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Hurricane Harvey: Live updates

Harvey made landfall as a Category 4 hurricane along the coast of Texas on Friday, bringing torrential rainfall and leading to unprecedented, deadly flooding in parts of the state.

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  1. Aug 31, 2017 3:50 PM EDT - WASHINGTON: President Donald Trump is pledging $1 million of his own money to aid the relief efforts after Harvey, according to the White House.
  2. Aug 31, 2017 3:24 PM EDT - WASHINGTON: Homeland Security adviser Tom Bossert estimated that there are 100,000 homes that have been affected by Harvey as of Thursday afternoon.
  3. Aug 31, 2017 1:36 PM EDT - ROCKPORT, Texas: Vice President Mike Pence told Texans that they were inspiring the world with their response to Hurricane Harvey and its aftermath during a visit Thursday to hard-hit Rockport, Texas.
  4. "We will stand with you," Pence said.
  5. He told the crowd that President Donald Trump told him to tell survivors that, "We love Texas." The president and first lady Melania Trump, who visited Corpus Christi and Austin earlier this week, are expected to be back in Texas on Saturday.
  6. "We promise you, we will be with you every step, until we bring southeast Texas back bigger and better," Pence said.
  7. Aug 31, 2017 12:51 PM EDT - BEAUMONT, Texas: Officials in Beaumont were evacuating about 1,500 people from shelters on Thursday morning after the city's water supply was knocked out in Harvey's wake.
  8. Without knowing when water service should be restored, Beaumont city officials are evacuating about 1,500 people from their shelters.

    We are working closely with Gov. Abbott to a develop a plan for securing future shelters in the next 24 hours,” said Beaumont Mayor Becky Ames.

    Record flooding has knocked out the city’s main water pump in the rising Neches River and until water levels recede, it will be difficult for city officials to make repairs, said city manager Kyle Hayes. The river is expected to crest Saturday.

    City officials said Thursday, restoring water is one of the most pressing issues for the city even as people continue to be rescued from across Southeast Texas. According to a Facebook group Hurricane Harvey Rescue Golden Triangle, people are still in need of rescuing from their homes in different parts of the region.

    “Beaumont is basically on an island,” said Carol Riley, spokeswoman for the Beaumont Police Department.

    Almost 200 patients from Baptist Hospitals of Southeast Texas in Beaumont are also being evacuated because of lack of water.

    “Due to the failure of the city’s water pump, it is in the best interest of our current patients to transfer to other acute care facilities. We have no other alternative but to discontinue all services which will include emergency services,” according to a statement the hospital put on Facebook.

    According to KFDM-TV, hospital officials said patients will be transferred to different hospitals in the state.

    Meanwhile, residents waiting to purchase water have formed long lines outside of stores across the city. At a Kroger store, the wait is as long as two hours, according to KFDM-TV.

    Surrounding counties still have water service.
  9. Aug 31, 2017 11:12 AM EDT - BEAUMONT, Texas: From the Austin American-Statesman:
  10. As Harvey moved north into the Mississippi River Valley as a weakened tropical depression on Thursday, communities on the Texas Gulf Coast continued their struggle to recover from the storm’s destructive wake.

    Overnight, officials in Beaumont — a city of 118,000 about 75 miles east of Houston — reported that the storm had knocked out its water supply.

    “Due to rising waters of the Neches River caused by Tropical Storm Harvey, the city of Beaumont has lost service from the main pump station,” the city said in a statement. “The city has also lost the secondary water source at the Loeb wells in Hardin County. At this time there is no water supply for the city water system.”

    Officials said they would have to wait for floodwaters to recede before determining the extent of the damage and making repairs.

    “There is no way to determine how long this will take at this time,” the city statement said.

    The pump station on the Neches River draws water from the river as the city’s main source of water, Beaumont officials said.
    Beaumont, which received nearly 30 inches of rain in the past three days, remained under a flood warning until further notice, according to the National Weather Service.
  11. Aug 31, 2017 10:21 AM EDT - CROSBY, Texas: Officials said at a news conference on Thursday that a container ruptured early in the morning at the Arkema Inc. chemical plant outside Houston, although authorities declined to characterize the ruptures or the loud pops that accompanied them as explosions.
  12. Richard Rennard, president of Arkema's acrylic monomer division, said the company expects that eight other containers holding organic peroxide that is meant to be kept refrigerated will likely pop and burn as well. The chemical plant lost power on Sunday, and high flood waters compromised backup systems meant to keep the chemicals from warming and subsequently burning.
  13. "This was an unprecedented storm," Rennard said.
  14. Arkema officials moved the company's cold organic peroxides to refrigerated box containers after Hurricane Harvey took out the company's backup generators and a liquid nitrogen system, Rennard said. The containers had pressure release valves on them ,and a popping sound heard early Thursday was from one of the valves releasing, he said.
  15. Although he said the incident was not an explosion, he warned that the chemicals "can burn very quickly and very violently, so it wouldn't be unusual for it to explode."
  16. Officials said smoke coming from the burning chemicals was not particularly dangerous, with Bob Royall, assistant chief of emergency operations for the Harris County Fire Marshals Office, and Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez likening the smoke to that emitted from a barbecue or a campfire.
  17. Fifteen deputies went to the hospital after the fire started burning at the Arkema plant, around 1 a.m. Authorities said they were released before 9:30 a.m. local time.
  18. Aug 31, 2017 9:00 AM EDT - CROSBY, Texas: At a news conference Thursday morning, Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez said pops heard earlier in the morning at the flooded Arkema Inc. chemical plant were from an "expected and planned" chemical release and not explosions.
  19. "It was not an explosion," Gonzalez said. "I want to be clear, it was not an explosion. ... They were different organic peroxides of different grades that were released and it created a pop in the containers where they were being stored. Some gray smoke initially emanated from it and eventually turned into black smoke."
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