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After Harvey floodwaters breach levee, authorities say "get out now"

HOUSTON -- Authorities outside Houston urged residents of Brazoria County Tuesday to evacuate immediately due to floodwaters from Harvey that breached a levee.

A warning was posted on Twitter saying, "The levee at Columbia Lakes has been breached!! Get out now!!"

Any residents who have not already evacuated the area should leave immediately, officials said.

Brazoria County Judge Matt Sebesta said residents were warned that the levee would be overtopped at some point, and a mandatory evacuation order was given Sunday.

Brazoria County spokeswoman Sharon Trower said Tuesday afternoon that the levee had been fortified. She says that some water did get through but it wasn't substantial. She warns that authorities don't know how long the fortification will hold. She also notes the breach happened due to rainwater but that the nearby Brazos River continues to spill out of its banks.

Trower says that the mandatory evacuation, originally ordered, Sunday morning still stands and notes that most of the residents in the area have left.

Two Houston reservoirs were also overflowing, despite a controlled water release that aimed to prevent flooding downtown.

The Addicks and Barker reservoirs are both at record high levels due to days of heavy rain. Army Corps of Engineers officials have been releasing water from both, but the amount of water entering exceeds the amount being released, sending floodwaters over spillways.

Jeff Lindner, with the Harris County Flood Control District, said Tuesday that he's certain that more homes and streets will flood as a result. Lindner says the county is trying to determine where the water will go, specifically from the north end of the Addicks reservoir.

He says some homes will be inundated "for up to a month."

The flood gauge at the Barker reservoir is overwhelmed and disabled and officials are worried the Addicks gauge also will fail.

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