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Houston "not out of the woods yet" as Harvey rainfall persists -- live updates

Houston recovery
Death toll rises as waters recede in Houston 02:14

HOUSTON -- The remnants of Hurricane Harvey continued dumping historic levels of rainfall on the Houston area Monday morning as devastating floods swamped the nation's fourth-largest city. Rising water chased thousands of people to rooftops or higher ground and overwhelmed rescuers who could not keep up with the constant calls for help.

The National Weather Service says flooding isn't expected to peak until Wednesday or Thursday.

"We are not out of the woods yet," Elaine Duke, Acting Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, said at a Monday morning briefing. "Harvey is still a dangerous and historic storm."

The incessant rain covered much of Houston in gray-green floodwaters and turned streets into rivers navigable only by boat. In a rescue effort that recalled the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, helicopters landed near flooded freeways, airboats buzzed across submerged neighborhoods and high-water vehicles plowed through water-logged intersections. Some people managed with kayaks or canoes or swam.

Volunteers joined emergency teams to pull people from their homes or from the water, which was high enough in places to gush into second floors. The flooding from Harvey, which made landfall late Friday as a Category 4 hurricane and has lingered dropping heavy rain as a tropical storm, was so widespread that authorities had trouble pinpointing the worst areas. They urged people to get on top of their houses to avoid becoming trapped in attics and to wave sheets or towels to draw attention to their location.

Rescuers had to give top priority to life-and-death situations, leaving many affected families to fend for themselves. And several hospitals in the Houston area were evacuated due to the rising waters.

A view of Tropical Storm Harvey on Sun., Aug. 27, 2017. CBS News

Judging from federal disaster declarations, the storm has so far affected about a quarter of the Texas population, or 6.8 million people in 18 counties. It was blamed for at least two deaths.

As the water rose, the National Weather Service issued another ominous forecast: Before the storm is gone, some parts of Houston and its suburbs could get as much as 50 inches of rain. That would be the highest amount ever recorded in Texas.

"The breadth and intensity of this rainfall is beyond anything experienced before," the National Weather Service said in a statement.

The director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), Brock Long, predicted that the aftermath of the storm would require FEMA's involvement for years. "This disaster's going to be a landmark event," Long said.

Follow along below for live updates on the storm. All times are Eastern unless otherwise noted.

8:40 a.m.: President Trump approves Louisiana emergency declaration

A statement from the White House Monday said President Donald Trump has declared an emergency in Louisiana, authorizing federal assistance for Harvey relief efforts in the state.

The statement said the Department of Homeland Security and FEMA would coordinate disaster relief efforts "to save lives and to protect property and public health and safety, and to lessen or avert the threat of a catastrophe in the parishes of Beauregard, Calcasieu, Cameron, Jefferson Davis, and Vermillion."

7:30 a.m.: 30,000 people expected in emergency shelters

In a Monday morning briefing, FEMA Administrator Brock Long said officials are expecting 30,000 people in emergency shelters. As many as 50 counties are feeling the impact of the storm.

Calling Harvey a "landmark event," Long said "you could not dream this forecast up."  

When it comes to the emergency response and evacuations, Long said he believes local, state and federal agencies thus far have operated with the "best information that they had at the time." More widespread evacuations would have been "difficult" given the time frame, putting people at risk of becoming trapped in long lines of vehicles trying to escape rising floodwaters, which would have been worse than the shelter-in-place scenario playing out now.

"All disasters begin and end at the local level," he added. "All evacuation decisions are made at the local level in Texas." 

"We are not out of the woods yet," said Elaine Duke, Acting Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security. "Harvey is still a dangerous and historic storm."

Duke said emergency officials are currently focused on rescue efforts and plan to move into recovery mode later this week.

For now, she urged local residents to avoid calling 911 unless they were in need of urgent, immediate medical assistance. 

Duke said she will accompany President Trump as he visits Houston on Tuesday.

According to the latest forecast from the National Weather Service, the storm is expected to dump another 15 to 20 inches of additional rainfall on the region before it's over.

Long encouraged Americans who want to help storm victims to go to the website to connect with National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster, which is coordinating donations and volunteers.

Those in need of assistance should visit if they have internet access or call 1-800-621-FEMA.

6:50 a.m.: Louisiana seeks emergency declaration

Louisiana's governor is asking President Trump for a federal emergency declaration for Louisiana since forecasters expect Harvey to cause significant damage in the state.

Gov. John Bel Edwards said he sent a letter to the White House requesting the initial disaster declaration for five parishes in southwest Louisiana, and could add more areas to the request later.

Edwards said life-saving efforts such as search and rescue and shelters will be needed, especially in southwest Louisiana where forecasters say 10 to 20 inches of rain could fall.

5:15 a.m.: Harvey almost standing still

Harvey continues to head back toward the Gulf of Mexico at a slow pace.

The National Hurricane Center said in its 4 a.m. CDT update that the tropical storm still has sustained winds of up to 40 mph and is centered 20 miles east of Victoria, Texas, about 120 miles southwest of Houston. It continues to creep to the southeast at 3 mph.

That means it remains virtually stalled near the coast and continues to drop heavy rain on the Houston and Galveston areas. In the past 48 hours, numerous spots in the region have measured more than 25 inches of rain.

The hurricane center says Harvey's center was expected to drift off the middle Texas coast Monday and meander offshore through Tuesday before beginning "a slow northeastward motion."

The center says people in the upper Texas coast and in southwestern Louisiana should continue to monitor Harvey's progress.

3:38 a.m. Dealing with rescue requests

Houston officials continue to urge people to shelter in place and stay off flooded roadways as Harvey continues to batter the nation's fourth-largest city.

Public Information Officer Keith Smith also says Sunday that rescue efforts continue and now are focused on those who feel trapped inside a home or building.

Smith says the city's 911 emergency response system has been challenged by sharply increased call volumes since the tropical storm made landfall late Friday.

4:37 a.m.  Power outages grow

Some 269,000 homes and businesses were in the dark in Southest Texas early Monday due to Harvey,  utilities reported.

3:25 a.m. Evacuees sheltered  in convention center

Hundreds of people affected by devastating flooding in Houston have flocked to a downtown showcase convention center-turned-emergency shelter. Many arrived Sunday carrying little more than what was in their pockets. Most are preparing for a stay of several days, as water rises inside their homes and roads remain impassable.

he American Red Cross was expanding the shelter by the hour. Volunteers initially set out around 1,300 cots and quickly assembled more in anticipation of other evacuees arriving through the night. They have enough space and cots to house 5,000 people.

3:20 a.m. Post Office pulls back in Houston

2:15 a.m.: Reservior water releases

Residents living around the Addicks and Barker reservoirs designed to help prevent flooding in downtown Houston, were warned Sunday that a controlled release from both reservoirs would cause additional street flooding and could spill into homes. Rising water levels and continuing rain was putting pressure on the dams that could cause a failure without the release.

