Texans struggle in Harvey aftermath as death toll continues to r - CBS46 News

Texans struggle in Harvey aftermath as death toll continues to rise

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Source: MGN Online Source: MGN Online
Source: MGN Online Source: MGN Online
Source: MGN Online Source: MGN Online
(CNN) -

The heavy rain is over, but the devastation that Harvey unleashed in Texas has left unprecedented flooding and thousands of people vulnerable.

Many are trapped in flooded homes, and others who've taken refuge in shelters are unsure of their future. Across the state, families are searching tirelessly for missing relatives on the sixth day since the catastrophic storm made its first landfall.

"The worst is not yet over for southeast Texas," Gov. Greg Abbott said in a news conference.

At least 37 deaths related to Hurricane Harvey and its aftermath have been reported in Texas. One of them, Houston police Sgt. Steve Perez, drowned while trying to get to work.

On Thursday, Federal Emergency Management Agency workers and firefighters will assess the extent of Harvey's destruction in southwest Houston, the nation's fourth largest city.

But in Port Arthur, the desperate pleas of help are piling up after its 55,0000 residents woke up to rising waters when the storm made it's final landfall Wednesday morning.

One of the shelters in Port Arthur had to be evacuated after the water came inside, and residents like Julia Chatham are trapped in their homes.

"All I have in my house is power. I have no food. I have no water. I only have power in my house. I don't have no way of getting around," Chatham said. "I'm stuck upstairs. It's just me and my dog. And I'm upstairs with my other neighbors. It's like five of us up here."

Fears of fire

The flooding in southeast Texas has severely affected oil and chemical plants. Many have shut down operations in the past few days, but one has officials on high alert.

The flooded Arkema peroxide plant in northeast of Houston is being closely monitored after plant officials say a chemical reaction will likely cause a fire that will "resemble a large gasoline fire" in the coming days.

The company shut down the facility as Harvey approached last week and evacuated employees as well as residents within 1.5 miles of the Crosby, Texas, plant as a precaution after it was flooded under more than five feet of water.

"There is a small possibility that the organic peroxide will release into the floodwaters but will not ignite and burn," the company said in a statement.

The Colonial Pipeline, which carries huge amounts of gasoline and other fuel between Houston and the East Coast, the largest refinery in the country, Motiva, and Valero have closed facilities.

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