Hurricane Harvey Aftermath: Funerals for the dead begin


One week after Harvey roared into the Gulf Coast, residents of a Texas city struggled with no drinking water, fires continued to erupt at a stricken chemical plant and funerals began for some of the mounting toll of victims.

In Beaumont, Texas, home to almost 120,000, people waited in a line that stretched for more than a mile to get bottled water after the municipal system failed earlier this week.
Thick black smoke and towering orange flames shot up Friday after two trailers of highly unstable compounds blew up at Arkema, a flooded chemical plant in Crosby, the second fire there in two days.

And in Houston, friends and family gathered Friday evening to remember 42-year-old Benito Juarez Cavazos, one of 42 people whose deaths are attributed to Harvey. 

Cavazos came to Texas illegally from Mexico 28 years ago and was in the process of getting his green card.

“It’s very unfortunate that right when he finally had hopes of being able to maybe go to Mexico soon to go see his family it all went downhill,” his cousin, Maria Cavazos, said. “Sadly, he’s going back to Mexico, but in an unfortunate way.”

President Donald Trump announced plans Friday to make his second visit to the region devastated by Harvey. On Saturday, he will be in Houston and Lake Charles, Louisiana, to survey the damage. 

The White House said he would have time during the visit with the first lady to talk to residents.

Earlier Friday, Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner announced that ongoing releases of water from two reservoirs could keep thousands of homes flooded for up to 15 days. He told residents that if they stayed and later needed help, first responders’ resources could be further strained.

Residents of the still-flooded western part of Houston were asked to evacuate due to the releases from two reservoirs protecting downtown. 

The ongoing releases were expected to keep some homes flooded that had been filled with water earlier in the week. Homes that are not currently flooded probably will not be affected, officials said.

Some of the affected houses have several feet (meters) of water in them, and the water reaches to the rooftops of others, district meteorologist Jeff Lindner said.

Turner pleaded for more high-water vehicles and more search-and-rescue equipment as the nation’s fourth-largest city continued looking for any survivors or corpses that might have somehow escaped notice in flood-ravaged neighborhoods.

AP

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