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Tuesday’s Harvey Update

BTU, which operates Lake Bryan, has announced it will resume normal hours of operation on Wednesday, August 30, 2017.

Saturday’s pub crawl sponsored by Brazos County Cattle Baron’s Ball has been postponed to a date yet to be determined. All who have registered will be issued a full refund.

Local rainfall during Harvey:

Rainfall measured at Easterwood Airport from last Friday at 10 p.m. through Monday at midnight measured 14.83 inches.

Monday’s rainfall measured 3.61 inches. Most of that, 2.56 inches, fell from Monday midnight to 11 a.m.

Sunday generated the most rain, at 7.46 inches.

Saturday rainfall was 4.67 inches.

And the rainfall last Friday night was .02 inches.

From the Associated Press:

TRUMP-THE LATEST: Some Texans say they appreciate Trump visit

WASHINGTON (AP) – Residents in some of Texas’ hardest-hit areas say they appreciate President Donald Trump’s visit to the flood-ravaged state after Hurricane Harvey.

Trump was getting some blowback on social media for not getting a closer look at the storm’s devastation. But in Rockport, about 20 miles from Trump’s stop in Corpus Christi, it would have been impractical for a presidential motorcade to roll through downed power lines and debris.

Hair salon owner John Murray spray-painted “Bet They Blame Trump” across the boards protecting his downtown Rockport shop.

He says that every time he turns on the television he hears people complaining about the president.

“He could go for a walk and they’d find something to complain about,” like jaywalking, Murray says.

HARVEY-JOEL OSTEEN: Joel Osteen’s Houston megachurch opens doors as shelter

HOUSTON (AP) – The Houston megachurch led by televangelist Joel Osteen says it’s opened its doors to people seeking shelter as Harvey swamps the city.

Osteen had faced criticism for not using the massive Lakewood Church as a storm shelter. In a statement to ABC News Monday Osteen said the church “never” closed its doors and was serving as a relief supply distribution center. He said it would “house people once shelters reach capacity.”

The church announced on Twitter it was receiving people who need shelter late Tuesday morning.

The 16,000-seat former arena was the longtime home of the NBA’s Houston Rockets.

Osteen’s comment stands in contrast to a church Facebook post and a since-deleted Instagram remark by Lakewood associate pastor John Gray, who said flooded highways had made the church inaccessible.

HARVEY-Pentagon: Military response in Texas could soon expand

WASHINGTON (AP) – A Pentagon official says the military’s contribution to Harvey rescue and recovery efforts could soon increase by tenfold or more.

Air Force Maj. Gen. James Witham told reporters Tuesday there currently are about 3,500 National Guard troops involved, including about 3,000 from the Texas National Guard. He estimated that the Texas guard number could rise to 8,000 to 10,000 in coming days, possibly joined by 20,000 to 30,000 from other states.

Witham is the director of domestic operations for the National Guard Bureau.

He said the military is providing everything that has been requested by Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, although the response is constrained by the stormy weather and by flooding that limits use of roadways.

HOUSTON (AP) _ The Latest on Tropical Storm Harvey (all times local):

3:20 p.m.

An official says that a levee protecting a subdivision of homes in a county south of Houston has been fortified after being breached but warns the threat is far from over.

Brazoria County spokeswoman Sharon Trower said Tuesday afternoon that the levee had been fortified. Earlier in the day the county had posted on Twitter: “NOTICE: The levee at Columbia Lakes has been breached!! GET OUT NOW!!”

She says that some water did get through but it wasn’t substantial. She warns that authorities don’t know how long the fortification will hold. She also notes the breach happened due to rainwater but that the nearby Brazos River continues to spill out of its banks.

Trower says that the mandatory evacuation ordered Sunday morning still stands and notes that most of the residents in the area have left.

Brazoria County Judge Matt Sebesta has said that there are hundreds of homes in the tree-lined subdivision situated around a golf course.

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3:10 p.m.

Federal regulators say dozens of offshore oil-and-gas platforms and rigs in the Gulf of Mexico have been evacuated as Tropical Storm Harvey continues to dump heavy rainfall on the region.

