Texas Governor Greg Abbott said that recovery from the catastrophic hurricane Harvey will be “long and slow” since it was “one of the largest disasters America has ever faced”, the media reported.
As one of the most destructive storms in the nation’s history lashed southeast Texas for a fourth day on Monday, forcasts have called for still more rain, making clear that massive flooding that had turned neighbourhoods into lakes was just the start of a disaster that would take years to overcome, reports The New York Times.
Abbott has warned against expecting anything resembling recovery any time soon, or a return to the way things were.
“We need to recognise it will be a new normal, a new and different normal for this entire region.”
So far, 10 deaths were reported with six of them in Harris county which includes Houston, the country’s fourth largest city, The New York Times reported.
The administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency Brock Long, said that he expected more than 450,000 people to apply for federal assistance on Tuesday.
“We’re going to be here for several years helping you guys recover,” he said, adding “The state of Texas is about to undergo one of the largest recovery housing missions the nation has ever seen.”
Officials estimated that more than 30,000 people had taken refuge in emergency shelters, including some that had opened in cities far inland, like Dallas, more than 200 miles from Houston.
Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings, said the city had been asked to brace for “numbers that could be up in the tens of thousands”.
About 8,000 people were estimated to be in Houston shelters. About 5,000 were expected to be in the Houston Convention Centre.
In San Antonio, sprawling vacant warehouses had been turn into shelters that could hold more than 4,100 evacuees.
Energy provider CenterPoint says 96 per cent of its Houston customers have power, but more than 104,000 are without electricity as crews experience difficulty reaching affected areas.
Hurricane Harvey made landfall on the night of August 25 as a Category 4, and although it downgraded to a tropical storm, it has lingered over the coastal region.
By Monday night, it had swamped the Houston region with more than 30 inches of rain in some places, and forecasters warned that the totals in some areas could top 50 inches before the storm moves on some time later this week, reports The New York Times.
It is expected to move to the northeast, toward far eastern Texas and Louisiana, and bands of heavy rain were already lashing those regions.
In New Orleans, which faced flooding earlier this month after heavy rains overwhelmed its drainage system, news that the far-flung storm could bring up to 10 inches of rain raised tension levels.
Mayor Mitch Landrieu advised residents to “stay off the streets” on Tuesday.
President Donald Trump is set to visit Texas on Tuesday. On Monday night the President said that the Congress will act fast to provide disaster relief funding to the areas affected by Harvey.