The death toll from Hurricane Harvey is rising as massive amounts of rain continue to flood Houston and other parts of Texas and Louisiana. At least 14 people have died, including four children and their great-grandparents. The Houston police and U.S. Coast Guard have rescued over 6,000 people from their homes, but many are still stranded. So much rain has already fallen that the National Weather Service has had to add two new colors to its maps to indicate rainfall levels. Meteorologists forecast another foot of rain could fall on Houston in the coming days.
Concern is also growing over the environmental impact of the storm. Residents of Houston’s industrial communities are reporting strong gas and chemical-like smells coming from the many nearby refineries and chemical plants. Texas senators Ted Cruz and John Cornyn are both facing criticism for having voted against the $51 billion Hurricane Sandy aid package in 2013. More than 20 House Republicans in Texas also voted against the hurricane aid package.