Houston's Addicks Dam Less Than Half a Foot From Causing More Ruin

Frazer Harrison  Getty Images for Mizzen+Main     
       J.J. Watt on Feb. 1 2017 in Houston

The reservoirs were built to protect downtown Houston from water that could otherwise come flooding though Buffalo Bayou, which is normally a small river running through the city.

A major dam outside Houston has begun spilling over as Storm Harvey pushes the reservoir past capacity, a Texas official says.

A western MI company is sending about 2,000 kayaks to Texas and Louisiana to help with flooding relief and rescue efforts amid Harvey's onslaught.

Later in the day, city officials confirmed that a Houston police officer was killed in the flooding on Sunday. More than 30 inches (75 centimeters) of rain has fallen in some areas and almost 2 feet (60 centimeters) more is expected, leading authorities to fear the worst might be yet to come.

A fire official says 11 people were rescued from fast-moving floodwaters in northwest Houston after a private rescue boat capsized. Six family members in a van were reported missing and feared dead in Pasadena after a relative said their van was swept away in Greens Bayou in Pasadena.

Harvey was downgraded from a hurricane to tropical storm by the NHC late on Saturday.

FEMA administrator William "Brock" Long admitted during a Monday news conference in Washington that the effects of the storm and its flooding are greater than the government can handle alone.

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Calls for rescue have so overwhelmed emergency teams that they have had little time to search for bodies, and officials acknowledge that fatalities could soar once the floodwaters start to recede from one of America's most sprawling metropolitan centres. On Sunday, the president held a teleconference with top administration officials to discuss the federal effort.

That brings to almost 6,000 the number of prisoners displaced by Harvey, which made landfall Friday as a hurricane and is now a tropical storm. About 90 minutes later, a levee in Brazoria County, just south of Houston, was also breached.

The Addicks Dam is still releasing the maximum planned amount of almost 4,000 cubic feet per second downstream, the Corps of Engineers said.

The National Hurricane Center, though is still saying "relentless torrential rains" will continue over southeastern Texas and southwestern Louisiana.

The slow-moving storm has brought catastrophic flooding to Texas, led to mass evacuations and paralysed Houston, the fourth most-populous US city.

Houston set a new daily rainfall record Sunday, with 16.07 inches reported at the city's worldwide airport, the National Weather Service says. But the releases were not enough to relieve the pressure after one of the heaviest downpours in US history, Army Corps of Engineers officials said.

More than three days after Harvey made landfall as a Category 4 hurricane, the storm's center is back out over the Gulf of Mexico, south of Galveston.

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