HOUSTON — Major dangers for the U.S. Gulf Coast area loomed Thursday with the threat of major flooding further east near the Texas-Louisiana line and a Harvey‘s floodwaters began receding in the Houston area after five days of torrential rain.as
Beaumont and Port Arthur, Texas, struggled with rising water as the area was pounded with what remained of the weakening storm, while Houston’s fire department said it would begin a block-by-block search of thousands of flooded homes. Assistant Fire Chief Richard Mann said the searches were to ensure “no people were left behind.”
White House homeland security adviser Tom Bossert said Thursday afternoon that the administration estimates about 100,000 homes were affected by the storm, with some filled with up to eight feet of water. He said during a briefing that the administration would be sending a funding request to Congress “shortly.”
The confirmed death toll climbed to at least 29, including six family members — four of them children — whose bodies were pulled Wednesday from a van that had been swept off a Houston bridge into a bayou.
“Unfortunately, it seems that our worst thoughts are being realized,” Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez said after the van that disappeared over the weekend was found in 10 feet of muddy water.
Follow along below for live updates on the storm. All times are Eastern unless otherwise noted.
6:45 p.m.: Carnival Cruise ships to return to Galveston
Reuters news agency reports that three Galveston, Texas-based Carnival Cruise Lines ships will return to the Port of Galveston this weekend, days after Tropical Storm Harvey forced them to delay plans to dock there, the company said on Thursday.
Carnival’s Freedom, Breeze and Valor were stationed around New Orleans while Harvey ripped through Texas.
Carnival said it expected the Port of Galveston to reopen beginning on Friday and that all three of its ships would be en route back to Galveston by Thursday evening, Reuters writes.
6:05 p.m.: Department of Labor says Texans are survivors
“Today was a difficult day … we saw a lot of destruction … but Texans were helping each other,” Alexander Acosta said. “Texans helping Texans … and my takeaway today is that Texans are survivors. They are helping each other … they are solving their problems.”
Acosta announced that $30 million is being provided to the state of Texas to assess workforce needs from the Dislocated Worker Fund. They also approved Disaster…