FEMA chief urges residents help neighbors out of flooded homes

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Monday, August 28, 2017
FEMA: Shelters taking in 30K Houston Harvey survivors
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FEMA Administrator Brock Long addresses the flooding in Houston caused by Harvey, emphasizing that more than 30,000 survivors will spend the short term in shelters.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- More than 30,000 people who were rescued in the high waters around the Houston area will be spending the next several days in shelters, FEMA's chief estimated.

The federal administrator of FEMA, Brock Long, announced the estimation this morning as the city got a much-needed lull in the rain from Tropical Storm Harvey.

As much as 25 inches of rain fell over the city, causing key bayous to exceed banks. The National Weather Service predicted up to another 20 inches can be expected through Wednesday or Thursday, emphasizing the flood threat is not over.

Calling it a landmark event, Long would not address whether a mistake was made in not calling for an evacuation in Houston before Harvey's landfall, stressing the decision was up to local officials.

RELATED: How individuals, business owners can apply for FEMA assistance

Still, he said evacuating a city of Houston's size could take several days.

In addition, the FEMA chief urged ordinary citizens to get involved in the rescue of their neighbors, something that has been seen all over the region.

He added aircraft are flying over Houston to spot oil spills, but none have been detected so far.

Long is expected to visit Corpus Christi and San Antonio, two cities that were the targets of then-Hurricane Harvey's landfall.

Long is also slated to accompany President Trump during his planned visit of the Texas Gulf Coast on Tuesday. Long claimed Trump's disaster order ahead of the storm was one of the quickest ever signed by a president.

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