The U.S. Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement said in a statement Tuesday that workers were evacuated from 102 production platforms, which is nearly 14 percent of the 737 manned platforms in the Gulf.

Five of the 10 drilling rigs currently operating in the Gulf also had been evacuated as of noon Tuesday. The bureau estimated that approximately 19 percent of the Gulf’s oil and natural gas production was “shut-in,” or temporarily halted, as of midday Tuesday. Offshore facilities will be inspected once the storm has passed.

The Texas Gulf is a key area for U.S. oil refineries and oil and gas production.

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2:55 p.m.

Facebook and Google are matching donations to people affected by Hurricane Harvey, the tech giants announced on Tuesday. Facebook says it will match every dollar raised through its platform, up to $1 million, for the Center for Disaster Philanthropy’s Hurricane Harvey Recovery Fund. The money will support local recovery and rebuilding efforts. U.S. Facebook users are getting a message
at the top of their news feed on how to donate.

Google says it is matching $1 million in donations to the American Red Cross. To donate, go to https://www.google.org/harvey-relief/ . The company also matched donations from employees, and said Tuesday it donated $750,000 between its nonprofit arm, Google.org, and employee contributions to organizations such as the American Red Cross, Habitat for Humanity and Save the Children.

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2:30 p.m.

Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner confirmed that police Sgt. Steve Perez has died after he became trapped in his patrol car as he was driving to work.

The Houston Chronicle has reported that the 30-year officer was heading to work Sunday when he became trapped in high water on Interstate 45 in north Harris County and then couldn’t get himself out of his car.

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2:05 p.m.

NAACP interim President Derrick Johnson says his organization will carefully monitor government assistance in Houston and other areas to ensure minority neighborhoods get adequate resources following Harvey’s destruction on the Gulf Coast.

Johnson says the NAACP’s goal will be “to ensure that resources directed from the federal government don’t skip neighborhoods.”

Johnson told the National Press Club Tuesday that he met with officials from the Federal Emergency Management Agency earlier in the day. He says the NAACP has a responsibility to make sure “equity is at the table” during recovery efforts, noting that minority neighborhoods suffered disproportionately during Hurricane Katrina.

Johnson is the former president of the Mississippi State Conference NAACP. He says Katrina shows “it is critically important for the association to ensure that the recovery is equitable.”

___

1:35 p.m.

Gov. John Bel Edwards says Louisiana is offering to shelter storm victims from Texas while the state also helps its own residents who were rescued from Harvey’s floodwaters overnight.

Edwards said at a news conference Tuesday in Baton Rouge that he expects Texas officials to decide within 48 hours whether to accept the offer and transport flood victims to Louisiana shelters.

Approximately 500 people were evacuated Monday night and early Tuesday from flooded neighborhoods in southwest Louisiana. Edwards says about 200 of them spent the night in area shelters.

Edwards says more than 600 members of the Louisiana National Guard are on storm-related duty. Many are assisting with rescue efforts.

Edwards says Tropical Storm Harvey was strengthening slightly after moving back into the Gulf of Mexico but wasn’t expected to become a hurricane again before its predicted Wednesday landfall in Louisiana.

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1:35 p.m.

Volunteers and donors are lining up outside of the Toyota Center, the downtown arena that’s home to the Houston Rockets, in anticipation that it will open as a shelter for Harvey evacuees.

City officials and Red Cross spokesmen have not confirmed that the arena will open to shelter evacuees. But several people who went to the George R. Brown Convention Center to volunteer or drop off clothes were told that the Toyota Center would open Tuesday afternoon. Around 30 people are waiting outside an arena entrance.

The convention center has nearly doubled its original 5,000-person capacity, and Mayor Sylvester Turner says the city may open multiple major shelters to accommodate the thousands of people still seeking shelter.

___

1:25 p.m.

Houston Fire Chief Samuel Pea says his agency has responded to more than 1,000 calls for service _ including 400 water rescues _ since Harvey inundated much of the city.

Pea says some fire department crews have been working for three days straight, without a break, and he has implemented procedures to ensure firefighters get the nourishment and rest they need.

