National Hurricane Center: Harvey “slight re-strengthening” possible

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TEXAS - The National Hurricane Center is offering no promises of relief from the epic rains unleashed on Southeast Texas by Tropical Storm Harvey.

In its 7 p.m. CDT advisory, center forecasters located the center of the storm 10 miles northeast of Victoria, Texas, or about 120 miles southwest of Houston. That center was inching to the southeast at 3 mph  with sustained winds of up to 40 mph.

The forecasters said "little change in strength is forecast during the next 24 hours." In fact, "some slight re-strengthening is possible after the center moves off the coast on Monday night and Tuesday."

The storm is expected to rain an additional 15 to 25 inches through Friday over the upper Texas Gulf coast and into southwestern Louisiana. Isolated storm totals may reach 50 inches over that area, including the Houston-Galveston area.

6,000 calls for rescue

Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner said that as of 5 p.m. on Sunday, Houston police and fire departments had received nearly 6,000 calls for rescues and had rescued more than 1,000 people. Many of these rescues were of people trapped on their roofs or in their attics.

Turner said that so far only one fatality has been confirmed — a woman who died Saturday evening after getting out of her car when it drove into a flooded street.

Turner said 22 aircrafts were working to help identify people stranded on roofs. Sixteen of those aircrafts are from U.S. Coast Guard.

In addition, 35 boats and 93 dump trucks were being used by the city for high water rescues.

The mayor also defended his decision not to order an evacuation.

"The decision that we made was a smart one. It was in the best interest of Houstonians. It was the right decision in terms of their safety... absolutely no regrets. We did what was the right thing to do," Turner said.

US Army Corps of Engineers to open dams

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers plans to begin releasing water into Buffalo Bayou from two flood-control dams on the western outskirts of the city.

Col. Lars Zetterstrom is commander of the Galveston District of the Corps of Engineers. He says water will be released from the Barker Reservoir and Addicks Reservoir very slowly on Monday morning to prevent uncontrollable flooding of downtown Houston and the Houston Ship Channel.

Downtown Houston is 17 miles  downstream from the dams, which were built during the 1940s in response to a 1935 flood that inundated much of downtown area.

Zetterstrom says the water contained by the dams is "unparalleled in the dams' history." The waters are rising about 4 inches per hour.

Zetterstrom says the dams will impound water for one to three months as water is gradually released. He adds that some neighborhoods on the fringes of the reservoir are likely to see some floods.

Dallas to open convention center

Officials in Dallas say they'll open the city's convention center to about 5,000 people who are fleeing from the hurricane-ravaged southern part of the state.

Officials say the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center will open to evacuees on Tuesday morning. Dallas has three shelters currently open for evacuees, but the convention center will serve as a "mega shelter."

City Office of Emergency Management Director Rocky Vaz says the state made a formal request to open the convention center, which should be ready by early Tuesday morning.

The city, Red Cross, Dallas County, Parkland Hospital, the Salvation Army, Children's Hospital and other volunteer groups are coordinating the logistics of getting the shelter ready.

The city opened a third smaller shelter about 4:30 p.m. Sunday. About 415 evacuees are staying at the two other shelters, where they will remain for the time being


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