Harris and Fort Bend county officials said Sunday that residents around certain areas should be prepared for the influx of water that was scheduled to happen at Addicks around 2 a.m. local time Monday and a day later at Barker. Officials warned residents they should pack their cars Sunday night and wait for daylight Monday to leave.

Thousands of homes could be affected by the releases, CBS Houston affiliate KHOU-TV reports.

2:45 a.m. Evacuations ordered outside Houston

Meanwhile, officials in Fort Bend County, Houston's southwestern suburbs, late Sunday issued widespread mandatory evacuation orders along the Brazos River levee districts. County officials were preparing for the river to reach major flood stages late Sunday. County Judge Robert Herbert said at a news conference that National Weather Service officials were predicting that the water could rise to 59 feet, three feet above 2016 records and what Herbert called an "800-year flood level." Herbert said that amount of water would top the levees and carries a threat of levee failure.

12:15 a.m. More National Guard members

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott says another 1,000 National Guard members will be sent to Houston on Monday as flooding from Harvey continues to ravage the area. The governor announced the move late Sunday on his personal Twitter account. 

Earlier Sunday, Abbott said the state activated 3,000 National Guard and State Guard members as a result of the storm damage. He also said 500 vehicles and 14 aircraft had been put into service.

11:50 p.m.: Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund

Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner established the Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund that will accept tax deductible flood relief donations.

"We are getting calls from across the country and right here in our hometown, and the generosity of people who understand this disaster is truly amazing," Mayor Turner said. "Together we can make a difference to those who will need extensive help to get back on their feet once this storm is over."

Here are ways to donate:

Online Credit Card Donations: Visit Online credit card donations will be assessed a small fee, typically 3 percent, by the credit card companies. Donors have the option of increasing their credit card donations to cover this fee.
Checks/Money Orders: Mail to Greater Houston Community Foundation, 5120 Woodway Drive, Suite 6000, Houston, TX 77056.
Transfer Cash by Wire: Wire To:

JP Morgan Chase Bank, N.A.
Houston, TX
ABA # 021000021
For credit to: Greater Houston Community Foundation
A/C#: 849170287
For further credit to: Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund

11:25 p.m.: Tropical Storm Harvey virtually stalled

Tropical Storm Harvey continues to head back toward the Gulf of Mexico at a slow pace.

In its 10 p.m. CDT advisory, the National Hurricane Center reports the storm still has sustained winds of up to 40 mph and is centered 20 miles east of Victoria, Texas, about 120 miles southwest of Houston. It continues to creep to the east-southeast at 3 mph.

That means it remains virtually stalled near the coast and continues to drop heavy rain on the Houston and Galveston areas. In the past 48 hours, numerous spots in the region have measured more than 25 inches of rainfall.

The hurricane center says Harvey's center was expected to drift off the middle Texas coast on Monday and meander offshore through Tuesday before beginning "a slow northeastward motion."

10:55 p.m.: Beware of online scam

A scam targeting victims of Tropical Storm Harvey posted on various social media sites has gone viral, CBS affiliate KENS-TV reports.

The station adds that the post reads, "The National Guard is being deployed to our Texas area. If you find yourself in a state of emergency. Call 1-800-527-3907. Please copy, paste or share!!!!!!!!!"

If you see this do not share, KENS-TV writes. The number belongs to an insurance group and not the National Guard. If you are in danger and call this number you will not be rescued.

Officials say to call 911 if there is an immediate threat or 311 if you need help relocating from your home, but not in immediate danger.

10:20 p.m.: U.S. Coast Guard response to Harvey

Officials from the Coast Guard said that 19 helicopters have been deployed, 250 people have been rescued.

They say that rescues have been done from bridges, rooftops, attics and they will continue to respond to calls.

The Coast Guard says they assess each call of distress and that those in medical need take priority, according to Adm. Karl Schultz during a late Sunday press update.

9:10 p.m.: U.S. Coast Guard releases video of rescues

The United States Coast Guard posted video online that showed various rescues Sunday from the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey.

The clip shows a Coast Guard member airlifting various people (including a dog) into one of their aircraft.

Take a look below:

More video from the U.S. Coast Guard has been released showing rescues from their helicopter. A Coast Guard MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew from Air Station Houston rescued five people from floodwaters in a southeastern Houston neighborhood Sunday:

8:20 p.m.: Dramatic rescues in Dickinson, Texas

Several dramatic rescues in Dickinson, Texas 01:22

CBS News' DeMarco Morgan is in Dickinson, Texas, where he met one family who was rescued by boat. They live in a two-story home and one of the homeowners said the water level was up to her chest. She said all the furniture was just floating on the first floor as the family took refuge in the second story.

On Sunday, videos emerged showing dramatic rescues by the coast guard. A number of rescues by boat took place, but Morgan reports there are still many people unaccounted for.

8:20 p.m.: Houston mayor says over 1,000 rescued

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.

8:15 p.m.: U.S. Army Corps to open dams to stem Houston flooding

"Catastrophic flooding" from Hurricane Harvey 04:22

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.

8:00 p.m.: 800 to 1,200 rescued in Galveston County

A Galveston County official says Harvey has caused unprecedented flooding and 800 to 1,200 residents have had to be rescued.

Galveston County Judge Mark Henry said Sunday that about 22 inches of rain has fallen on the coastal county so far with another 10 to 15 inches still expected.

The area hardest-hit by floods has been Dickinson, a low-lying city of about 20,000 residents along Dickinson Bayou, where crews had to lead to safety 19 residents and five staff members from an assisted-living center flooded with waist-deep water.

Henry says about 90 percent of the county's rescue calls have come from Dickinson. An appeal had been made through social media for assistance by private boat owners and their vessels, and 25 to 35 owners responded.

Henry is appealing for volunteers to help staff rescue shelters and see to the needs of the 2,000 to 10,000 people that have sheltered in them.
He says he appealed for state and federal help mid-morning Sunday, adding "we have gotten some help, but we still need more."

7:30 p.m.: Nursing home residents evacuated

Residents of a nursing home in Dickinson, Texas, were evacuated Sunday after a viral image showed them sitting in waist-deep flood waters.

Eighteen people were rescued, including 15 seniors, from the La Vita Bella living facility, a city official told The Galveston County Daily News.

"We were airlifting grandmothers and grandfathers," David Popoff of Dickinson County Emergency Management told The Daily News, who showed him the viral image. "These people have been evacuated."

7:20 p.m.: Obama thanks first responders

Former President Barack Obama thanked first responders in Houston as the city was slammed with flood water Sunday. Mr. Obama tweeted a link to the American Red Cross, saying, "Here's one way you can help now."

6:55 p.m.: Houston Texans, Astros and Texas Rangers adjust travel plans

The Houston Astros and Texas Rangers won't travel to Houston as planned after their games Sunday in California because of torrential floodwaters that have engulfed the city.

The Rangers had been scheduled to head to Houston after playing Oakland to await the start of a three-game series with the Astros beginning Tuesday. Instead, they'll return to Dallas to await word on its status. The Astros are in Anaheim and also will fly to Dallas while a decision is made on when and where the series will be played.