Pea says it has been difficult to get in fresh crews to replace firefighters at some locations because in many areas, “we can’t get in and out of the fire stations” due to flooding. “We can’t deploy them to where we need them with their equipment.”

Pea says the fire department is managing the resources it has on hand and will rotate in fresh firefighter crews as it is able to do so.

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1:10 p.m.

The University of Tampa has fired a visiting assistant professor who suggested in a tweet that Harvey’s destruction is “instant karma” for Texas because it voted Republican.

Sociology professor Kenneth L. Storey posted the tweet and two responses on Sunday before removing the entire thread and his profile photo.

University spokesman Eric Cardenas said in a statement Tuesday that Storey was fired after the school weathered an outpouring of online outrage over the comments.

The Tampa Bay Times reports Storey issued an apology on Monday, writing that he “never meant to wish ill will upon any group.”

In a Facebook post on Monday evening, the university said it “stands in solidarity with the people impacted by Hurricane Harvey.”

Officials said another sociology professor will take over Storey’s classes.

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1 p.m.

Weather forecasters expect Tropical Storm Harvey to come ashore somewhere near Louisiana’s southwestern corner, following its trip through Texas and return to the Gulf.

National Weather Service meteorologist Roger Erickson said Tuesday that officials project a landfall in Cameron Parish around midday Wednesday. Erickson says another 4 to 8 inches (10 to 20 centimeters) of rain is likely across southwest Louisiana.

Forecasters also project heavy rain running east from New Orleans to Pensacola along the Gulf Coast.

Harvey is expected to bring gusts up to 45 mph (70 kph) in coastal areas and gusts of up to 35 mph (55 kph) in Lake Charles and along the Interstate 10 corridor.

Erickson warns that some coastal rivers won’t be able to drain rains effectively because Harvey’s winds are pushing storm surge into coastal waters, aggravating flooding in places that have already received more than 20 inches of rain.

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12:25 p.m.

Houston plans to open up at least two more big shelters to house people trying to escape Harvey’s floodwaters.

Mayor Sylvester Turner said at a news conference Tuesday that more than 9,000 people are now staying at George R. Brown Convention Center the largest shelter that has so far been opened. The capacity at the convention center was supposed to be 5,000 people.

Turner says Houston will open up two new big shelters, and possibly a third. He didn’t identify where the shelters would be. More details are expected later Tuesday.

Turner says the number of people at the convention center has continued to grow because the facility is housing not only Houston residents but people from surrounding communities outside the city limits who are in need of shelter.
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12:25 p.m.

The mayor of Galveston is asking residents to stay put and off flooded roads as the city anticipates more rain from Harvey.

Mayor Jim Yarbrough says the city of about 50,000 could get up to 4 more inches (10 centimeters) of rain by Wednesday. The mayor says he wants Galveston residents to stay off the roads until conditions improve. Public transportation is not in service in Galveston. The city is 50 miles (80 kilometers) southeast of Houston.

The Port of Galveston remains closed.
___

12:20 p.m.

Houston’s top law officer is warning would-be looters amid flooding from Harvey.

Police Chief Art Acevedo said during a news conference Tuesday that armed robbers were apprehended overnight and a “handful” of looters were also taken into custody. He didn’t say just how many have been arrested on charges related to looting.

Acevedo says he’s spoken with the Harris County district attorney’s office to ensure anyone suspected of looting is prosecuted. He also says he’ll lobby judges and prosecutors to secure the most severe punishment Texas law allows.

State law allows for penalty enhancements for crimes like burglary and robbery that occur during a state of disaster

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12:15 p.m.

South Carolina is sending helicopters, National Guard soldiers, rescue swimmers and others to Texas to help deal with the devastation caused by Hurricane Harvey.

Gov. Henry McMaster’s office said Tuesday that McMaster has signed an order to provide help requested by Texas Gov. Greg Abbott.

The state is sending two South Carolina Helicopter Aquatic Rescue Teams consisting of four National Guard soldiers and rescue swimmers from across the state. South Carolina is also sending a ground team of eight soldiers and nine rescue swimmers.

