Flooding from Tropical Storm Harvey is overburdening resources as authorities in and around Houston scramble to save those trapped by the high waters.
The National Weather Service calls the flooding “unprecedented” and warns things may become more dire if a record-breaking rain total of 50 inches falls on parts of Texas.
“The breadth and intensity of this rainfall are beyond anything experienced before,” the service said.
“Catastrophic flooding is now underway and expected to continue for days.”
Several states and the US military are sending emergency workers and equipment to Texas.
In Harris County, though, authorities are having trouble getting supplies and equipment.
“We’ve requested boats, all the things that would normally happen in a well-planned response to an event like this, but they can’t get here,” Harris County Judge Ed Emmett said.
Houston’s mayor warned the rain could exacerbate flooding for “four to five days,” and Federal Emergency Management Agency Director Brock Long said he expects his agency “is going to be there for years.”
Meanwhile, President Donald Trump plans to travel to Texas on Tuesday, press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said.
The Houston Independent School District has canceled school for the week.
Houston’s William P. Hobby Airport is also closed until Wednesday because of flooding, the Federal Aviation Administration said.
Ben Taub Hospital is being evacuated after flooding in the basement “disrupted the power source,” Emmett said.
Some 316,000 customers have lost electricity, Gov. Greg Abbott said.
The storm has also forced key oil and gas facilities on the US Gulf Coast to close.