which is why these waves of water are a possibility.

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