McMaster’s office also says the South Carolina Forestry Commission is sending 18 members of its incident management team to Texas on Wednesday to help with ongoing flood recovery efforts in Texas.

McMaster says the state is ready to provide any additional help Texas may request.

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12:15 p.m.

Houston officials say they’re aware of a report of a police officer drowning in his patrol car as he was driving to work.

Mayor Sylvester Turner and police Chief Art Acevedo would not confirm the report in The Houston Chronicle.

The newspaper, citing three department officials it did not name, says the 30-year officer was heading to work Sunday when he became trapped in high water on Interstate 45 in north Harris County and then couldn’t get himself out of his car.

The newspaper says the department hasn’t yet notified his family. Search teams are attempting to recover his body.

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12:10 p.m.

A Pentagon official says the military’s contribution to Harvey rescue and recovery efforts could soon increase by tenfold or more.

Air Force Maj. Gen. James Witham told reporters Tuesday that there currently are about 3,500 National Guard troops involved, including about 3,000 from the Texas National Guard. He estimated that the Texas guard number could rise to 8,000 to 10,000 in coming days, possibly joined by 20,000 to 30,000 from other states.

Witham is the director of domestic operations for the National Guard Bureau.

He said the military is providing everything that has been requested by Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, although the response is constrained by the stormy weather and by flooding that limits use of roadways.

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12:05 p.m.

The Houston police chief says emergency personnel have conducted more than 3,500 rescues since Harvey’s floodwaters began overtaking the city.

Chief Art Acevedo said during a news conference Tuesday attended by Mayor Sylvester Turner and other top officials that police officers and other emergency workers are rescuing people from rising waters even as their own homes are inundated.

Calls for help are expected to continue. The National Hurricane Center forecasts that Harvey will produce another 6 to 12 inches (15 to 30 centimeters) of rain over the upper Texas coast and southwestern Louisiana through Friday.

At least three deaths are attributed to the storm but many more people are missing and Acevedo previously said he’s “really worried about how many bodies we’re going to find.”

___

12 p.m.

Harvey has set a new U.S. record for rainfall from a tropical system.

A weather station southeast of Houston at Mary’s Creek at Winding Road, reported 49.32 inches (125.27 centimeters) of rain as of Tuesday morning, according to the National Weather Service.

That breaks the previous record of 48 inches (122 centimeters) set in 1978 in Medina, Texas by Tropical Storm Amelia.

Meteorologist Marc Chenard of the weather service’s Weather Prediction Center says: “It’s a big deal.”

Already 14 spots in Houston have recorded more than 40 inches (102 centimeters) of rain and 36 different locations in Houston have recorded more than 3 feet (90 centimeters) of rain.

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11:40 a.m.

A spokeswoman says President Donald Trump wants to be “very cautious” about making sure that his activities in Texas don’t disrupt Harvey recovery efforts.

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders says Trump’s stops Tuesday in Corpus Christi and Austin are intended to highlight coordination at all levels of government and lay the groundwork for what is expected to be a lengthy recovery after the storm.

Trump traveled with the Cabinet secretaries of Health and Human Services and Housing and Urban Development, and the head of the Small Business Administration. Sanders says the secretaries will meet with their Texas counterparts.

Air Force One flew a path to Corpus Christi that avoided flying over Houston, where much of the downtown area is under water.

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11:35 a.m.

President Donald Trump’s 2020-re-election campaign committee is encouraging supporters to donate to disaster relief efforts for those affected by Harvey.

A note Tuesday to the more than 10 million email addresses the campaign has collected links to the Red Cross, Salvation Army, United Way and local animal rescue operations. The email encourages people to “help our fellow Americans in need.”

Harvey made landfall four days ago as the fiercest hurricane to hit the U.S. in 13 years. It has since been downgraded to a tropical storm.

Trump is visiting Texas later Tuesday as rains continue to pound the already flooded Houston area.

Lara Trump, an adviser to her father-in-law’s re-election campaign, says in the email that this “is a time to come together as a nation to support those in need.”

