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Houston Experiences Extreme Flooding As Rain Continues To Fall From Harvey


Tropical Storm Harvey continues to dump rain on Houston, Texas. Those rains have resulted in extreme flooding that has left one person dead in the city. On the line now from Houston is NPR's Marisa Peñaloza. Marisa, where are you right now, and what are you seeing?

MARISA PEÑALOZA, BYLINE: Hi. I am at a shelter. It's called Aldine Education Center. People are being housed, sheltered in the gym. I was told by the shelter manager that there are 400 people inside. It looks pretty crowded. There are dozens and dozens of people outside. And people just keep coming in - full families. The majority of them are from the surrounding areas, I'm told. I'm in the northern part of the city. And to get it here, it took me - the trip should have been 25 minutes. And it took me about two hours to get here...

MARTÍNEZ: Oh, man.

PEÑALOZA: ...Because I was trying multiple combinations - multiple roads. A lot of flooding all around.

MARTÍNEZ: How dangerous were the roads?

PEÑALOZA: Well, I was - I had to turn around many times because there were - because ramps were blocked off. And then from the highway, I could see that, you know, full neighborhoods are in water. I saw a lot of cars just randomly abandoned, you know, some on the median of the road, some on the side, some in the middle of the road - just, you know, plain abandoned. So not many people are driving. And that's a good thing.

MARTÍNEZ: Yeah. Yeah.

PEÑALOZA: Yeah. So it's not very safe. And the rain continues to come. It's pretty heavy at times.

MARTÍNEZ: And you mentioned you're at the shelter. What's the situation there? Are there enough - is there enough room to house people who wind up there?

PEÑALOZA: It seems to me that they're full. The manager wouldn't confirm that. He said that there are about 400 people. I spoke with a family who was actually leaving. They came in about 2:00 a.m. And they're going to a hotel, and they were telling me that they're leaving because they're running out of cots. People are starting to sleep on the floor. They're starting to sleep sitting down in the hallways. It's a pretty intense situation here.

MARTÍNEZ: That's NPR's Marisa Peñaloza. Marisa, thank you very much.

PEÑALOZA: Thank you.

MARTÍNEZ: And NPR will continue to bring you updates from Texas throughout the day and in the days ahead. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Marisa Peñaloza is a senior producer on NPR's National Desk. Peñaloza's productions are among the signature pieces heard on NPR's award-winning newsmagazines Morning Edition and All Things Considered, as well as weekend shows. Her work has covered a wide array of topics — from breaking news to feature stories, as well as investigative reports.