Reuters news agency reports that the Harvey storm system, now in its fourth day, has killed at least nine people and led to mass evacuations in Houston, Texas. According to the report, 30,000 people were expected to seek emergency shelter. Officials said reservoirs built to handle drainage water were beginning to overflow. They urged residents to evacuate as they released water to alleviate pressure on two dams, a move that would add to flooding along the Buffalo Bayou waterway that runs through the area.
Officials called for immediate evacuations around a Columbia Lakes levee that had been breached by Harvey’s floodwaters. Some 3,500 people already have been rescued from high waters in the Houston area with police, firefighters and National Guard troops trying to locate those stranded.
Reuters also reports that a levee along the Brazos River south of Houston breached on Tuesday due to heavy rains from Tropical Storm Harvey forcing residents to evacuate low-lying areas. Matt Sebesta, the chief administrator of Brazoria County, urged residents of the Columbia Lakes neighborhood to leave saying, “They need to get out. Get to higher ground in Angleton.” Columbia Lakes is located about 50 miles (80 km) from Houston, close to Brazos River.
The Houston area’s rivers have started to flood. Officials warned residents of six northern Houston neighborhoods to evacuate around two water reservoirs that had started to overflow.