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BREAKING: Houston police officer, part of Harvey response, drowns in car

A Houston police officer drowned in his car while on the way to work Sunday, raising Tropical Storm Harvey’s death toll to 15.

What started off as a tropical storm turned into chest-deep flooding on the streets for Houston police as catastrophic flooding from over several days of “unprecedented” rainfall has created rivers and channels of water in peoples front yards.

Hurricane Harvey came to the shore of Texas on Friday, and Houston police have called it the most powerful hurricane to hit in over 50 years.

The death toll is still expected to rise as the storm created additional tidal surges and tornadoes, leading to a years worth of rainfall in just one week.

Houston police

Reported by foxnews:

A Houston police officer reportedly drowned in his patrol car after floodwaters from Tropical Storm Harvey trapped him in his vehicle.

Three officials from the police department told the Houston Chronicle on Tuesday the officer was heading to work Sunday morning when he got trapped in his vehicle. 

“He was trying different routes, and took a wrong turn,” one unidentified high-ranking official said. 

The department has not formally notified the family, the newspaper said.

The officer’s death brought the death toll to 15 people killed since the storm made landfall on Friday. A family of six drowned Sunday afternoon while trying to escape floodwaters. The driver of the van, identified as Samuel Saldivar, escaped before the van was swept away. 

Officials acknowledge that fatalities from Harvey could soar once floodwaters start to recede in the sprawling city. Calls for rescue have also overwhelmed emergency teams that they have had little time to search for bodies.

More than 17,000 people are seeking refuge at shelters as of Tuesday. George R. Brown Convention Center exceeded its 5,000-person capacity Monday night, with hundreds of more people pouring in. 

Harvey produced a record 49 inches of rain since it came ashore, the National Weather Service announced on Tuesday. The storm threatened to bring more rain heading toward Louisiana through Thursday. 

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

 


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