The NFL's Houston Texans flew to Dallas after their preseason game Saturday in New Orleans instead of returning home and have said they'll stay there until conditions improve enough for them to come back to Houston. They'll practice at the suburban practice facility of the Cowboys on Monday and said they will provide details on their schedule for the rest of the week later.

6:48 p.m.: Woman with heart problems makes it to safety

Patricia Cain entered the George R. Brown Convention Center barefoot and carrying two oxygen tanks. The first was empty. The second was given to her by the Houston Fire Department after the U.S. Coast Guard rescued her from her home.

She suffers from congestive heart failure - when the heart's pumping power is weaker than normal - and other illnesses. Her son, William, and 9-year-old grandson were waiting for her inside. Both were barefoot as well.

William Cain says the water outside their home was in some spots several feet high. He says, "I live in a lake where there was once dry land." Water had started to come into their apartment, and they had already lost power.

Asked if he wishes he'd have evacuated, Cain laughed and walked away. He said: "That's a no-brainer, brother."

The city of Houston opened the convention center Sunday to people fleeing the flooding from Tropical Storm Harvey.

6:38 p.m.: Dallas opens "mega shelter" for evacuees

Dallas officials say they'll open the city's convention center to about 5,000 people who are fleeing the southern part of the state.

Officials say the Kay Bailey Hutchinson 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.

6:00 p.m.: Houston schools close

The Houston Independent School District announced Sunday that all schools will be closed from Monday, August 28 through Friday, September 1, due to damage from Tropical Storm Harvey. The district said in a statement that schools and offices are expected to reopen on Tuesday, Sept. 5.

"Many in our HISD family will be dealing with the task of cleaning up the damage Harvey left behind. As a result, all HISD schools and district administrative offices will be closed all week."

5:20 p.m.: Hospital patients evacuated

The evacuation of Houston's main public hospital hasn't begun yet because it is surrounded by waist-deep water as a result of Tropical Storm Harvey.

Bryan McLeod, a spokesman for Harris Health System, said Sunday that minor flooding in the basement of Ben Taub Hospital and a busted sewer pipe forced officials to close the kitchen.

McLeod says the flooding resulted in only a small amount of water in the basement and did not affect the hospital's power supply. But shutting down the kitchen leaves the hospital with a limited supply of dry food for patients.

McLeod says the evacuations won't start until the water recedes from around the facility and will likely take several days. The hospital is part of the Texas Medical Center, and has 350 patients.

5 p.m.: Sinkhole opens on Texas highway

Police say a sinkhole has opened on a Texas highway about 25 miles southwest of Houston as Tropical Storm Harvey dumps more rain on the region.

Rosenberg police on Sunday tweeted a photo of the gaping hole that spread across more than half of a two-lane highway -- Farm-to-Market 762.

Water could be seen filling the sinkhole as pieces of highway asphalt hung from the edge of the damaged roadway.

Rosenberg police did not immediately provide additional details on the sinkhole, other than urging drivers to avoid the area.

4:40 p.m.: FAA: Don't fly drones in Harvey aftermath

The Federal Aviation Administration is asking people not to fly drones over areas affected by Tropical Storm Harvey.

"The FAA warns unauthorized drone operators that they may be subject to significant fines if they interfere with emergency response operations," the FAA said in a statement.

It warned that flying drones without authorization may violate federal, state, or local laws and ordinances. "Allow first responders to save lives and property without interference," the FAA said in a statement.

4:30 p.m.: Trump to visit Texas on Tuesday

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said President Trump will travel to Texas on Tuesday.

"We are coordinating logistics with state and local officials, and once details are finalized, we will let you know. We continue to keep all of those affected in our thoughts and prayers," Sanders said in a statement.

4 p.m.: Houston TV station evacuated amid flooding

Staff at CBS affiliate KHOU-TV, broadcasting live coverage of the floods, had to evacuate after water started to gush into the building. The anchors and news operations at the station moved first to a second floor before finally abandoning the station.

Rainfall totals climbed by the hour. Since Thursday, South Houston had received nearly 25 inches and the suburbs of Santa Fe and Dayton got 27 inches.

3:39 p.m.: Social media posts give glimpses of flooding

Videos posted online Sunday showed flooding that resulted from Harvey after it dumped massive amounts of rain on southeast Texas.

Josh Chaplin, a reporter with CBS affiliate KHOU, shared video of flood waters near Houston's Galleria shopping mall.

3:00 p.m.: 3,000 national and state guard members activated

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said in a news conference Sunday that 3,000 national and state guard members were activated as a result of Tropical Storm Harvey. He said there are now 250 highway closures across the state.

Abbott said that helicopters and additional resources have been provided by Nebraska, Tennessee, Utah, California, Missouri, Ohio, Arizona and New York, in addition to the federal government.

Regional distribution centers would be set up Monday for food distribution purposes in Rockport, Port Aransas, Aransas Pass, Ingleside and Portland.

2:45 p.m.: Officials ask public to volunteer boats for rescue efforts

Harris County officials are asking the public to volunteer high-water vehicles and boats to help rescue efforts in the area.

"Do you have a HIGH WATER VEHICLE or BOAT and helping rescue in your community? Call us to coordinate: 713-881-3100. Ask for Fire Marshal," officials wrote on Twitter.

2:00 p.m.: NWS issues tornado watch and warnings

The National Weather Service in Houston issued a tornado watch for parts of Texas and Louisiana. It said the watch is valid until 2 a.m. CT Monday. The alert warned of possible tornadoes, marble-sized hail and isolated winds up to 60 mph.

The agency has also been tweeting a series of tornado warnings for locations in Texas, including Humble, Moonshine Hill and Kingwood, among other areas.

1:14 p.m.: NWS says Texas could see record-breaking rainfall

The National Weather Service said some parts of Houston and areas just west of the city could get 50 inches of rain as Tropical Storm Harvey stalls over the state. It would be the highest ever recorded in Texas.

NWS meteorologist Patrick Burke said rainfall totals will end up around 40 inches or more for Houston on average, but some isolated spots will see 50 inches or more.

"We're in kind of unprecedented territory with this storm," Burke said.

The NWS says in a statement that "the breadth and intensity of this rainfall is beyond anything experienced before and is resulting in catastrophic flooding."

Rainfall totals since Thursday evening have reached about 25 inches in south Houston. In Dayton, located 38 miles northeast of Houston, rainfall has already reached 27 inches.

12:53 p.m.: National Weather Service calls Harvey event "unprecedented"

"This event is unprecedented & all impacts are unknown & beyond anything experienced," the National Weather Service tweeted Sunday. "Follow orders from officials to ensure safety."

12:45 p.m.: Commercials flights halted at Houston airports

Commercial operations have ceased at both George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH) and William P. Hobby Airport (HOU) in Houston until further notice "due to severe weather," an alert said Sunday. "No inbound or outbound flights from either airport at this time. For flight details, rescheduling and waivers, please contact your air carrier."

