Among Harvey’s victims: 500,000 vehicles

Harvey has left the Houston region with at least 18 dead, 50,000 rescued, and 500,000 cars destroyed by floodwaters, according to Harris County Judge Ed Emmett.

Emmett also estimated that as many as 40,000 homes have been ruined in the county, and that damages could reach $20 billion.

Many residents only recently completed repairs suffered during the 2016 “Tax Day” floods when, according to FEMA, 7,000 homes were damaged.

Around the Addicks and Barker reservoirs, some neighborhoods near the boundaries are heavily flooded. The vast pools were built on prairie land after major floods in 1927 and 1935, when Houston's population was about 300,000. Today, the reservoirs are normally dry wooded areas, parks and bayous, with earthen walls to hold back floodwaters. But in recent years, suburban sprawl has brought residential areas closer and closer to the reservoirs' edges, putting thousands of homes at risk of being inundated.

In Fort Bend County, meanwhile, evacuation orders have been issued for areas along the Brazos River, which is expected to reach a record crest of 56 feet and destroy thousands of additional homes. 

 Gov. Greg Abbott says state and federal aid will be headed to the coastal area. He estimates the state will need more than $125 billion for recovery.

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