WHAT'S HAPPENING: Harvey moves on; chemical plant on fire
September 1, 2017
HOUSTON (AP) — What's left of Harvey is making its way into Kentucky and Tennessee, while rescuers are scouring Houston homes for anyone who didn't make it out of the floodwaters there. Here are some things happening on the ground:
It's hot and sunny in Houston after Harvey left the area. Kentucky and Tennessee are bracing for flooding as Harvey — now considered a tropical depression — travels inland. Rainfall totals will be much lower than in Houston — 2 inches to 6 inches (50 to 152 millimeters) for Kentucky and more than 10 inches (254 millimeters) for parts of Tennessee. The storm could also produce tornadoes.
CHEMICAL PLANT FIRE
Explosions and fires rocked a flood-crippled chemical plant near Houston, adding a new hazard to Harvey's aftermath. The plant's owners are warning that more explosions could follow because a loss of refrigeration is causing certain chemicals to degrade and burn. The Environmental Protection Agency and local officials say air sampling shows no reason for alarm.
The plant belongs to Arkema , a France-based company that makes adhesives that are used in everything from diapers to tiles and wallpaper.
Vice President Mike Pence took a door-to-door walk in Rockport, Texas — the coastal town where Harvey first slammed ashore as a Category 4 hurricane. He promised that the Trump administration will help bring southeast Texas back "bigger and better than ever before."
"We are with you and we will stay with you until Rockport and all of southeast Texas come back," Pence said.
HOUSTON'S FLOOD ZONE, BY BOAT
In the northeast Houston community of Kingwood, residents risked floodwaters from the storm to grab pets, medicine, guns and other personal items from their devastated homes. And many did so by boat .
The ghosts of normal daily life lined the street: Radio Shack, Wing Stop, Whataburger, the bank, a library — all underwater. Cars were in their parking lots, many of the trunks open and filled with household items that never made it out.
It's getting harder to fill gas tanks in parts of Texas where some stations are out of fuel and pump costs are spiking. A major gasoline pipeline shuttered due to Harvey may be able to resume shipping fuel from the Houston area by Sunday, which could ease gasoline shortages across the southern U.S.
Also, Energy Secretary Rick Perry says he's releasing 500,000 barrels of crude oil from an emergency stockpile in a bid to prevent gas prices from spiking.
Donations were coming in from celebrities, including $1 million from the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation . The White House says President Donald Trump is pledging $1 million in personal funds to storm relief efforts. Musicians are also promising help .
Some schools around the U.S. plan to gather aid for Harvey's victims in a place many Texas residents consider sacred: under the Friday night lights of prep football .
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