Environment

Now that the rain has stopped and floodwaters are slowly starting to recede, government officials are figuring out where tens of thousands of evacuees in Texas and Louisiana can stay.

The White House estimates about 100,000 houses were affected by the storm. Many were destroyed or are too damaged to live in. More than 30,000 people are staying in emergency shelters and will soon be in need of permanent accommodations.

There isn't a city in the United States, and there are probably very few anywhere in the world, that could have handled Hurricane Harvey's 50 inches of rain without significant flooding.

But Harvey was Houston's third flood in three years to surpass the "100 year flood" mark. Urban planners and civil engineers say a combination of natural and man-made factors has created a chronic drainage problem that left the city especially vulnerable to Harvey's torrential rains.

At a time when the Great Barrier Reef and other coral reefs are facing unprecedented destruction, researchers in Australia have found a small ray of hope for the fish that make the reefs their home.

Fish are more resilient to the effects of ocean acidification than scientists had previously thought, according to research published Thursday in Scientific Reports.

What should you do when confronted by a floating raft of thousands of fire ants?

Among the many scenes of devastation coming out of areas flooded by Tropical Storm Harvey, images of floating rafts of these ants have gone viral on social media.

President Trump is pledging to chip in to assist Hurricane Harvey recovery efforts, to the tune of $1 million of his personal funds.

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders made the unexpected announcement during her briefing on Thursday. Responding to a question about whether the president planned to personally contribute, Sanders said Trump "would like to join in the efforts that a lot of the people that we've seen across this country do, and he's pledging $1 million of personal money to the fund."

GREAT SMOKEY MOUNTAINS NATIONAL PARK VIA FACEBOOK

Great Smoky Mountains National Park will receive a $2.5 million upgrade to its radio communications systems in response to a fire in Tennessee that contributed to 14 deaths and millions of dollars of damage in November.

Bill Hughes

A special circuit judge ruled Wednesday that three acres of an Estill County landfill will be protected from any further dumping of waste until core testing is done.

Six days after Hurricane Harvey first crossed the Texas coast, Houston is still in rescue mode with people stranded in houses and apartments.

With the authorities overwhelmed by the scope of the flooding, private citizens have been rushing to Houston and towing their own boats to conduct rescues.

Rene Galvan has come to a makeshift boat launch on flooded Highway 90, looking for rescuers. In a soaked, blue hoodie, he sits anxiously in the bow of an aluminum boat, wondering how they're going to get to 14 members of his extended family who have been stranded by rising water.

A friend sent a photo to Jaime Botello's phone Wednesday that confirmed his fears: The house where his family has lived for 30 years is completely flooded.

"All the way to the top," he says.

And like most people in the Houston area, Botello, a welder who was at a shelter with his wife on Wednesday, doesn't have flood insurance. He says he can't afford it.

NOAA Paducah, weather.gov

Friday Mid-Morning Update:

Remnants of Harvey continue eastward on Friday. Moderate to heavy rains should end by Friday evening. No severe weather is expected, however a flash flood watch and a lake wind advisory remain in effect until 7. Winds around 20 miles per hour, with gusts up to 40 remain a concern. Avoid flooded areas.

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