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Houston swamped with 100,000 gallons of raw sewage, thousands of homes destroyed, and 19 dead

Thursday, May 28, 2015 6:28
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The death toll continues to rise in flood-ravaged Texas and Oklahoma and as receding floodwaters revealed mounting destruction, rains continue to threaten even more flooding on Wednesday.

In hard-hit Houston, some of that destruction came Tuesday in the form of a waste water treatment plant so inundated with waters from an overflowing nearby bayou that more than 100,000 gallons of raw sewage spilled out into surrounding floodwaters.

Flash flood warnings were expected through the weekend in Texas, as a storm system that has settled along several southern states brings several more inches of rain.

Hundreds of people were ordered to evacuate flood-threatened areas of Texas on Wednesday as storms bringing torrential rains battered the state, where at least 15 people have been killed in weather-related incidents this week, including six in Houston.

People were told to stay away from more than 200 homes in Parker County where the Brazos River was poised to spill its banks about 30 miles west of Fort Worth on Wednesday night, county officials said.

Sewage: More than 100,000 gallons of untreated wastewater has spilled after Houston’s Southwest Wastewater Treatment Plant flooded Tuesday when a bayou overflowed its banks

Overflowing dam: The Padera Dam near Dallas was dangerously close to overflowing, and sending a cascade of floodwaters into a nearby busy highway, as workers scrambled to pump off the excess

Cleanup begins: Sandy Reyesa adds wet books to a dumpster full of soggy carpets and belongings Wednesday in Houston, where residents were just starting to clean up after flash floods soaked much of the nation’s fourth largest city

More to come: Meteorologists say storms that have been virtually parked over Texas for weeks are not yet done, raising the prospect of even more flooding

‘The river is coming up fast and flowing at dangerous volumes,’ Parker County Judge Mark Riley told a news conference.

The death toll in Texas was expected to rise, with about a dozen people still missing and a new round of thunderstorms pelting the already flood-hit cities of Houston and Austin.

In Hays County alone, nine people were missing after flooding on Monday caused homes to break off their foundations. Three people in the county about 30 miles (50kms) southwest of Austin were already confirmed dead.

The return of heavy rains was impeding emergency rescue efforts.

‘The river is going to start to rise again,’ said Kharley Smith, the Hays County Emergency Management coordinator. ‘It is going to shift the previously inspected debris piles.’

Giant mess: Lorraine Joseph talks about her car still stuck the mud despite several attempts to pull it out Wednesday in Houston. Each attempt failed when the rescuers also got stuck in the mud

Search: Volunteers search for missing bodies along the Blanco River May 26, 2015 in San Marcos, Texas. The area was one of the hardest hit from recent storms and over a dozen remained unaccounted for Wednesday

A storm-ravaged highway along the Blanco River is strewn with debris. Rains were expected to continue through the weekend

Still more flash flood warnings were expected through the weekend in Texas, as a storm system that has settled along several southern states brings several more inches of rain

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