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11:25 a.m.

Beyonce says she’s working with her charity to assist those in her hometown affected by the flooding from Harvey.

The Houston native said in a statement to The Houston Chronicle late Monday that “my heart goes out to my hometown, Houston, and I remain in constant prayer for those affected.”

Beyonce, Kelly Rowland, LeToya Luckett and LaTavia Roberson formed Destiny’s Child as teenagers in Houston.

Harvey made landfall four days ago as the fiercest hurricane to hit the U.S. in 13 years.

Beyonce said she’s praying “for the rescuers who have been so brave and determined.” The singer said she is working closely with her organization BeyGOOD and her pastor to find ways to help those affected.

___

11:20 a.m.

A Harris County official says swift currents in the Houston Ship Channel caused by recent heavy rain could damage pipelines buried in the river bed.

Jeff Lindner, of the Harris County Flood Control District, says the pipelines could be subject to “scouring,” when the fast-moving water washes away the cover over buried pipelines, exposing them and making them more liable to break.

During flooding in 1994 caused by about 20 inches (50 centimeters) of rain in the Houston area, eight pipelines broke across the San Jacinto basin, spilling almost 1.5 million gallons of oil and petroleum products. The National Transportation Safety Board says more than 500 people suffered injuries, mostly minor burns, when fuel from those pipeline breaks ignited.

Hundreds of petrochemical industry pipelines crisscross Houston and southeast Texas, carrying crude oil, highly flammable fuels such as gasoline, and explosive natural gas.

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11:05 a.m.

Officials say a levee near a subdivision of homes in a county south of Houston has been breached and water is pouring into the area.

Brazoria County posted this message on Twitter on Tuesday morning: “NOTICE: The levee at Columbia Lakes has been breached!! GET OUT NOW!!”

Brazoria County Judge Matt Sebesta says that the water has come over the levee in the northeast part of the subdivision and is starting to fill the area.

He says residents were told that at some point the levee would be “overtopped.” He said that a mandatory evacuation order was issued Sunday.

Sebesta says there are hundreds of homes there. He says hopefully “very few” are still in the area.

___

11:00 a.m.

The George R. Brown Convention Center is rapidly approaching double its original estimated capacity for evacuees from Harvey.

A Red Cross spokesman said Tuesday morning that a total of around 9,000 people have arrived at the convention center since the storm struck over the weekend. Groups of people escaping flooding arrived through the night and continue to enter.

The Red Cross had 5,000 cots. Volunteers pulled cots closer together, but many people had to sleep on chairs or the floor. Across the gray convention hall floor, people laid out towels, blankets and strips of cardboard.

The city hasn’t said Tuesday whether it will open another shelter the size of George R. Brown.

___

10:30 a.m.

The National Weather Service is forecasting a relatively small amount of rain Tuesday in the Houston area, only 2 to 3 inches (5 to 7.5 centimeters) _ perhaps a little less in Houston proper.

The National Hurricane Center, though is still saying “relentless torrential rains” will continue over southeastern Texas and southwestern Louisiana. The center forecasts another 6 to 12 inches (15 to 30 centimeters) of rain across the upper Texas coast through Friday.

Already four spots in Houston have recorded more than 40 inches (100 centimeters) of rain, with the weather service’s forecast office topping the list at more than 42 inches (105 centimeters). Twenty different locations in Houston have recorded more than 3 feet (90 centimeters) of rain.

Harvey continues to move slowly east over the Gulf of Mexico maintaining tropical storm force winds of 45 mph (72 kph). It is expected to make landfall again Wednesday morning, probably in southwestern Louisiana.

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10:25 a.m.

Houston-area residents who lost their pets in the scramble to escape Harvey flooding can stop by a shelter to see if the animals have been found.

The Harris County Animal Shelter says it will be open from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday to allow owners to reclaim their lost pets. Shelter officials say no animals been taken in since Saturday, so any pets lost since then are not at the facility.

A three-day hold requirement for strays has been temporarily lifted in an effort to move animals out of the shelter as soon as possible during the natural disaster.

