HOUSTON â Five days after the pummeling began â a time when big storms have usually blown through, the sun has come out, and evacuees have returned home â Tropical Storm Harvey refused to go away, battering southeast Texas even more on Tuesday, spreading the destruction into Louisiana and shattering records for rainfall and flooding.
Along 300 miles of Gulf Coast, people poured into shelters by the thousands, straining their capacity; as heavy rain kept falling, some rivers were still rising and floodwater in some areas had not crested yet; and with whole neighborhoods flooded, others were covered in water for the first time.
Officials cautioned that the full-fledged rescue-and-escape phase of the crisis, usually finished by now, would continue, and that they still had no way to gauge the scale of the catastrophe â how many dead, how many survivors taking shelter inland or still hunkered down in flooded communities, and how many homes destroyed.
For everybody, it was another head-shaking 24 hours:
â¢ The storm made its second landfall early Wednesday morning in Louisiana, just west of the town of Cameron, the National Hurricane Center announced at 4 a.m. As Harvey moves northeast through the state scarred by Hurricane Katrina in 2005, forecasters expect it to gradually weaken and become a tropical depression by Wednesday night.
â¢ Local officials in Texas said at least 30 deaths were believed to have been caused by the storm through Tuesday, up from eight a day earlier. The dead included a Houston police officer, Sgt. Steve Perez, 60, who was caught in flooding on Sunday while trying to report for duty. âI expect that number to be significantly higher once the roads become passable,â said Erin Barnhart, the chief medical examiner for Galveston County.
â¢ The city of Houston imposed a curfew from midnight to 5 a.m., starting Tuesday night and continuing until further notice. The curfew was requested by the Houston…