Hurricane Harvey first made landfall in southeast Texas on Friday night and is devastating the region with massive rainfall and flooding. The death toll from the storm climbed up to eight on Monday, according to the Washington Post.
Officials say that six of the deaths occurred in Harris County, which surrounds Houston. One death occurred in Rockport, Texas, close to where Harvey first hit land and one person died on La Marque, Texas, according to the Washington Post.
Officials also believe that as rescue efforts continue, the death toll could rise.
Harvey began as a Category 4 hurricane before slowing down over the weekend. The storm has dropped more than 30 inches of rain in some parts of Houston, according to the National Weather Service (NWS), and it has caused extensive flooding throughout the region.
Officials are calling it one of the worst storms they have ever seen.
“Additional catastrophic, unprecedented, and life threatening flooding continues today and into next week,” said the NWS on Twitter Sunday.
— NWS Houston (@NWSHouston) August 27, 2017
As of Monday morning, there have been over 2,000 rescues in the Houston area, according to CNN. It’s estimated that as many as 30,000 people will need temporary emergency housing after the storm. Houston Police are still fielding rescue calls for people stuck in their homes.
President Donald Trump last week issued a declaration of emergency for Texas, which opens up additional federal funding for disaster relief. As many as 450,000 people could seek federal aid, according to the Federal Emergency Management Agency Monday.
“We are seeing catastrophic flooding, and this will likely expand and it will likely persist as it’s slow to recede,” said Louis W. Uccellini, NWS director, at a briefing in Washington D.C. Monday.
The rainfall is expected to continue as Harvey hangs over the skies of Texas, and the NWS predicts that some areas could see as much as 50 inches of rain through Friday. Texas Governor Greg Abbott has activated the state’s entire National Guard of 12,000 people.
“It is imperative that we do everything possible to protect the lives and safety of people across the state of Texas as we continue to face the aftermath of this storm,” said Abbott in a statement Monday.
A state of emergency has been declared in neighboring Louisiana…