12:29 p.m.: Houston responds to thousands of emergency calls

Houston Fire Chief Samuel Pena said that since midnight his agency has responded to more than 2,500 emergency calls and another 1,000 calls were waiting to be serviced.

Pena said his agency has made more than 250 water rescues, all of them people in vehicles, during a three-hour period overnight.

Houston Assistant Police Chief Larry Satterwhite said there has been an increase in calls from residents with flooded homes in the city's northeast, southeast and southwest sections.

11:15 a.m.: "We are working on as many water rescues as we possibly can," Texas governor says

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said "our first and foremost focus at this particular time is saving lives."

"And so we are working on as many water rescues as we possibly can and trying to find ways to get people out of harm's way," Abbott said on "Face the Nation" Sunday, as catastrophic flooding hit Houston.

Abbott also applauded the efforts of the Trump administration.

"We're very appreciative of our fellow states as well as what the federal government has done," Abbott said. "I gotta tell you the Trump administration has provided us everything that we need."

10:10 a.m.: Trump tweets about Texas visit

President Donald Trump said in a tweet he will travel to Texas "as soon as that trip can be made without causing disruption." He added: "The focus must be life and safety." 

Mr. Trump has sent a flurry of tweets about the powerful storm, and has complimented the government's response to it so far.

"Great coordination between agencies at all levels of government," he tweeted Sunday morning. "Continuing rains and flash floods are being dealt with. Thousands rescued."

The U.S. Coast Guard says it has received more than 300 requests for urban search and rescue in the Houston area amid flooding from Harvey. The Coast Guard has five helicopters working the emergency calls and is asking for additional helicopters from New Orleans to help.

8:30 a.m.: Flooding in Houston area "expected to worsen"

In Houston, authorities were pleading with people not to leave their homes as a flood emergency was declared.

The National Weather Service Houston/Galveston said Emergency Management officials are requesting that people get on the roof of their home if the highest floor becomes dangerous.

The National Weather Service said catastrophic flooding in the Houston metropolitan area "is expected to worsen and could become historic in association with Harvey."

8:00 a.m.: "Catastrophic flooding"

Harvey continues to cause "catastrophic flooding in southeastern Texas," the National Hurricane Center says.

One person was killed in Aransas County when in a fire at home during the storm, county Judge C.H. "Burt" Mills Jr. said. A second person died in flooding in Harris County, where Houston is located.

About 300,000 customers were without power statewide. Gov. Greg Abbott said it would probably be several days before electricity is restored.

3:35 a.m.: Houston rainfall totals eclipse 500-year rain level mark

Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez tweeted that the rainfall totals in three hours had eclipsed the 500-year rain level mark.

Harris County Flood Control District meteorologist Jeff Linder tweeted there have been calls of people climbing into their attics due to floodwaters. According to Linder, 13-14 inches of rain fell in three hours.

 The National Weather Service said Houston is in a catastrophic, life-threatening flash flood emergency. The flash flood emergency will last until 7 a.m.

1:50 a.m.: Fatality is confirmed from flooding in Houston

A motorist died Saturday after being stranded in the floodwaters from Harvey, County Judge Ed Emmett told CBS affiliate KHOU.

KHOU reports the woman tried to get out of her car but didn't make it. A neighbor found her body.

Cars sit abandoned at a flooded gas station after Hurricane Harvey made landfall on the Texas Gulf coast and brought heavy rain to the region
Cars sit abandoned at a flooded gas station after Hurricane Harvey made landfall on the Texas Gulf coast and brought heavy rain to the region, in Houston, Texas, U.S. August 26, 2017. NICK OXFORD / REUTERS

Several major Houston roadways are underwater.

Houston mayor Sylvester Turner said the streets are "treacherous." 

11:35 p.m.: Flash flood emergency declared in Houston's Harris County

A flash flood emergency is in effect for Harris County, meaning life-threatening flooding is possible, CBS affiliate KHOU reports.

"We're seeing just incredible rainfall rights right now in the heart of Houston," said Jeff Lindner with the Harris County Flood Control District.

The Harris County Sheriff's office tweeted that a man had been rescued from his car in three feet of rushing water.

Most areas have seen more than 2 inches in the last hour, according to KHOU.

They've had more than 4 inches in the last hour in the Meyerland area and there is a threat of water in homes there, Lindner said.

The Houston Office of Emergency Management tweeted that the Red Cross shelter is closing due to high water. The METRO Houston has suspended all bus and rail service.

The Fort Bend County Sheriff's Office is also reporting tornado sightings in Stafford, Missouri City and near US 90 and the Texas Parkway.

Tornados have already caused damage in Cypress, Sienna Plantation, Katy, Richmond and Atascocita.

9:40 p.m.: Coast Guard launches helicopter rescue

The Coast Guard said Saturday that it was responding to a call of seven distressed people in Aransas Pass, Texas.

The Coast Guard said it received the call at about 7 p.m. central time of seven people, one of which is reportedly on oxygen and had run out, in need of assistance.

The Coast Guard said its Air Station Corpus Christi aircrews rescued in total 20 people and a dog after they received reports from watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector Corpus Christi Saturday morning and afternoon. 

7:50 p.m.: "Biggest concern" is the 20-30 inches of rain, Texas Gov. says

More than a foot-and-a-half of rain fell in just 24 hours in Victoria, Texas -- and by the time the storm is over, the city could get in only days the amount of rain it sees in one year, CBS News' Manuel Bojorquez reports.

Rain from Harvey not nearly finished 01:34

"Our biggest concern is the possibility of between 20 and 30 inches of rain in areas ranging from Corpus Christi over to Houston," said Texas Gov. Greg Abbott. "Because of the flooding, one of the top focal points that we are concerned about is ongoing rescue and recovery." 

Angela and Mario Manzano are checking on the home they recently purchased.

"It's devastating because like I said, we're barely purchasing the home, we're still paying it off, to lose it now, it's going to be hard," Angela said.

Their home is in a low-lying area prone to flooding.

"If it was just the two of us, it would be different, but having our kids, that why we took, we just took the most important things -- our important documents and pictures that can't be replaced and that stuff," Angela said. 

7:30 p.m.: Inside Rockport, the city in the eye of Harvey

Inside the city directly hit by Harvey 01:55

Ferocious winds and floodwater have left this quaint city on the gulf a disaster zone, CBS News' David Begnaud reports. Parts of the high school were torn to shreds. Harvey showed no mercy on the local First Baptist church. Some homes have collapsed into the water.

"We went upstairs and looked out the window and down the road here it was a sheer wall of water, like 100 mph it was crazy," said Tim Freiburger. His garage was lifted up and jammed against the side of the house.

"It was insane all you could do was just feel stuff pounding the house," he said.

Residents of this senior living complex were stranded when portions of its roof torn away and emergency workers were unable to respond at the height of the storm.

