Texas flood worsens as Trump visits

Flooding in South-Eastern Texas and South-Western Louisiana is expected to worsen due to overnight heavy rainfall, just as U.S. President Donald Trump is preparing to visit the battered region.

Harvey, which has been downgraded from a hurricane to a tropical storm, is drifting eastward back toward the Texas coastline after meandering in the Gulf of Mexico, an advisory issued early on Tuesday by the National Hurricane Centre said.

The centre advised people to avoid traveling in the affected areas and not to drive into flooded roadways, warning the situation remains “catastrophic and life-threatening’’.

Trump and First Lady Melania would meet local leaders and representatives of relief organisations in Corpus Christi, Texas.

They are scheduled to visit the Emergency Operations Centre in Austin and meet with state officials.

Flights into Houston’s two airports had ceased due to flooding on the surrounding roads.

States of emergency have been declared in 54 counties in Texas and parts of neighbouring Louisiana.

All 12,000 available members of the Texas National Guard have been deployed to help with search and rescue, and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has sent 8,500 federal staff members to Texas and Louisiana.

More than 3,000 people have been rescued in the city of Houston, which was among the worst hit.

Mayor Sylvester Turner said calls were still coming in from people stuck or on top of in their flooded homes.

Some 5,500 people were inside shelters in the Texas city of more than 2 million people, and more than 30,000 people were expected to be placed in temporary shelters.

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