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Army to release water from 2 Houston reservoirs, flooding nearby homes

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Voluntary Emergency Evacuation Order (Houston)

Vice President Mike Pence is warning the people of Southeast Texas that Harvey is still unsafe and that life-threatening flooding will continue.

With more rain to come, the ongoing storm has already capped off a three-month period in which Houston has received almost a year's worth of rain, the National Weather Service says.

The U.S. Coast Guard says it is "conducting urban search and rescue in the city of Houston", acting alongside local police, fire and other agencies.

Two Houston reservoirs are overflowing, despite a controlled water release that aimed to prevent flooding downtown. More than 30 inches (75 centimeters) of rain has fallen in some areas and almost 2 feet (60 centimeters) more is expected, leading authorities to fear the worst might be yet to come. All the water from the reservoirs flows into the Buffalo Bayou, the main waterway that snakes through the heart of Houston, and additional releases could also flood neighborhoods along the bayou.

A major dam in Houston has spilled over for the first time in history after Harvey's rains inundated its reservoir, a federal official said. Because of the record dam levels and ongoing uncontrolled releases, officials are going to begin exploring the potential impact to structures downstream along Buffalo Bayou. It is hard to see how they could accommodate President Trump, who plans to visit Texas on Tuesday.

This is the first time officials have done a release while it is still raining.

Trump has been "very gracious and very helpful", said Abbott, adding that he'd like to hear from the President that he understands the "magnitude of the damage that Texas has faced". Estimates from the National Weather Service on rainfall above the reservoirs from today through the remainder of this tropical event is about 10 inches.

It could creep as far east as MS by Thursday, meaning New Orleans, where Hurricane Katrina unleashed its full wrath in 2005, is in Harvey's path. Foreboding images of Harvey lit up weather radar screens early Tuesday, the 12th anniversary of the day Katrina made landfall in Plaquemines Parish.

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Two more Texas prisons near the rising Brazos River are being evacuated.

Portions of Brazoria County, due south of Houston, had been under a mandatory evacuation notice since Sunday.

The Addicks Dam is still releasing the maximum planned amount of almost 4,000 cubic feet per second downstream, the Corps of Engineers said.

Although Houston was not in the direct path of Harvey hitting it as a hurricane, it's experiencing record level rainfall.

The result - severe flooding that is expected to grow worse over the week.

It's the water and the inland flooding rather than the wind from a hurricane that's deadly.

The National Hurricane Center says another 15 to 25 inches of accumulation are expected across the upper Texas coast - which would lead to totals in some areas of 50 inches from just this storm. But the releases were not enough to relieve the pressure after one of the heaviest downpours in US history, Army Corps of Engineers officials said.

Some fear that may be more than the nation's fourth-largest city could bear.

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