Nearly every police car in town has been damaged, but still officers were out Saturday, banging on doors, making sure no one was trapped.

When the hurricane made landfall here late Friday night, the city was under a mandatory evacuation.

"I'll take a while to get it all straightened backup," said Randy Bonnett, who has been through Texas hurricanes before but he says he will not forget Harvey.

"You got three hours of hell and then an hour lull and then three hours hell," Bonnett said.

7:10 p.m.: Millions in danger of potentially catastrophic flooding

Harvey churns over southeast Texas 02:34

Harvey is still going and it's not going anywhere for awhile, CBS News' DeMarco Morgan reports. There are over 1,000 people assigned to search and rescue operations. Near Corpus Christi on Saturday, the Coast Guard rescued 17 people whose vessels were in distress. The governor of Texas has issued a disaster declaration for 50 counties. Saturday morning, Galveston got pounded.

With the storm stalling out, now millions are in danger of potentially catastrophic flooding. More than three feet of rain could fall in some places.

"We are just getting into this so people need to understand that the longevity of this is gonna go thru the weekend and even into the early part of next week," said Jeff Linder with the Harris County Flood Control in Houston.

Nearly 300,000 power outages have been reported and Corpus Christi is under a boil water order. Incredibly, no fatalities have been reported yet. In Rockport, where the storm took a direct hit, ten people were injured when the roof of a senior housing complex collapsed, according to local media reports. Hundreds of people were evacuated from a hotel there last night.

5:34 p.m.: White House releases photos of President Trump on teleconference call earlier Saturday

The White House said President Trump was briefed on the response to Harvey at Camp David, where he's spending the weekend.

President Trump hosts a teleconference on Hurricane Harvey, Saturday, Aug. 26, 2017. Official White House Photo by Shealah Craighead

President Trump hosts a teleconference on Hurricane Harvey, Saturday, Aug. 26, 2017. Official White House Photo by Shealah Craighead

4:11 p.m.: Coast Guard rescues 17 people

Coast Guard rescues 17 in Texas 00:26

The Coast Guard says it has rescued 15 people onboard vessels near Port Aransas, Texas. Two Coast Guard helicopters were dispatched to help the ships earlier Saturday after receiving distress calls.

The Coast Guard said in a release that seven people were rescued from the tugboat Sabine; four people from the Signet Enterprise; and four from the vessel Sandy Point.

A man and a woman were also rescued in Houston, along with their dog. Read the full story here.

3:47 p.m.: President Trump thanks volunteers

3:31 p.m.: Harvey shuts down one-fifth of U.S. oil production

About one-third of the America's refining capacity reside in low-lying areas on the coast from Corpus Christi, Texas, to Lake Charles, Louisiana, the Associated Press reports.

The Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement said Friday that workers were evacuated from 86 of 737 manned oil production platforms where oil and gas are pumped from the Gulf of Mexico.

The agency estimated that approximately 21.55 percent of oil production had been shut down along with 23.24 percent of natural gas production.

The AP reports, citing FlightAware, that nearly 1,200 flights were cancelled on Friday and Saturday, and an additional 485 flights for Sunday were cancelled.

2:27 p.m. President Trump receives update from cabinet officials

President Trump and Vice President Mike Pence met with cabinet members and senior administration officials via video teleconference Saturday about the hurricane, according to a White House readout of the meeting. Mr. Trump expressed that all departments and agencies involved should stay focused on saving lives, the White House said.

Mr. Trump, who had been receiving updates from his chief of staff John Kelly Friday night and Saturday morning, directed his team to support the governors of Texas and Louisiana. Mr. Trump on Friday night signed a disaster declaration for the state of Texas at Gov. Greg Abbott's request. The declaration frees up federal resources to alleviate affected localities.

2:18 p.m.: Texas governor: No confirmation of fatalities; 338,000 without power

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said he could not confirm any fatalities from now-Tropical Storm Harvey. He says 338,000 customers are without power and service might not be restored for several days.

Gov. Greg Abbott speaks at a news conference about Hurricane Harvey at the State Operations Center in Austin, Texas, on Fri., Aug. 25, 2017. AP

2:15 p.m.: Hotel taxes suspended for evacuees

Evacuees from areas affected by Harvey as well as first responders will be able to stay in hotels tax-free, Abbott says. He said he has waived the state's surcharge in a proclamation.

Abbott said about 1,500 evacuees are currently staying at Texas state park facilities. Nearly 1,500 more are staying in 21 Red Cross shelters and 42 more shelters are standing by to accept more evacuees. More than 200 buses have been deployed to transport residents, Abbott said.

2:13 p.m. 1,000 people involved in search and rescue operations

Abbott says 1,000 workers are focused on search and rescue operations, which he said "will be one of the foremost tasks that we take in the coming days."

2:10 p.m.: 1,800 service members to assist in recovery in Texas

Abbott says 1,300 Texas service members are already assisting in recovery and search and rescue efforts, with another 500 to be activated soon.

2:06 p.m.: Abbott says state concerned about 20 to 30 more inches of rain

"Turn around. Don't drown," the governor said. He says flooding is still a major concern.

"Now that the hurricane has come on shore our primary concern remains dramatic flooding," Abbott said. Abbott said about 20 inches of rain has already fallen in Corpus Christi and about 16 inches in Houston.

2:05 p.m.: Texas governor gives update on Harvey

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott is providing an update on Harvey from Austin, Texas. You can watch on CBSN at the top of this post.

1:50 p.m. Harvey downgraded to tropical storm

Harvey is now a tropical storm, the National Hurricane Center (NHC) says in its latest release.

Winds have slowed to 70 mph, down from a peak of 130 mph when Harvey made landfall late Friday. The storm is now located 45 miles north-northwest of Victoria, Texas, and moving at 2 mph.

But Texas isn't out of the woods yet. The NHC adds that an "extremely serious flooding event is unfolding" as the storm continues to drench the area in rain. Some areas have seen rainfall of up to 3 inches per hour at times. The threat of storm surge continues to threaten low-lying areas, as well.

1:39 p.m.: Texas attorney general warns against price gouging

Texas attorney general says Harvey is "probably the biggest storm in [Texas] history" 02:32

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton joined CBSN to discuss Harvey, and warned potential price gougers from taking advantage of residents as flooding continues.

"Under Texas law, you're not allowed to massively increase your prices by more than 10 percent, [that's] the approximate number, when there's some type of crisis or catastrophe," Paxton said. "There's significant fines for that, up to $20,000 per incident. If you're doing that to somebody over 65, it could be up to $250,000."

Paxton said his office has received over 200 calls about potential price gouging. He said investigators have looked into instances of alleged price gougers charging nearly $100 for a case of water.

12:45 p.m.: Texas evacuates prisoners threatened by flooding

The Texas Department of Criminal Justice announced Saturday three prisons would be evacuated in Brazoria County, just south of Houston, as rainfall from Hurricane Harvey slams the area.

