Houston begins to assess Hurricane Harvey’s trail of devastation

Six days after Hurricane Harvey roared ashore in southeastern Texas, officials and residents have begun to assess the storm’s trail of destruction in Houston as the flood waters slowly started to recede.

First responders, as well as urban search and rescue teams, launched a block-by-block, door-to-door search of badly flooded areas of Houston today to conduct recovery operations now that the weather has cleared and the rain has finally stopped.

SLIDESHOW: Slideshow: Hurricane Harvey devastates Gulf Coast

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Harris County Judge Ed Emmett told ABC News on Wednesday that thousands of people likely remain stranded and an estimated 30,000 to 40,000 homes have been destroyed in the Houston area as a result of Harvey’s torrential rains, flooding, and strong winds.At least 31 people have died as a result of the storm’s wrath, officials said.

Preliminary data shows Harvey has broken the rainfall record for a single storm event in the lower 48 states, according to the National Weather Service. The storm dropped a preliminary tally of 51.88 inches of rain in Cedar Bayou, Texas, some 30 miles east of Houston.

Harvey, which first hit land as a Category 4 hurricane, made its third landfall just west of Cameron, Louisiana, early Wednesday morning as a tropical storm. Harvey weakened to a tropical depression overnight before being degraded to a low-pressure system that is expected to bring heavy rain to the Tennessee Valley and the Ohio Valley.

Marcus Yam/Los Angeles Times/Polaris
Residential neighborhoods near the Interstate 10 sit in floodwater in the wake of Hurricane Harvey in Houston, Aug. 29, 2017.

As Harvey left the Houston area, the city’s busy George Bush Intercontinental and William P. Hobby airports have reopened and officials anticipate all airlines to gradually resume service in the coming days.

The ports of Houston, Texas City, Galveston, and Freeport have partially reopened with specific restrictions on vessel sizes and traffic, according to the captain of the port for the Coast Guard Sector Houston-Galveston.

The Mexican Red Cross sent a convoy of English-speaking volunteers to Houston on Wednesday, hours after Texas Gov. Greg Abbott announced the state will accept the Mexican government’s offer of aid and relief supplies, including vehicles, boats, and food.

Thomas B. Shea/AFP/Getty Images
A car gets towed while men walk in the flooded waters of Telephone Rd. in Houston Houston, Texas on Aug. 30, 2017.

Meanwhile, evacuees at overcrowded…

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