The mayor of Houston and Harris County officials were advised two days before Hurricane Harvey made landfall that the storm was brewing into a likely “catastrophic” 5-day weather event that would flood at least 100,000 homes and paralyze Houston.
Yet city and county officials refused to call for a mandatory or even voluntary evacuation of Houston.
The result: Houston and parts of Harris county look like flooded battlefields, with residents clinging to rooftops of their homes while rescue workers — both professional and volunteer — risk their lives to save untold thousands in distress.
Houston and Harris county’s four commissioners were briefed on Thursday morning, August 24 after the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers warned officials that Hurricane Harvey, which at that point had not made landfall, was shaping up to impact the region even worse than Hurricane Allison in 2001. That storm killed 22 in Houston, left 30,000 residents stranded, and damaged over $5 billion of property.
The officials were given ample time to evacuate the city, federal officials and correspondences examined by True Pundit confirmed.
According to sources familiar with the federal briefing, county and Houston officials were specifically warned that there was a high probability the storm event would be catastrophic, including the following intelligence provided to Houston and county officials the morning otThursday, August 24:
- Hurricane Harvey would impact the county and surrounding Texas counties far beyond what weather forecasts predicted.
- A minimum projection of 10,000 homes would be underwater and at least 100,000 more homes would be flooded in Houston.
- Houston is expected to be hit with five days of rain and at least three days without electricity.
- The hurricane was projected to impact the “heart of Houston.” Harris County would see 30 inches of rain with a possibility of 50 inches of rain which was likewise projected for Colorado County. That county sits west of Harris. The storm turned east and impacted Houston, as was warned.
- Homes and properties south and near Katy, Texas would be severely impacted, possibly flooded out. Houston is on a parallel with nearby Katy.
Despite this information, provided two days before the hurricane, officials did not call for a mandatory evacuation of the area and Houston. In fact, the Mayor of Houston Sylvester Turner defiantly told residents to ignore weather warnings and to “think twice” before evacuating the city, often referring to the threatening hurricane as a “rain event” and implying residents were not in any real danger until the city issued an evacuation mandate
Harris County officials echoed that sentiment, instructing residents on Saturday — after Hurricane Harvey left a devastating wake of destruction in nearby Texas cities on Friday night — to stay at home.
Harris County’s Emergency Alert Website, updated on Saturday, stated:
“Your safest option is to stay put. However, if you must evacuate to a safe location or a shelter, take your emergency supply kit and tell your family check-in contact you’re leaving. Don’t drive through flooded streets.”
Houston and Harris county officials were likewise briefed at the August 24 meeting that President Donald Trump had already dispatched National Guard and the Federal Emergency Management Agency personnel and resources in strategic staging locations to assist Harris County. Again, that was two days before the storm blew into Houston.
Regardless, officials did not warn residents to even think about getting out of town.
County officials and Houston Mayor Turner could not be reached for comment. Phone lines in the mayor’s offices are not currently working due to the storm.