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Harvey's aftermath: Thursday blog

Harris County Flood Control officials say the Addicks and Barker reservoirs have crested and levels have started to fall. 

The Coast Guard Gulf Strike Team continues to respond to rescue requests in the greater Houston Metro Area on Aug. 30, 2017. 

As roads are dry out and some flood victims are return to their homes, thousands remain in shelters.

The death toll officially hit 39 on Thursday, with the majority of those lives lost in Harris County. That number will likely rise as the medical examiner's officer says they're investigating whether seven more deaths in Harris County were directly a result of the record-breaking storm. Included in that death toll is a family of six who drowned while trying to escape the flooding.

PREVIOUS: Wednesday live blog

LINK: Live coverage of the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey

Thursday updates:


Texans star JJ Watt set up an online fundraiser to help Houston in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey and so far the fundraiser has raised a staggering $13 million. When he started the fundraiser, he hoped to raise $250,000.

10:05 p.m.

Harris County officials have confirmed the number of deaths in the county as a result of Harvey is at 25. There are an additional 7 deaths the Medical Examiner's office is investigating that may be potentially linked to the storm, but they are awaiting autopsy results to determine the cause and manner of death to confirm if they are indeed related.

8:50 p.m.

8:17 p.m.

Spring Branch ISD schools will reopen on Tuesday, September 5, 2017. Staff is expected to return Tuesday and classes will resume on Wednesday, September 6, 2017.

7:15 p.m.

Katy ISD schools will reopen Monday, September 11, 2017. Staff is expected to return Wednesday, September 6, 2017.

7:12 p.m.

All Deer Park ISD schools will resume on Tuesday, September 5, 2017. (Click here for more details)

7:12 p.m.

KHOU 11 Chief Meteorologist David Paul has a forecast update on Facebook Live.

6:05 p.m.

Solid Waste Management Department is changing the city's normal collection schedule. Neighborhood depositories will be open 7-days a week from 10 a.m. until 7 p.m. until further notice. (Click here for more details)

6:45 p.m.

Space Center Houston will reopen to the public on Saturday, September 2, 2017. It will be open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday through Monday, the Labor Day weekend.

In a show of support, the nonprofit will reduce the admission price during those three days by half to $15 and will donate a third of those admissions to Hurricane Harvey relief efforts. Parking also will be free.

6:32 p.m.

A FedEx Express Relief flight will arrive in Houston on Friday with life-saving supplies for the American Red Cross. The A300 Airbus will leave Memphis and arrive at Bush Airport at 3 p.m. on Friday with 20,000 meal kits (MREs) along with employee relief items, including water, ice and tarps.

5:19 p.m.

President Trump announced he will arrive in Houston on Saturday.

5:17 p.m.

HISD and FBISD announced Thursday that school will resume on Monday, September 11, 2017. (Click here for more details)

5:09 p.m.

METRO will restore more bus service on Friday

Beginning Friday morning, service on half of METRO's local bus routes will be restored. Eighteen additional routes will resume operations along with extension of METRO Rail Red Line service from Fannin South to Burnett Transit Center. Shuttle buses will complete the route for customers between Burnett and North Line Transit Center. Bus shuttles will also be used for the entire length of the Green and Purple Lines. METRO teams are working around the clock to evaluate and restore service to all of the Authority's routes.

4:58 p.m.

The League City curfew has been lifted, officials say.

4:33 p.m.

1:54 p.m.

HISD has announced that the first day of school will be Sept. 11. Staff must return to work Sept. 5.

11:45 a.m.

The city of Friendswood reported two drowning related deaths. One was a 58-year-old Friendswood man whose body was recovered in the 3000 block of West Bay Area Bldvd. The other was an elderly man who had been evacuated from an assited living facility to Friendswood High School. He died as he was being transported to Huntsville.

9:15 a.m.

