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August 31, 2017

Houston: Flood Waters Fall, But Death Toll Rises as Bodies Are Discovered

The waters recede, but in doing so, they reveal the deaths they caused.

- Harvey's floodwaters started dropping across much of the Houston area and the sun came out Wednesday in a glimmer of hope for the stricken city, even as the storm doubled back toward land and pounded communities farther east, near the Texas-Louisiana line.

The scope of the devastation caused by the hurricane came into sharper focus, meanwhile, and the murky green floodwaters from the record-breaking, 4-foot deluge of rain began yielding up bodies as predicted.

The confirmed death toll climbed to 23, including six family members - four of them children - whose bodies were pulled Wednesday from a van that had been swept off a Houston bridge into a bayou.

Authorities are investigating at least 17 more deaths to determine whether they were storm-related.

Among the recent discovered bodies: an entire family of six, killed while in their van.

Officers have found the bodies of all six Houston family members who were traveling in a van when it was swept off a Houston bridge and into a storm-ravaged bayou.

Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez says the van was discovered in Green's Bayou in northeast Houston.

Gonzalez said the bodies of two adults were found in the front of the van, while the bodies of four children were found in the back.

This is a very bittersweet one: A baby was rescued. But she was rescued clinging to the dead body of her mother.


The floods are causing the volatile compounds at a chemical plant to mix. There have been two explosions so far, and more are coming. A company spokesman called the smoke from the chemical fires "noxious."

"This is not a chemical release. What we have is a fire," Richard Rennard, an executive with Arkema Inc. told reporters near the plant located about 25 miles northeast of Houston.

"Any smoke is going to be an irritant to your eyes, your lungs or potentially your skin," he added, saying the company is encouraging anyone who has been exposed to the smoke to seek medical attention.

...

The plant, in Crosby, lost power Saturday amid Tropical Storm Harvey, leaving it without refrigeration for chemicals that become volatile as temperatures rise. Arkema shut down the plant before Harvey made landfall.

...

Local officials said the blast sparked a 30- to 40-foot flame. People located in a 1.5 mile radius of the plant were evacuated.

Harvey is already causing flooding at the Texas/Louisiana border now. It will turn northeast to rain into the Mississippi and the Ohio River valley.

Jesse Kelly urges good citizens to give to well-behaved charities, noting that the devastation is worse than you probably think. (Though that may have changed -- certainly my eyes have been opened more about how bad it is.)

Below, some good news: The heroes.


From the Morning Briefing, this shotgun-toting former police officer is taking a stand against looters:

Texans jam-pack the highway bringing their smaller boats to Houston to assist in rescue:



Two elderly folks trapped by floodwaters called Chick-Fil-A with an odd request: Two chicken burritos and and an emergency water rescue, if you could.

Chick-Fil-A fulfilled the order.


This couple will not allow themselves to despair:

A compilation of rescues:



And a couple of dog rescues while we're at it:

One more: I'm sure you've seen this, but I have to link this Hero for telling a CNN reporterette, and Jim Acosta and his oddly darkened hair, to F*** off.

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posted by Ace at 12:46 PM

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