Flood-stricken southeast Texas struggled Thursday with a new series of blows that left one city without running water, the operators of a flood-damaged chemical plant warning of additional fires and at least one hospital unable to care for patients.
Nearly a week after Hurricane Harvey slammed into the Texas coast, desperate residents remain stranded without food and water in the wake of unprecedented flooding. Meanwhile, authorities continue to search for survivors and make helicopter rescues from rooftops as the death toll from Harvey and its aftermath climbed to at least 39.
Given the disaster’s scope, the commanding officer who led the federal response to Hurricane Katrina a dozen years ago questioned the adequacy of current relief efforts.
“When you have a combination of hurricane winds, flooding now for five days and you start losing the water and the electric grid, this is a game changer,” retired Lt. Gen. Russel Honoré said.
Beaumont, east of Houston, has no running water after both its water pumps failed, forcing a hospital to shut down. City officials could not say when service would be restored.
In Crosby, two blasts rocked a flooded chemical plant, and more could come.
And in Houston, authorities started going door to door looking for victims, hoping to find survivors but realizing that the death toll could rise.
The storm has damaged or destroyed about 100,000 homes, Bossert said.
President Donald Trump plans to donate $1 million of his money to help storm victims, according the White House.
“You should continue to have confidence in what we’re doing as a government,” Bossert said. “But I would be remiss if I didn’t stop and say that none of that matters if you’re an affected individual.”
FEMA reported Thursday that more than 96,000 people in Texas have been approved for emergency assistance, including financial aid for rent and lost property. More than $57 million has already been distributed for housing, personal property and transportation assistance.