In photos: Tropical storm Harvey causes widespread destruction in Houston
A state of emergency has been declared in Houston, Texas, following the onset of tropical storm Harvey.
Flash floods caused by the storm have killed at least five people and rendered thousands homeless.
According to the US National Weather Service, the situation is “unprecedented”, with the city recording a record 50 inches of rainfall. Most schools, including two airports have been flooded and are reportedly closed for the time being.
Most places in Houston have reported a loss of electricity, and people have been advised to stay indoors. These precaustions have been taken even as several interim shelters have been opened across the state to help those affected.
Meanwhile, the US Department of Transportation has deployed more than 400 people and enforced 250 highway closures across the state. Approximately 2000 people have been rescued by the state thus far with the help of both helicopters and boats.
According to the US Meteorological Department, weather conditions will continue to worsen over the coming week as Harvey is expected to move over Louisiana, Galveston and then back to Houston.
While it is still early days, some experts have estimated that the damage caused by the Harvey may dwarf the damage inflicted by Hurricane Katrina in 2005, the most expensive natural disaster in American history.