Texas levee breached; residents told to 'get out now!'

Texas levee breached; residents told to 'get out now!'

Texas levee breached; residents told to 'get out now!'

It has since been downgraded to a tropical storm, but continues to cause massive damage in the area.

Residents in an area south of Houston have been urged to leave their homes after a key flood defence system was breached. In Houston, the largest shelter at the convention center has a capacity of 5,000 people, but as of Tuesday morning, it was housing more than 9,000 evacuees.

On Monday, officials in Fort Bend County ordered the first mandatory evacuations along the Brazos River in Houston amid fears that the levees might collapse.

However, the levees were not created to handle the expected 59 foot (18 meters) crest of the Brazos River which authorities say represented an 800 year flood event.

Meteorologists say that sometime Tuesday or early Wednesday parts of the Houston region will break the almost 40-year-old USA record for the biggest rainfall from a tropical system - 48 inches, set by Tropical Storm Amelia in 1978 in Texas.

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Harvey made landfall as a category four hurricane before diminishing, but even with the drop in strength, thousands have been displaced by the storm, which made landfall as a category four hurricane.

The Addicks and Barker reservoirs are both at record high levels due to days of heavy rain.

The US president and his wife, Melania, set off for Texas earlier on Tuesday, although they were not scheduled to visit Houston itself. Meanwhile, the tropical storm appeared to be gathering strength once again on the Gulf coast.

"This is something we've never faced before", Jeff Lindner of Harris County's flood control district said.

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