In a news release, the department said approximately 4,500 inmates will be evacuated beginning Saturday morning.

"These evacuated offenders will not be available for visits at the designated receiving units, but will have the ability to use the offender telephone system," the statement said. "Additional food and water has been delivered to the prisons receiving the displaced inmates."11:59 a.m.: Texas Gov. Greg Abbott warns of "ongoing danger" from flooding.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott on the state's response to Hurricane Harvey 04:25

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott on Saturday said ongoing flooding in the wake of Harvey poses the greatest danger in the days ahead, as rescue efforts are already underway in the southeast part of the state.

The Republican governor told CBSN that the hurricane, which made landfall late Friday night as a Category 4 storm but has since been downgraded to Category 1, has caused "great devastation." As it moves slowly and unleashes devastating amounts of rain on the Texas coastline, Abbott says flooding is the greatest concern. Read the full story here.

11:32 a.m.: Mayor of Rockport, Texas, details "widespread damage"

Rockport, Texas, suffers "widespread damage" from Harvey, mayor says 03:34

The mayor of Rockport, Texas, says the town has suffered "widespread damage" from Hurricane Harvey as the storm continues to dump rain across southeast Texas. Mayor Charlie Wax joined CBSN to discuss the situation in Rockport, one of the towns hardest hit by the storm.

"Our high school is damaged. One of our learning centers is also damaged. We have businesses that are destroyed, we have homes that have been destroyed, and at the very least lives are disrupted," Wax said.

The mayor said, as of Saturday morning, there were no confirmation of any deaths, but said it was likely because the response teams haven't been able to survey the town completely.

He also warned residents to "stay in place," adding that it wasn't safe to return home.

"Stay in place, protect yourself. If you did evacuate, do not even attempt to go back," he said. "Stay away, let the first responders do their job."

10:55 a.m.: Harvey expected to weaken to tropical storm this afternoon

Catastrophic flooding predicted over the coming days 04:11

The National Hurricane Center says Harvey remains a Category 1 hurricane as wind speeds remain at 75 mph. The threat for serious flooding will continue for several days as the storm continues to move slowly over inland Texas.

In its latest advisory, the NHC says "torrential rains will continue for a few more days." The center says Harvey should become a tropical storm sometime Saturday afternoon.

Harvey made landfall late Friday night as a Category 4 hurricane with sustained wind speeds of 130 mph. It has slowed overnight but will continue to pull in moisture from the Gulf of Mexico, and could still move back out over water.

10:28 a.m.: NASA animation of satellite data shows rainfall upon making land

10:25 a.m.: Houston airport lifts ground stop on incoming flights

Flights are beginning to land again at Houston's George Bush Intercontinental Airport following an earlier ground stop on incoming flights. The airport said 225 flights have been canceled so far.

10:11 a.m.: Coast Guard responds to mayday calls

The Coast Guard says it is responding to tugboats in distress near Port Aransas, Texas.

In a statement, the Coast Guard says its Corpus Christi sector received mayday calls from the boats Belle Chase, Sandy Point and Sabine Pass near the Lydia Ann Channel. It has dispatched two MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crews to the scene.

10:05 a.m.: Wind speeds slow to 75 mph

The National Hurricane Center says in an advisory that sustained wind speeds have decreased slightly to 75 mph. The storm remains a Category 1 hurricane.

Harvey's center is now about 25 miles west of Victoria, Texas, moving at 6 mph.

9:20 a.m.: More than 16 inches of rain have fallen in Victoria, Texas

Hurricane Harvey slams the Gulf Coast 06:40

CBS News correspondent Manuel Bojorquez joined CBSN from Victoria, Texas, with an update from the heart of the storm. Speaking from his hotel as Harvey's eyewall whipped palm trees in the background, Bojorquez reports Victoria has received more  than 16 inches of rain in the past 24 hours.

His hotel began swaying in the wind early Saturday morning. The roof of a car dealership behind the hotel began flapping in the heavy winds, indicating the likelihood of extensive structural damage as Harvey swirls over Texas.

"The big concern is not only all this wind, but of course all of this rain," Bojorquez reports. "They're not expecting just inches of rain here. They are expecting to get up to 2.5 feet. And so the major flooding that will happen as a result of this hurricane is something that they will deal with for days to come here."

9:12 a.m.: Michio Kaku says "agony has just begun"

Michio Kaku on Hurricane Harvey: "Agony has just begun" 03:55

CBS News science contributor Michio Kaku joined "CBS This Morning: Saturday" to discuss the science behind Harvey and why it will continue to cause damage for days.

"First of all, if it lingers over the land, it could cause massive flooding. And then, watch out," he said. "If it goes back into the Gulf, it could get reenergized and create a second, even a third landfall. And so the agony has just begun with this hurricane of the decade."

8:55 a.m.: Power outages now affect more than 255,000 customers in Texas

More than a quarter-million customers are without power in Texas early Saturday after Hurricane Harvey made landfall. Utilities are reporting outages affecting more than 255,000 customers.

AEP reported more than 192,000 customers without power as of early Saturday. CenterPoint Energy reported nearly 58,000 customers without power.

Outages were also reported by Austin EnergyCPSEntergy and Oncor. Read the full story here.

8:35 a.m.: Latest forecast as Harvey settles over Texas

Hurricane Harvey forecast: Weakening winds, days of rain to come 01:54

Texans are facing days of rain as Hurricane Harvey settles in. Meteorologist Megan Glaros joined "CBS This Morning: Saturday" with the latest forecast at the top of the hour.

The system continues to weaken in terms of wind speed, but it continues to pull in moisture from warm waters in the Gulf of Mexico. Winds have decreased to 80 mph and the storm continues to move at a sluggish 6 mph, which will continue for the next few days. 

In Victoria, Texas, more than 16 inches of rain has fallen. McFaddin and Austwell have received just under 12 inches, and Edna and Sugar Land about 9 inches. Total rainfall could total more than 40 inches in places over the coming days.

7:25 a.m.: President Trump says he is "closely monitoring" storm, FEMA director doing "great job"

6:15 a.m.: Category 1, with maximum winds near 90 mph

Hurricane Harvey became a Category 1 storm with top wind speeds near 90 mph, the National Hurricane Center reported. Tide gauges near Port Lavaca, Texas, recorded water levels more than 6.5 feet higher than normal.

Craig "Cajun" Uggen, 57, nearly floods his truck as Hurricane Harvey comes ashore in Corpus Christi
Craig "Cajun" Uggen, 57, nearly floods his truck as Hurricane Harvey comes ashore in Corpus Christi, Texas, on Fri., Aug. 25, 2017. Minutes later, high winds blew off the camper carrying all of his belongings. Reuters

5 a.m.: From Category 3 to Category 2

The National Hurricane Center downgraded Hurricane Harvey to a Category 2 storm, with maximum sustained winds near 100 mph. Harvey is likely to become a tropical storm later today as it moves further inland, predicted NHC forecasters who also warned of "catastrophic flooding over the next few days due to heavy rainfall."