For now the shelter is not accepting additional animals due to limited staffing. Phone inquiries are not being accepted.

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10:15 a.m.

The American Red Cross says there are more than 17,000 people in Texas seeking refuge in shelters.

Red Cross spokesman Don Lauritzen said Tuesday that there are 45 shelters in the Houston area, along the Gulf Coast and elsewhere. He says more are opening in Louisiana.

The shelter in Texas holding the most people is the George R. Brown Convention Center in Houston with upward of 9,000.

Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings said Tuesday that the cavernous Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center in that city is ready to hold upward of 5,000 people.

But Rawlings says it’s not clear how many people will be housed at the Hutchison center because of the difficulty those in the Houston area are having finding dry roads and highways to travel along.

___

10:05 a.m.

Vice President Mike Pence is warning the people of Southeast Texas that Harvey is still dangerous and that life-threatening flooding will continue.

Pence is urging residents to continue to listen their state and local officials. He commented during interviews Tuesday with radio stations serving Corpus Christi and San Antonio.

Houston has been paralyzed by a storm that struck on Friday and has been parked over the Gulf Coast ever since. More than 30 inches (75 centimeters) of rain has fallen in some areas and nearly 2 feet (60 centimeters) more is expected, leading authorities to fear the worst might be yet to come.

Pence says he and his wife, Karen, will visit the region later this week.

President Donald Trump and his wife, Melania, were scheduled to visit Corpus Christi and Austin on Tuesday.

___

9:30 a.m.

Two Houston reservoirs are overflowing, despite a controlled water release that aimed to prevent flooding downtown.

The Addicks and Barker reservoirs are both at record high levels due to days of heavy rain. Army Corps of Engineers officials have been releasing water from both, but the amount of water entering exceeds the amount being released, sending floodwaters over spillways.

Jeff Lindner, with the Harris County Flood Control District, said Tuesday that he’s certain that more homes and streets will flood as a result. Lindner says the county is trying to determine where the water will go, specifically from the north end of the Addicks reservoir.

He says some homes will be inundated “for up to a month.”

The flood gauge at the Barker reservoir is overwhelmed and disabled and officials are worried the Addicks gauge also will fail.

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9:10 a.m.

Texas residents can get free replacements for their legal identification if it was lost or left behind when rain and flooding from Harvey forced them from their homes.

The Texas Department of Public Safety announced late Monday that any driver’s license office will provide replacement driver’s licenses or identification cards at no cost.

The offer applies to anyone who previously had such documents and lives in a county that Gov. Greg Abbott has declared a disaster area.

___

This item has been corrected to show the announcement came late Monday, not Tuesday.

___

8:35 a.m.

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

On Monday, rain-fed floods reached the rooflines of some single-story homes in Houston and surrounding communities. Officials have received thousands of pleas for rescue. Boats and kayaks are being used to reach people stranded on rooftops.

WOOD-TV reports that retailer Walmart is buying the kayaks from Muskegon-based KL Outdoor.

KL Outdoor Chief Executive Chuck Smith tells the television station that his company is covering the shipping costs. Some kayaks were sent out Monday. The rest are expected to be put on trucks Tuesday.

Harvey made landfall late Friday along the Texas Gulf Coast as a Category 4 hurricane and is now a tropical storm.

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8:20 a.m.

A fire official says 11 people were rescued from fast-moving floodwaters in northwest Houston after a private rescue boat capsized.

Cy-Fair Volunteer Fire Department spokesman David Padovan said Tuesday that the people who fell from the boat clung to trees to avoid being carried away by the current.

A Texas Department of Public Safety helicopter provided a floodlight early Tuesday to guide rescuers to the people in the water.

Padovan says it appears the people were being evacuated from their homes in a flooded Houston subdivision and were being taken to dry ground when the boat capsized.

It’s not clear what caused the craft to roll.

The rescued people were treated for cuts, abrasions and mild hypothermia.

Harvey has been dumping torrential rain on Texas since Sunday, causing catastrophic flooding across the state and in particular on Houston and the surrounding area.

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8:10 a.m.

