Houston sees glimmer of hope after Harvey but threats loom

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HOUSTON (AP) – Harvey’s floodwaters began dropping throughout a lot of the Houston space and the storm weakened barely Wednesday however main risks remained for the U.S. Gulf Coast space, together with the specter of an explosion at a stricken Texas chemical plant and main flooding additional east close to the Texas-Louisiana line.

The scope of the devastation brought on by the hurricane got here into sharper focus, in the meantime, and the murky inexperienced floodwaters from the report-breaking, four-foot deluge of rain started yielding up extra our bodies as predicted.

The confirmed dying toll climbed to a minimum of 25, together with six relations – 4 of them youngsters – whose our bodies have been pulled Wednesday from a van that had been swept off a Houston bridge right into a bayou.

“Sadly, plainly our worst ideas are being realized,” Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez stated after the van that disappeared over the weekend was present in 10 ft of muddy water.

Because the water receded, Houston’s hearth division stated it will start a block-by-block search of hundreds of flooded houses. Assistant Hearth Chief Richard Mann stated the searches have been to make sure “no individuals have been left behind.”

Whereas circumstances within the nation’s fourth-largest metropolis appeared to enhance, one other disaster associated to Harvey emerged at a chemical plant about 25 miles (forty kilometers) northeast of Houston. A spokeswoman for the Arkema Inc. plant in Crosby, Texas, stated late Wednesday that the flooded facility had misplaced energy and backup turbines, leaving it with out refrigeration for chemical compounds that grow to be risky because the temperature rises.

“The hearth will occur. It can resemble a gasoline hearth. It is going to be explosive and intense in nature,” stated Janet Hill, spokeswoman for the French firm.

The final of the plant’s staff evacuated on Tuesday and residents inside 1.5 miles (2.four kilometers) have been informed to go away, Hill stated.

One other menace was east of Houston the place circumstances deteriorated near the Louisiana line as Harvey once more reached land.

Beaumont and Port Arthur, Texas, struggled with rising floodwaters and labored to evacuate residents after Harvey accomplished a U-flip within the Gulf of Mexico and rolled ashore early Wednesday for the second time in six days. It hit southwestern Louisiana as a tropical storm with heavy rain…

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