Tracking Harvey: Before-and-after images show the catastrophic flooding in Houston

Hurricane Harvey, which has since been downgraded to a tropical storm, has dumped over 2 feet of rain on Houston, Texas, and two more feet are expected.

The forecast suggests Houston will get 50 inches of rain – as much as the city of 2.3 million people usually receives in an entire year.

The deluge has turned the city’s roads into rivers, covered in feet of water:

houston skyline

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Shutterstock

hurricane harvey houston flood

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Interstate 45 in Houston after Hurricane Harvey.
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REUTERS/Richard Carson

Here’s what Houston looked like before and after Hurricane Harvey:


Since the storm’s landfall on Friday, Houston has received over 25 inches of rain, with some areas seeing over 30 inches.

Source: The Weather Channel


The National Hurricane Center projects Houston will get 50 inches of rain total, causing “catastrophic and life-threatening flooding.”

Source: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration


It was still raining Monday morning, and the deluge isn’t expected to stop until at least Tuesday. Brock Long, the administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, said officials were still focusing on rescue and recovery and would have to wait until the storm passed to evaluate the damage.


“I’m not sure where the water is going to go because it’s just so much that we can’t really absorb more in the ground at this point,” Art Acevedo, the Houston police chief, said on Monday, adding, “We have way too much water and not enough places for it to drain.”

Source: MSNBC


Houston didn’t declare mandatory evacuations, and it encouraged residents to stay put unless they were in immediate danger. Mayor Sylvester Turner has defended that decision, saying it’s often more dangerous to evacuate a city during a hurricane.

Source: Associated Press


Turner said on Sunday that almost 6,000 people had called emergency services asking to be rescued. Police and firefighters had saved over 1,000 people, plucking many from rooftops using aircraft, dump trucks, and boats.

Source: AP


Rushing water underground caused sinkholes to swallow roads, like this one on Highway FM 762 in Rosenberg, Texas.

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Before the storm.
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Google Maps


Forecasters predict Harvey will go back out over the Gulf, pick up more moisture, then come back across eastern Texas and go up to Louisiana, wreaking havoc for the rest of the week. As of Monday morning, the storm is most likely only halfway over.


The New York Times put together a video showing side-by-side images of the “deluging highways” in Houston. Louis Uccellini, the director of the National Weather Service, said Monday that the floodwaters would be slow to recede.