President Donald Trump is making an all-out push to show the federal government’s responsiveness to the massive storm that has lashed the Texas coast and caused catastrophic flooding.

Trump will travel to Texas on Tuesday for briefings on the federal government’s work to help the state recover from Harvey’s devastation.

The storm marks the first time Trump has been tested by a major natural disaster at the start of his administration.

The president was scheduled to get briefings on the relief efforts in Corpus Christi, Texas, and later meet with state officials at the emergency operations center in Austin. The president will be joined by first lady Melania Trump.

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8 a.m.

Two more Texas prisons near the rising Brazos River are being evacuated.

The Texas Department of Criminal Justice says the 1,400 inmates at the Vance and Jester 3 Units in Richmond, about 30 miles (50 kilometers) southwest of Houston, are being taken Tuesday by agency buses to other prisons in South Texas.

That brings to nearly 6,000 the number of prisoners displaced by Harvey, which made landfall Friday as a hurricane and is now a tropical storm.

The state corrections department earlier moved 4,500 inmates from the Terrell, Stringfellow, and Ramsey Units in Brazoria County, south of Houston, to prisons in East Texas.

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6:45 a.m.

The National Weather Service says rain is falling just east of Houston at a rate of 2 inches (5 centimeters) an hour.

The National Hurricane Center has said heavy rain from Harvey is forecast to worsen flooding in Southeast Texas and southwestern Louisiana.

NWS meteorologist Tawnya Evans says Harris County, home to Houston, is recording about half an inch (1 centimeter) of rainfall each hour early Tuesday, and that areas east of there are seeing much more.

She says the rain could abate later in the morning but that another band of heavy rainfall will soon follow.

Harvey is expected to produce 10 to 20 additional inches (25 to 51 centimeters) or rain over the upper Texas coast and southwestern Louisiana through Thursday.

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4:12 a.m.

The National Hurricane Center says heavy rain from Harvey is expected to worsen flooding in Southeast Texas and southwestern Louisiana.

The center says in its 4 a.m. CDT advisory that flooded roadways continue to make travel difficult and advises people to take shelter.

The center of the storm was marked 135 miles (220 kilometers) south-southwest of Port Arthur, Texas, and was moving east at 3 mph (4.8 kph) with sustained winds of up to 45 mph (72 kph).

The storm was expected to make a slow turn to the northeast on Tuesday, placing the center just off the middle and upper Texas Gulf coast through Tuesday night before moving inland. Harvey is expected to produce 10 to 20 additional inches or rain over the upper Texas coast and southwestern Louisiana through Thursday, with isolated storm totals maybe reaching 50 inches (130 centimeters) over the Houston-Galveston area and the upper Texas coast.

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2:10 a.m.

Crews overwhelmed by thousands of rescue calls during one of the heaviest downpours in U.S. history have had little time to search for other potential victims. But officials acknowledge the grim reality that fatalities linked to Harvey could soar once the devastating floodwaters recede.

Even worse, officials now worry that the worst may be yet to come. More than three days after the storm ravaged the Texas coastline as a Category 4 hurricane, authorities worry that the tropical storm now parked over the Gulf Coast will return and deliver a knockout blow to a Houston region already ravaged by devastating downpours generating an amount of rain normally seen only once in more than 1,000 years.

Some fear that may be more than the nation’s fourth-largest city could bear.

_______

HOUSTON (AP) — Televangelist Joel Osteen says his Houston megachurch has “never” closed its doors to people seeking shelter as Harvey swamps the city.

Osteen has faced criticism for not opening his massive Lakewood Church as a storm shelter. In a statement to ABC News , Osteen says the church “will continue to be a distribution center for those in need” and is “prepared to house people once shelters reach capacity.”

The 16,000-seat former arena served as the home of the NBA’s Houston Rockets from 1975 to 2003.

Osteen’s comment stands in contrast to a church Facebook post and a since-deleted Instagram remark by Lakewood associate pastor John Gray, who said flooded highways had made the church inaccessible. A spokeswoman for Osteen didn’t immediately return a request for comment Tuesday.

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