4:30 a.m.: Emergency crews in limbo

Many emergency crews were unable to make rescues early Saturday because of Harvey's strong winds. Melissa Munguia, the deputy emergency management coordinator in Nueces County, which includes Corpus Christi, said early Saturday that it could be several more hours before crews could fully assess the damage in coastal communities.

Traffic lights lie on a street after being knocked down, as Hurricane Harvey approaches in Corpus Christi
Corpus Christi, Texas. Reuters

3:40 a.m.: More than 211,000 homes and businesses lose power

More than 211,000 customers were without power on the Texas Gulf Coast due to effects from Hurricane Harvey, the Electric Reliability Council of Texas reported. The storm was downgraded to a Category 3 hurricane early Saturday morning, as Harvey's maximum sustained winds decreased to nearly 125 mph. Additional weakening is forecast during the next 48 hours while the center of Harvey is over southeastern Texas.

2:30 a.m.: Homeowner shoots intruder, cops say

A homeowner shot an alleged intruder in Corpus Christi just as Hurricane Harvey was making landfall late Friday night, Corpus Christi police said. Read the full story here on

The victim was taken to a local hospital, and was coherent when police arrived on scene, Corpus Christi police tweeted. According to the Corpus Christi Caller-Times, the victim was shot in the head.

1:45 a.m.: "Boil water," Corpus Christi residents told

In Corpus Christi, the major city closest to the center of the storm, wind whipped palm trees and stinging sheets of horizontal rain slapped against hotels and office buildings along the city's seawall as the storm made landfall. Boats bobbed violently in the marina. It was too dark to tell whether any boats had broken their moorings.

City officials notified residents to "boil their water prior to consumption (e.g., washing hands/face, brushing teeth, drinking, etc)" to kill all potentially harmful bacteria and other microbes. "Water for drinking, cooking and ice making should be boiled and cooled prior to use for drinking water or human consumption purposes. The water should be brought to a vigorous rolling boil and then boiled for two minutes."

1:15 a.m.: Early details emerge from Rockport

Rockport, Texas, a coastal city of about 10,000 people some 30 miles northeast of Corpus Christi, was directly in the path of Harvey when it came ashore. The city had peak wind surges of more than 125 mph, according to the National Weather Service.

Volunteer Fire Department Chief Steve Sims said there were about 15 firefighters at the city's fire station waiting for conditions to improve enough for their vehicles to safely respond to pleas for help. "There's nothing we can do at this moment. We are anxious to get out there and make assessments, but we're hunkered down for now," Sims said, according to an Associated Press report.

Fire Department spokeswoman Gillian Cox told the Corpus Christi Caller-Times that the roof of Rockport's high school has partially caved in. But Cox says social media posts that the school has "disappeared" are inaccurate.

Rockport City Manager Kevin Carruth told the newspaper that the courthouse also sustained major damage. Carruth said a cargo trailer was halfway in the building.

Earlier Friday, Rockport Mayor Pro Tem Patrick Rios offered ominous advice, telling a local TV station that those who chose to stay put "should make some type of preparation to mark their arm with a Sharpie pen," implying doing so would make it easier for rescuers to identify them.

12:30 a.m.: Facebook activates "Safety Check" feature

Facebook has activated its Safety Check feature for Hurricane Harvey, allowing Facebook users to inform friends and family of their whereabouts during the weather emergency.

Facebook users can also find the feature on their smartphone apps. As sibling site CNET explains: "Safety Check is now integrated into the mobile apps, meaning you can manually notify friends of your status as well as follow crises worldwide and even offer support. The only trick is finding it. When Facebook does a server-side activation, you'll usually see a notification right at the top of the app. But if you want to access the feature yourself, it requires a bit of menu-diving."

Here's a primer from CNET on how to find the feature on Android devices and iPhones.

12:00 a.m.: Roof collapses at senior housing complex

Several residents are trapped inside a senior housing complex in Rockport, Texas, where a roof collapsed, a city manager confirmed to CBS News.

A couple is trapped in a mobile home in Rockport after a tree fell on it, according to Rockport City Manager Kevin Carruth.

More than 32,000 homes and businesses have lost power in Corpus Christi, CBS affiliate KZTV reports. The city of Corpus Christi has issued a precautionary water boil advisory.

Large shipping boats in Port Aransas have broken away from their moorings, leading to significant damage, KZTV reports.

Storm surges up to 13 feet are predicted in some places with up to 40 inches of rain over several days. The National Weather Service warns some residents may not be able to return to their homes for weeks or months.


11:05 p.m.: Harvey makes landfall

The eye of Harvey made landfall just after 11 p.m. between Port Aransas and Port O'Connor as a Category 4 storm with 130 mph winds, the National Weather Service said.

9:51 p.m.: President Trump signs disaster proclamation

President Trump tweeted shortly before 10 p.m. that he had signed a disaster proclamation, which Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said earlier Friday he had requested. The disaster proclamation will allow federal funds to flow into state and local relief efforts.

According to the National Hurricane Center, the storm is expected to make landfall "very soon."

8:20 p.m.: Evacuees seek refuge in San Antonio

Hundreds of evacuees seeking shelter from Hurricane Harvey arrived in San Antonio on Friday, CBS affiliate KENS-TV reports.

Two shelters opened their doors Friday morning, and city officials announced they would make room for at least 6,000 evacuees.

"I get deep anxiety when it comes to stuff like this," Justine Vela of Corpus Christi told the station. Vela packed up her four children and left for San Antonio.

"My kids don't kinda know what's going on because they are little," she said. "I'm trying to keep them calm and safe. This is the best place for us to be right now."

7:45 p.m.: Trump prepares to face first major natural disaster as president

Trump prepares for first major natural disaster as president 02:20

Hurricane Harvey will be the first major natural disaster of President Trump's administration. The White House is saying FEMA has changed since the organization's dismal response to Hurricane Katrina in 2005, CBS News' chief White House correspondent Major Garrett reports.

The failures of Katrina haunt emergency planners to this day, so much so, White House Homeland Security Adviser Tom Bossert felt compelled to say "now is not the time to lose faith in your government institutions."

"All the mayors and governors saw what happened at Katrina and they're not gonna let that happen," says David Paulison, who headed FEMA after Katrina and until 2009. He says that Katrina changed management procedures.

"Before we waited for the local community to become overwhelmed before the state stepped in, and waited for the state to become overwhelmed before the federal government stepped in," Paulison tells Garrett.

7:40 p.m.: FEMA urges residents to follow future orders

Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) officials are encouraging residents and visitors in Hurricane Harvey's path to follow directions from local and state officials.

"I encourage residents who will be affected to follow directions from their local officials," Administrator Brock Long said in a statement. "Know your threats, heed the warnings, and if you're in the path of the storm, ensure your family is prepared for possible prolonged disruptions to normal services."

