HOUSTON, Texas (WAVY/AP) — Images and videos show the grim scenes brought to Texas by Hurricane Harvey.
The scope of the devastation caused by the hurricane came into sharper focus Wednesday, and the murky green floodwaters from the record-breaking, 4-foot deluge of rain began yielding up more bodies as predicted.
The confirmed death toll climbed to at least 31, including six family members — four of them children — whose bodies were pulled Wednesday from a van that had been swept off a Houston bridge into a bayou.
From space, the International Space Station got a look at Harvey before it made its first landfall.
Shocking video captured by Logan Wheat shows whitecaps and waves rolling across Interstate-10 near Winnie, Texas, almost 20 miles inland.
Wheat was in a small boat searching for cattle to move to higher ground. He says the waves on the interstate were three to four feet high and almost tipped his boat over.
Gadi Schwartz, a correspondent for NBC News, was recording as he and his crew drove through Houston on Tuesday. In a tweet, Schwartz described what he saw as “some really apocalyptic scenes.”
The National Weather Service of Corpus Christi sent a damage survey team out Wednesday. In Rockport, the crew captured video of “a small fraction of the immense damage from Hurricane Harvey.”
The National Weather Service of San Antonio shared aerial footage from the Fayette County Office of Emergency Management, which showed massive river flooding near La Grange on Monday.
In Orange, Texas, about 30 miles east of Beaumont, residents of a retirement home surrounded by thigh-deep water were rescued by National Guardsmen and wildlife officers, who carried them from the second floor and put them aboard an airboat.
Altogether, more than 1,000 homes in Texas were destroyed and close to 50,000 damaged, and over 32,000 people were in shelters across the state, emergency officials reported. About 10,000 more National Guard troops are being deployed to Texas, bringing the total to 24,000, Gov. Greg Abbott said.
Confirmed deaths from the storm include a married couple who drowned after their pickup truck was swept away while they were on the phone with a 911 dispatcher asking for help, officials said.
Others among the dead include a woman whose body was discovered floating in Beaumont, a man who tried to swim across a flooded road, and a woman who died after she and her young daughter were swept into a drainage canal in Beaumont. The child was rescued clinging to her dead mother, authorities said.
Forecasters downgraded Harvey to a tropical depression late Wednesday from a tropical storm but it still has lots of rain and potential damage to spread, with 4 to 8 inches forecast from the Louisiana-Texas line into Tennessee and Kentucky through Friday. Some spots may get as much as a foot, raising the risk of more flooding.
Harvey initially came ashore as a Category 4 hurricane in Texas on Friday, then went back out to sea and lingered off the coast as a tropical storm for days, inundating flood-prone Houston.
Harvey’s five straight days of rain totaled close to 52 inches, the heaviest tropical downpour ever recorded in the continental U.S.