Emergency crews conduct more than 2200 water rescues in Houston area

'I want to stress that we are not out of the woods yet, ' said Acting Department of Homeland Security Secretary Elaine Duke on Sunday.

Other cities in Texas are working to accept evacuees, including Dallas which is preparing to accept up to 5,000 people at the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center.

Tuesday morning, a rain gauge southeast of Houston reported 49.32 inches - breaking a state record that was set by cyclone Amelia in 1978, the National Hurricane Center said.

Vice President Mike Pence is warning the people of Southeast Texas that Harvey is still risky and that life-threatening flooding will continue. The ongoing catastrophe has prompted harsh warnings from local officials. Engineers have responded in Corpus Christie.

The disaster is unfolding on an epic scale, with the nation's fourth-largest city mostly paralyzed by the storm that parked itself over the Gulf Coast. However, previous forecasts called for another 15-30 inches of rain.

Pence says he and his wife, Karen, will visit the region later this week.

The Addicks and Barker reservoirs are at record levels after days of heavy rain across Texas. Around 2:30 a.m. Monday, however, the rapidly rising water levels prompted the Army Corps to begin releasing water from both reservoirs.

Officials said the water levels in the Barker and Addicks reservoirs had increased dramatically - water levels were increasing at a rate of more than 6 inches per hour, Corps spokesman Jay Townsend said.

Authorities who oversee Lake Conroe, another reservoir, also had to decide whether to release water.

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He said some homes would be inundated "for up to a month".

Officials gambled that releasing water from Addicks and Barker reservoirs in the middle of Harvey's catastrophic flooding would ease the pressure on the aging dams northwest of the city. It would take years for the city to fully recovery, they said, and indicated that gas prices were likely to spike in the next few days.

This item has been corrected to show the announcement came late Monday, not Tuesday.

Harvey has brought huge floods to Texas and is starting to affect Louisiana. The move will cause flooding to nearby homes. Officials have received thousands of pleas for rescue.

At Forest Garden Drive, water rushed waist-high as volunteers in boats, canoes and kayaks rescued residents carrying children, dogs and belongings thrown into gym bags or plastic bags. Some kayaks were sent out Monday.

It could creep as far east as MS by Thursday, meaning New Orleans, where Hurricane Katrina unleashed its full wrath in 2005, is in Harvey's path. Foreboding images of Harvey were lighting up weather radar screens early Tuesday, the 12th anniversary of the day Katrina made landfall in Plaquemines Parish. Another search-and-rescue unit was also being staged in San Antonio, and was expected to be deployed shortly, officials said. Rising water chased some people to rooftops or higher ground and overwhelmed rescuers.

Unprecedented rainfall has forced thousands of people to flee their homes.

The storm marks the first time Mr Trump has been tested by a major natural disaster. On Sunday, the president held a teleconference with top administration officials to discuss the federal effort. The president will be joined by first lady Melania Trump.

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