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Flood danger in Kentucky and Tennessee

Thursday, August 31st, 2017 | World News

The tropical storm "Harvey" is weaker, but millions of people in the USA are still struggling with the consequences of the hurricane. Floods are now also threatening in the US states of Kentucky and Tennessee cleverly. While "Harvey" is fueling the gasoline in the country, neighbors of the US offer help – despite political conflicts.

The situation in the floodplains in the US remains dramatic – although the tropical storm "Harvey" has lost further strength and has been downgraded to the gravure area. The situation in the Houston metropolis improved somewhat in the late Wednesday (local time), in the cities of Beaumont and Port Arthur, residents and rescue workers fought against increasing water levels.

The US metropolis of Houston (Texas) is under water, as in the north-west of the city. (Source: Adrees Latif / Reuters)

The national weather service announced that "Harvey" is scheduled to move east of Texas through Louisiana, and is likely to reach the Mississippi on Thursday. The National Hurricane Center further downgraded the storm, but warned that it was a life-threatening condition. Tennessee and Kentucky also prepared for possible flooding.

Number of deaths
Unofficial estimates went from more than 20 death victims in Texas, CNN said 28 dead people. The US Navy announced its intention to send the ships "USS Kearsarge" and "USS Oak Hill" off the coast of Texas on Thursday. They are to assist the local authorities in the rescue and rescue operations.

 Houston was spared on Wednesday by heavy rainfall: For the first time, the sun was shining again. A relaxation of the situation was not in sight, even if the levels declined slightly. It is estimated that one-third of the city was submerged. Rescue forces struggled from house to house on the fifth day in a row to rescue residents from the flooded streets.

In Port Arthur, on the border between Texas and Louisiana, 66 centimeters of rain per square meter fell within 24 hours on Wednesday. (Source: Kim Brent / The Beaumont Enterprise / dpa)

  In Port Arthur, some 160 kilometers east of Houston, the largest oil refinery in the USA had to be closed. An emergency shelter was under water, evacuated. Residents of the city found refuge in a bowling center, reported the channel "CNN". The authorities imposed an exit barrier, which should apply from 10 pm to 6 pm (local time).

Explosion in flooded chemical factory
On Thursday (CEST), the Arkema Group announced that it had reached two detonations at its Crosby factory near Houston. Because previously the water in the production halls stood almost two meters high, the cooling systems had failed. Authorities ordered the evacuation of the region.

The plant of the petrochemical group Arkema in Crosby near Houston (Texas) threatened to explode on Wednesday (local time) because of the flooding by the tropical storm "Harvey". (Source: Godofredo A. Vasquez / Houston Chronicle / AP / dpa)

In Louisiana, the Calcasieu and Sabine River rivers crossed the shores. Streets had to be closed due to flooding. The state was spared the worst on Wednesday. warned against flooding.

Regenrekord and relief funds in three-digit billions
"Harvey" was hit for the first time in Texas on Friday. Since then the area has been fighting with the devastating consequences. Within a few days in Texas, up to 125 centimeters of rain per square meter fell – a record for the mainland of the USA.

Numerous rivers, including the Colorado, crossed the banks, dams pouring over the dams. Some dams were deliberately opened for relief, which led to further flooding.

Wall of water: Impact of tropical storm "Harvey" on Wednesday in Mandeville (Louisiana). (Source: Chris Granger / NOLA.com The Times-Picayune / AP / dpa)

Over 8500 people have been evacuated from their homes in the past few days, with more than 30,000 refugees seeking shelters. 14,000 members of the Texas National Guard were in action. Another 10,000 were sent from other federal states.

Greater damage than "Katrina" and "Sandy"
The Texas governor Greg Abbott said on Wednesday (local time) that the disaster area was much larger and more populous than the Hurricanes "Katrina" (2005) and "Sandy" (2012). Many people are affected by the consequences of the tropical storm "Harvey".

Experts believe that reconstruction could take years. The costs could be "far higher" than after "Katrina," estimates the Texas governor. Greg Abbott expects a much higher sum than the emergency relief of 125 billion dollars (105 billion euros), which was made available to "Katrina" in 2005, reports the "Wall Street Journal".

Because of the failure of refineries in Texas and Louisiana by the tide set up by the cyclone "Harvey", the gasoline becomes scarce in the USA. This drives up the gasoline prices on the market. For the first time since 2015 a gallon (3.8 liters) on Thursday cost two dollars.

Venezuela wants to help – despite the crisis and sanctions
There is a conflict between the governments of the USA and Venezuela. Nevertheless, Venezuela wants to help the hurricane victims in the USA. The government in Caracas will provide up to five million US dollars (4.2m euros) for affected families in Houston and Corpus Christi, Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza announced on Wednesday. "We will always stand by the side of the people of the USA."

Because of the authoritarian efforts of the Venezuelan government, the US had recently imposed new economic measures against the South American country. Among other things, transactions with government bonds and securities of the state oil company PDVSA were partially prohibited. The hurricane aid is to be handled via Citgo, the US subsidiary of PDVSA.

A boat of the US border police is driving in Houston over a street flooded by the tropical storm "Harvey". (Source: Lm Otero / dpa)

Venezuela is in an economic crisis. Because of corruption, years of mismanagement and the low oil price, the world's most oil-rich country hardly has foreign exchange for imports. There is a lack of food, medication and daily necessities in shops.

Mexico offers help – despite the wall conflict and Nafta
Mexico, too, had offered support to the neighboring country, despite the dispute over the frontier wall planned by US President Donald Trump, despite the conflicting negotiations of the North American free trade agreement Nafta. "We have a list of assistance that Mexico has offered, and we're taking that," said Texas governor Greg Abott on Wednesday.

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson thanked Mexico for the offer: "It is very generous of Mexico to offer help in this difficult situation." The Mexican chief diplomat Luis Videgaray said at the meeting in Washington: "We are neighbors and friends. That is what friends do."

Stars want to donate millions
Numerous US stars want to make a donation marathon for the victims of the flood catastrophe in Texas. Jamie Foxx, an Oscar-winner from Texas, announced in a videotape on Instagram that a large television donation was planned on September 12th. He had already donated $ 25,000 to an aid organization, the actor said.

The Telethon is scheduled to go live simultaneously in Los Angeles, New York and Nashville, reports the American celebrity portal "TMZ.com". Artists like actress Reese Witherspoon and country star Blake Shelton would help, the rapper Bun B from Houston told the Internet service.

"TMZ" said that actor Leonardo DiCaprio donated a million dollars from the funds of his foundation. On Twitter, the Oscar winner awarded a donation call from the organization United Way. Talkshow presenter Ellen DeGeneres drummed on Wednesday (local time) in her broadcast for the aid project of the footballer JJ Watts, who plays in the US football league NFL for Houston.

Help Houston and all those affected by Hurricane #Harvey by giving through the United Way Harvey Recovery Fund. https://t.co/qtpWx8u8wt- United Way (@UnitedWay) August 30, 2017
Numerous artists have shown their willingness to help in the past few days, including the singer Beyoncé and the actors Sandra Bullock, Kevin Hart and Amy Schumer. Bullock, who has a house in Texas, wanted to donate a million dollars (around 835,000 euros).

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