The city of Dickinson has lifted its mandatory evacuation. The city is urging residents to use good judgment when determining when to return to their homes, as infrastructure remains fragile. The city's dusk to dawn curfew will remain in effect tonight.

8:10 a.m.

Harris County Flood Control officials say the Addicks and Barker reservoirs have crested and levels have started to fall. They don't expect any additional structure flooding. Meanwhile, Buffalo Bayou remained fairly steady overnight and they don't expect the flooding to worsen bu they don't expect that flooding to get any better for some time.

7:05 a.m.

Eight of the 15 people exposed to a 'non-toxic irritant' from fires at the Arkema plant in Crosby have been released from the hospital, according to Sheriff Ed Gonzalez.

6:45 a.m.

Ten Harris County deputies were exposed to a 'non-toxic irritant' after a release of pressure from multiple small containers holding chemicals at the Arkema plant in Crosby.

The incident was first reported by emergency officials as two explosions. Law enforcement later began referring to the situation as containers popping, spewing black smoke, and being on fire.

Assistant Fire Chief Bob Rayall explained in a press briefing that these were expected reactions that would lead to fires burning until the organic peroxide in the containers burned out.

5:50 a.m.

The George R. Brown Convention Center is reporting drastically lower numbers than previous days. Around 2,600 evacuees are still at that shelter, as of Thursday morning. At its peak there were more than 9,000 people seeking shelter there.

5:30 a.m.

Ten Harris County deputies were exposed to a 'non-toxic irritant' after two reported explosions at the Arkema plant in Crosby. Sheriff Ed Gonzalez tweeted that the group were near the facility when the incident occurred around 2 a.m.

5:30 a.m.

Metrorail will be restarting limited service on major routes Thursday, with frequency every thirty minutes.

4:06 a.m.

The Harris County Sheriffs' Office says one of its deputies has been taken to the hospital after inhaling fumes from the explosion at the Arkema chemical plant. Nine others drove themselves to the hospital as a precaution.

3:20 a.m.

Two explosions and black smoke has been reported at the Arkema chemical plant in Crosby. The company had previously said that a fire in the next few days was likely because the refrigeration system for some of their chemicals had failed.

2 a.m.

Authorities have confirmed that a car honking sound heard repeatedly on Memorial Drive in West Houston was the result of a mechanical malfunction involving a car in the area. Police had been hearing car honking coming from a flooded area.

1:30 a.m.

The Fort Bend County of Emergency Management has changed a voluntary evacuation to a mandatory evacuation order for several subdivisions in the Barker reservoir area.

Fort Bend County's unincorporated area is under a curfew from 12:00 a.m. to 6:00 a.m. and officials say it is best not to travel on these roadways until daylight. They are advising residents to make preparations now to remove all persons and pets out of the neighborhoods.

The areas now under mandatory evacuation includes:

CANYON GATE – all sections

CINCO RANCH – following sections: Bayou Park Estates, Cinco Forest, Equestrian Village, Fountain View, Greenway Village, Institutional Core, Southpark Meadow Place, North Lake Village, Plaza Subdivision, West Section 7, Willow Fork

GRAND LAKES – all sections

KELLIWOOD – following sections: Courts, Fairways, Greens, Links, Park, Pointe Terrace


WILLOW FORK – Greens, Section 1

1 a.m.

Rescue crews are searching Memorial on Memorial Drive near Gessner Road in West Houston after police and a KHOU 11 crew heard honking coming from a flooded area. It appeared whoever was honking was trying to communicate with police, who were using a bullhorn to send out messages.

12:55 a.m.

The city of Beaumont's water system has been knocked out by rising floodwaters.

12:05 a.m.

The U.S. Coast Guard says its Flood Punt Teams rescued more than 940 people in the greater Houston Metro Area on Wednesday. In total, the Coast Guard has rescued more than 4,500 people and more than 113 pets in the area.


The cities of Houston, Missouri City, and Bellaire are among those under a curfew from midnight to 5 a.m.

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