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Two dead, at least 30 unaccounted for as Harvey slams Texas

13:05, Sunday, 27 August, 2017
Two dead, at least 30 unaccounted for as Harvey slams Texas

As residents of the Texas Gulf Coast braced for days of "catastrophic" flooding from a weakened tropical storm Harvey, a law enforcement official confirmed the state's first fatality, a man trapped in his burning house during the height of the hurricane.

Late Saturday, a Houston official confirmed a death there due to flooding.

Aransas County Sheriff Bill Mills said that county's fatality was discovered Saturday in his home, which was destroyed by a fire as the Category 4 hurricane churned through the county.

The hurricane's toll may take time to determine, as Mills said 30 to 40 people remained unaccounted for as of Saturday evening. About 30 people were being treated for injuries in the county.

In Houston and Harris County, highways and major streets were starting to flood as up to 6 inches of rain fell on the city within three hours Saturday night.

The National Weather Service issued a Flash Flood Emergency for the Harris County area until after midnight.

     Officials are urging people to stay off of the roads. The weather service said it has received multiple reports of water rescues in Harris County and nearby areas.

Two Aransas County municipalities, Rockport, with a population of 10,000, and nearby Port Aransas, took the brunt of the storm as it slammed into the coast late Friday.

At least 10 injuries were reported from collapsed roofs in Rockport, which is 25 miles northeast of Corpus Christi.

Nearby Port Aransas, with a population of 4,000, was particularly vulnerable perched on a narrow strip of Mustang Island, which sits at the entrance to Corpus Christi Bay. It registered the strongest wind guThe two towns, like dozens over others in the area, reported widespread damage as emergency teams searched for any survivors trapped in low-lying areas or collapsed buildings.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Saturday tweeted a "geocolor loop" of the hurricane's movement Friday and Saturday, illustrating the size of the storm. As of 10 p.m. CT, the National Hurricane Center reported that Harvey was centered 75 miles east-southeast of San Antonio. The storm was drifting east-northeast at 1 mph, and maximum sustained winds had dropped to 50 mph, with higher gusts.

On Saturday, officials throughout the region prepared for flooding. In the afternoon, the mayor of Rosenberg, a city about 35 miles southwest of Houston, ordered a mandatory evacuation for parts of the city due to potential flooding of the Brazos River, which hit a record high.

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