Louisiana braced for floods as Storm Harvey makes landfall for second time

Tropical Storm Harvey has made landfall for a second time, bringing heavy rain to Louisiana after causing catastrophic flooding in Texas.

The storm has killed at least 18 people and forced tens of thousands to leave their deluged homes in Houston and other parts of Texas.

Although the weather system has weakened considerably, the National Hurricane Centre has warned “flooding rains” will drench southwestern parts of Louisiana.

It is bringing maximum sustained winds of 45mph to the state.

The latest forecast brings much-needed respite for the city of Houston, with less than 2.5cm of rain and potentially some sunshine expected on Wednesday.

The National Weather Service says Harvey is 'going to pick up the pace and get out of here'
Image: Forecasters say Harvey is ‘going to pick up the pace and get out of here’

But the danger in Texas is far from over, with people in the city of Port Arthur struggling to evacuate their homes as floodwaters rise.

Local officials are struggling to get to the scene to offer assistance, and residents have been urged to get to higher ground in the meantime.

Port Arthur mayor Derrick Freeman said: “The city is underwater right now but we are coming!”

After making its way through Louisiana, Harvey is expected to take its downpours northwards – with Arkansas, Tennessee and parts of Missouri on alert for floods in the coming days.

  1. A car dealership near Houston swamped by the floods
  2. Mark Ocosta feeds his baby son Aubrey at a shelter in Houston
    Tens of thousands of people have fled deluged homes after Storm Harvey caused catastrophic flooding
  3. Evacuees taking shelter at the George R. Brown Convention Center  in Houston
  4. Sorting donated emergency supplies at the temporary shelter in Houston
  5. An elderly woman and her granddaughter are evacuated from the Clodine district of Houston
  6. A car dealership near Houston swamped by the floods
  7. Mark Ocosta feeds his baby son Aubrey at a shelter in Houston

Donald Jones, a forecaster with the National Weather Service, said: “We aren’t going to be dealing with it for too much longer. It’s going to pick up the pace and get out of here.”

Nearly a third of Harris County, home to Houston, is currently underwater – an area 15 times the size of Manhattan.

President Donald Trump visited the affected area on Tuesday, telling rescue organisers: “This was of epic proportion, nobody has ever seen anything like this.”

:: Special report: Houston under water

US President Donald Trump delivers a pep talk to the flood affected people of Texas

Video: ‘Texas can handle anything’

Local officials say it may take days for all of the floodwaters here to recede, amid concerns that the number of known fatalities could begin to soar.

The 18 confirmed dead so far include a former football coach who was helping to rescue people trapped in high water.

Meanwhile, tributes have been paid to a Houston police sergeant who drowned as he attempted to drive to work on Sunday.

And in Beaumont, a city northeast of Houston, a woman clutching her baby daughter was swept into a rain-swollen drainage canal. Police say the baby was saved but the mother died.

According to local media reports, four volunteer rescuers are also missing after their boat was swept away by a fast-moving current.

One couple, along with their cat, are ferried to safety by a neighbour and his boat

Video: Rescues continue in flood-hit Texas

Houston is America’s fourth-largest city, and officials are now preparing to temporarily house an estimated 19,000 people. Thousands more are expected to flee.

At least 50,000 homes are known to have suffered flood damage, and this number is certain to rise.

Analysts are predicting the economic cost of Harvey could reach $75bn (£38bn) in southeast Texas alone.

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