HOUSTON (AP) — Emergency crews have been overwhelmed by thousands of rescue calls during one of the heaviest downpours in U.S. History.
Mayor Sylvester Turner put the number of people rescued by police at more than 3,000. The Coast Guard said it also had rescued more than 3,000 by boat and air and was taking more than 1,000 calls per hour.
By Monday night, 7,000 people had arrived at the city’s largest shelter set up inside the George R. Brown Convention Center — which originally had an estimated capacity of 5,000.
Sometime Tuesday or early Wednesday, parts of the Houston region will probably break the nearly 40-year-old U.S. record for the biggest rainfall from a tropical system — 48 inches (120 centimeters) — set by Tropical Storm Amelia in 1978 in Texas, meteorologists said.
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Forecasters expect the system to stay over water with 45 mph (72 kph) winds for 36 hours and then head back inland east of Houston sometime Wednesday. The system will then head north and lose its tropical strength.
Before then, up to 20 more inches (51 centimeters) of rain could fall, National Weather Service Director Louis Uccellini said Monday.
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