Rain-Swollen Dam in Houston Overflows for First Time Ever

American-Statesman Staff

With the city's population expected to grow by more than three million people over the next three decades...it's a problem...that might only get deeper. The department has not yet formally notified the officer's family.

The result - severe flooding that is expected to grow worse over the week.

This is the first time engineers have done this for flood control, officials said.

Brazoria County authorities posted a message on Twitter warning that the levee at Columbia Lakes south of Houston had been breached and telling people to "GET OUT NOW!"

A mandatory evacuation was ordered for the low-lying Houston suburb of Dickinson, home to 20,000, and questions swirled in Houston itself about why the mayor did not issue a similar evacuation order.

Officials say 30,000 people are expected to be housed in emergency shelters.

The twin reservoirs remain dry about 90% of the time, and are created to send runoff and rainwater coursing into the Buffalo Bayou-away from downtown Houston and the Houston Ship Channel.

These large reservoirs are the considered the largest municipal park reservoirs in the United States, and were engineered to help protect downtown Houston and the Houston Ship Channel (includes Galveston) from flooding. The dams are "obviously a very deep concern", said Governor Abbot when asked about the water level now being at spill level by the Fox & Friends hosts. However, Lindner tweeted at 12:21 a.m. CT that the water release had started. Despite those releases, officials said levels continued to rise and "uncontrolled releases" were possible, something that has never happened. One area of the city hit particularly hard is around Addicks Reservoir.

"Catastrophic" flooding in the USA state of Texas is only expected to worsen in coming days as waters rise following a storm of historic proportions. In the large-scale chaos that the storm has brought, emergency crews have been working to save stranded residents and cope with the flow of evacuees - even as more rain is forecast for areas that have already been flooded. Around 2:30 a.m. Monday, however, the rapidly rising water levels prompted the Army Corps to begin releasing water from both reservoirs. "The pool is continuing to rise and so the water is going to be inundating areas that have now not been inundated", Lindner said. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers owns and operates the reservoirs. The Harris County Flood Control District expects the following subdivision to be impacted by some degree of flooding. "So as the pool rises, it will back up to the west, like the water would back up to your bathtub". "Those downstream on Buffalo, the water is going to hold steady, it won't be going down".

Lindner added: "Of course, the wild card to all this is additional rainfall".

Five people have died in the Houston area in unconfirmed flood-related deaths, according to the National Weather Service.

"Catastrophic and life-threatening flooding will continue across south-eastern Texas", the National Hurricane Center said on Monday.

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