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Houston battles unprecedented Harvey floods, Governor Abbott expands disaster declaration

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Staff Writer | August 28, 2017
Houston flood
Weather   The biggest storm in the history of the state of Texas

Houston, Tx. is in the grip of the biggest storm in the history of the state of Texas, officials say.

A record 30in of rain (75cm) has fallen on the city in the wake of Hurricane Harvey, turning roads into rivers.

The area is expected to have received a year's rainfall within a week. Five people are reported dead. Helicopters have plucked victims from rooftops.

With rescue services overstretched as the rain continues, many people are having to fend for themselves.

Harvey made landfall as a category-four hurricane late on Friday. It was later downgraded to a tropical storm.

Up to 2,000 people have been rescued in and around Houston, the fourth-largest city in the U.S., where about 6.6m people live in the metropolitan area.

An inundated care home in Dickinson, about 30 miles (50 km) south east of the city, has now been evacuated by helicopter after an image of several elderly women sitting in a lounge in waist-deep water went viral on social media.

"I, Greg Abbott, Governor of the State of Texas, issued a disaster proclamation on August 23, 2017, certifying that Hurricane Harvey posed a threat of imminent disaster, including severe flooding, storm surge and damaging winds, for Aransas, Atascosa, Austin, Bee, Bexar, Brazoria, Brazos, Caidwell, Calhoun, Cameron, Chambers, Colorado, Comal, DeWitt, Fayette, Fort Bend, Galveston, Goliad, Gonzales, Grimes, Guadalupe, Hardin, Harris, Jackson, Jasper, Jefferson, Jim Wells, Karnes, Kerr, Kleberg, Lavaca, Lee, Leon, Liberty, Live Oak, Madison, Matagorda, Montgomery, Newton, Nueces, Refugio, San Patricio, Tyler, Victoria, Walker, Waller, Washington, Wharton, Willacy and Wilson counties.

"Those same conditions continue to exist in these and other counties in Texas", said the governor.

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