The agency has set up bases near Seguin, Texas, and areas closer to the storm's path to store supplies including more than 96,000 liters of water, 306,000 meals and 4,500 tarps and blankets, the Associated Press reports. State and local officials will be responsible for distributing the materials as needed.

7:20 p.m.: 20-30 inches of rain expected in Victoria, Texas

Hurricane Harvey could dump feet of rain in Texas 01:24

Victoria, Texas, is about 20 miles from the coast, but the distance is not expected to shield it from the worst impacts of Hurricane Harvey. Aside from winds up to 105 miles per hour, the biggest threat is the rain, CBS News' Manuel Bojorquez reports.

Victoria is in the bull's eye of Hurricane Harvey's rain, with 20-30 inches expected over the next 72 hours. that's a year's worth of rain for this city.

The flooding is expected to be worse than Victoria's 1998 disaster.

"We've never seen a forecast for that kind of localized rain, and I've been working hurricanes and emergencies here for several years. It's the most dangerous forecast we've ever seen," said O.C. Garza the Victoria Office of Emergency Management.

7:15 p.m.: Corpus Christi police stop responding to emergency calls

Millions flee for safety ahead of Hurricane Harvey 02:35

Corpus Christi police are not responding to calls for emergency service because of the current weather conditions. If you live in the area and you want to get out, the free bus rides are over and the city has discontinued the service, CBS News correspondent David Begnaud reports.

The National Weather Service says winds could leave homes uninhabitable for weeks or even months. Storm surge could reach 12 feet -- that's strong enough to wash away vehicles, Begnaud reports.

Fears of a power outage forced the sickest babies at a children's hospital to be moved out of the hurricane's path. Others are heeding the warnings and evacuating on their own. 

7:02 p.m.Hurricane Harvey upgraded to Category 4 storm 

The National Hurricane Center has upgraded Hurricane Harvey to a Category 4 storm with maximum sustained winds of 130 mph and is moving northwest at a speed of 8 miles an hour. The storm is about 45 miles outside of Corpus Christi. 

6:09 p.m.: Houston officials resist calls for evacuation

Houston is bracing for dozens of inches of rain, but officials are urging residents to stay put.

Judge Ed Emmett, Harris County's top official, said "no mass evacuations" would be called because the hurricane would not "directly" hit the area.

"Always say run from water, hide from wind, we mean storm surge, not rain. [It's] not the kind of water we would ask people to evacuation from," Emmett said.

Mayor Sylvester Turner also urged residents to stay off roads and in their homes. Turner said there might be "greater danger" in having residents who don't need to be evacuated onto roads that could possibly flood, the Associated Press reports.

6:13 p.m.: NWS issues "EXTREME WIND WARNING"

The National Weather Service in Corpus Christi has issued a warning for southwestern Calhoun County in south Texas, urging residents to "TAKE COVER NOW!"

"Widespread destructive winds of 115 to 145 mph will spread across Calhoun County, Aransas County, Nueces County, San Patricio County, Refugio County, producing swaths of tornado-like damage," the advisory says. "TAKE COVER NOW! Treat these imminent extreme winds as if a tornado was approaching and move immediately to the safe room in your shelter. Take action now to protect your life!"

5:08 p.m.: Wind speeds reach 125 mph, officials warn of "catastrophic flooding"

The National Hurricane Center (NHC) says in an update that Harvey now has wind speeds of 125 mph. It's now about 60 miles southeast of Corpus Christi.

The NHC also says some areas of Texas could get 40 inches of rain and cause "catastrophic flooding." The storm surge is expected to be between 6 to 12 feet along parts of the coast.

5:06 p.m.: Feds won't question families about immigration status at shelters

Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) issued a joint statement Friday saying they won't question the immigration status of families arriving to hurricane shelters in Texas and Louisiana.

The agencies said their "highest priorities are to promote life-saving and life-sustaining activities, the safe evacuation of people who are leaving the impacted area, the maintenance of public order, the prevention of the loss of property to the extent possible, and the speedy recovery of the region."

The joint statement said that routine "non-criminal immigration enforcement operations" would not be conducted at evacuation sites or assistance centers such as shelters or food banks.

It also warned that immigration laws would not be suspended, and the agencies would "be vigilant against any effort by criminals to exploit disruptions caused by the storm."

5:03 p.m.: President Trump arrives at Camp David

The president has arrived at Camp David, where he will be monitoring the storm over the weekend:

4:50 p.m.: National Weather Service director: "The impacts will be extreme"

National Weather Service Director Louis Uccellini issued a warning to Louisiana and Texas residents on Friday, calling the impact of Hurricane Harvey "extreme" and "devastating."

"Catastrophic inland flooding due to incredible rainfall amounts and damaging wind will also be associated with this storm," Uccellini said in a statement Friday. "The flooding will be catastrophic and life threatening. The economic impact will likely be devastating." 

4:46 p.m.: NASA posts photos of storm from space

NASA posted new photos of Harvey from the International Space Station taken by astronaut Jack Fischer:

4:38 p.m.: Coast Guard rescues 12

The U.S. Coast Guard says it has rescued 12 people from the storm near Corpus Christi.

4:30 p.m.: Corpus Christi mayor: "You can't force people to leave"

Corpus Christi Mayor Joe McComb told CBSN that he hadn't issued a mandatory evacuation order citywide because "you can't force people to leave and send police out there and drag them out."

He added, "you can highly recommend it, and we've done that, and say they need to get out of low-lying areas."

McComb said he'd received a positive response of residents who were seeking higher grounds. "Many people have gone to San Antonio and points beyond," he said Friday.

4:15 p.m.: Tornado threats in Louisiana and Texas

The National Weather Service has issued a tornado watch for for parts of Louisiana and Texas lasting until 3:00 a.m. on Saturday.

4:00 p.m.: Vice President Pence halts travel

Vice President Mike Pence will remain in Washington D.C. during the storm, his spokesman Marc Lotter announced on Twitter. Pence will coordinate with President Trump as he visits Camp David with first lady Melania Trump on Friday.

The White House said Marine One landed at Camp David at 3:46 p.m. on Friday, according to the pool report.

3:18 p.m.: President Trump tweets about Harvey

President Trump addressed the threat of Hurricane Harvey on Friday, urging residents to follow the advice of local and state officials.

3:15 p.m.: Texas governor requests disaster declaration

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott held an afternoon news conference warning residents that Harvey is going to be a "very major disaster." Abbott said Friday that he's asked President Trump for a federal disaster declaration. 

Abbott warned residents in coastal areas to evacuate their homes, even if local officials hadn't issued an official warning.

"Even if an evacuation order has not been issued by your local official," Abbott said, "if you are in areas between Corpus Christi and Houston, and maybe even some other areas, especially low lying areas, you need to strongly consider evacuating."

He added, "You don't want to put yourself in a situation where you could be subject to a search and rescue."

3:00 p.m.: Hurricane Harvey reaches Category 3

Harvey became a Category 3 hurricane Friday afternoon, with sustained winds of 120 miles per hour, the National Hurricane Center said in an advisory.

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