HOUSTON, Texas — Residents of Houston, Texas, woke Sunday to flooded streets and homes, submerged cars and news of high water rescues after Harvey dumped between 15 and 30 inches of rain on the city overnight. The National Weather Service predicted that the city could see as much as 50 inches of rain.
More than 1,000 people had to be rescued overnight, according to Jeff Lindner, a meteorologist with the Harris County Flood Control District.
And the calls didn’t show any sign of stopping.
Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner said in a press conference Sunday morning that there had been more than 2,000 calls to 911 for rescue.
First responders were reportedly inundated with pleas for help while officials asked them to stay put and take shelter so they could focus on helping people in life-threatening situations.
“I just woke up an hour ago and stepped out of the bed into ankle-deep water,” said Jake Lewis, who was visiting Houston for work and found himself stranded in a hotel Sunday morning.
“I’m not going to go out there and get in a bind,” he told CNN. “It’s been madness around here. The water keeps rising.”
Forecasts predict the rain will continue through at least Wednesday as Harvey lingers over southeast Texas, raising the threat of devastating flooding.
Ify Echetebu took to Instagram to post photos of her aunt’s house in Dickinson, Texas, southeast of Houston.
“The severity of the situation just hit me,” she wrote. “I’m overcome with grief due to how helpless I feel in all of this. This is truly devastating.”
The water had risen to her waist, she said.
“National Guard is only responding to emergencies and 911 said do not call them.”
‘I’m getting scared’
Darakniqueca La’Shay Burns took to Facebook Live to show how she and her family were stranded inside their flooded home.
Their belongings are piled high on furniture and countertops as the water rises, filled with floating debris.
Burns and her family said they’re trying to keep a positive attitude.
“I’m trying to laugh to keep from crying,” she said. “I don’t even know if we can get out the door it’s so high. We laughing and playing, but for real, it’s getting too high and I’m getting scared.”
The family was able to escape the home and wade through the water to safety, Burns said. She told CNN that she and her child had nowhere to go, but she was grateful they were able to get out.
Houston ‘completely under water’
Rey Güatzin told CNN the water in his home was rising throughout the night.
“We have about five inches of rain inside the house, and we live at the highest point of the street,” the 28-year-old said. “However, outside it’s about two to three feet of rain, perhaps more as rain is continuing throughout the day.”
“It’s scary,” Güatzin said. “I’ve been through many storms in my city, but it has never been this terrible. The city is completely under water.”
The water is still rising
Janet Castillo and her family found themselves walking through knee-deep water Sunday morning. Her husband Luis posted a video to Facebook of the water collecting in their home.
“Send some boats over here,” he can be heard saying in the video.
“We are still stranded in our home with little kids, and the water keeps rising,” Janet Castillo told CNN. “We have called already to several numbers, but no luck.”
The lines were all busy and phone operators didn’t answer, she said.