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flooding

After Hurricane Harvey, some Texas residents, politicians and scientists are wondering whether the whole U.S. system for predicting floods is any good.

The storm's deluge flooded parts of southeast Texas that had rarely, or never, been underwater before. Some areas got more than 50 inches of rain in a few days. "When the numbers started coming in it was a little scary," says Matt Zeve, the director of operations for the Harris County Flood Control District, which includes Houston.

The floodwaters from Hurricane Harvey had to go somewhere.

In late August, Hurricane Harvey brought record rainfall to Houston. In mid-October, the city's two large federal reservoirs have finally been emptied of the massive amount of water that had filled each of them to the brim.

From Texas Standard:

Up to 500,000 cars took on water during Hurricane Harvey. Not having a vehicle in car-dependent Texas could be a significant hardship. And those looking for a used car to replace a flooded one should be wary of buying storm-damaged rides.

On Saturday in Denham Springs, Louisiana, about 15 miles east of Baton Rouge, the parking lot of a Sam’s Club was turned into a one-stop shop for flood victims.

Just days earlier the entire area was under water, but now this is where people can grab a shopping cart, get free cleaning supplies, cases of water, and ice.

Louisiana is entering recovery mode after devastating flooding killed 13 people and damaged at least 60,000 homes across 20 parishes.

But as Louisana Gov. John Bel Edwards told CNN, that process is "going to take many months." He added that even though this flooding was "unprecedented and historic," many are "just now realizing how significant it was."

Marcin Wichary / Flickr

For many Texas families, tax-free shopping is a back-to-school tradition. This weekend, swap those folders for flashlights and binders for batteries. Emergency supplies are tax exempt starting Saturday morning.

It’s a first for Texas-- to help folks stock up for severe weather season. Families intent on cleaning out the hardware store should check the state’s “tax free” list before they buy.

TxDOT Austin / Twitter/@TxDOTAustin

The death toll now stands at six in Texas as more bodies were recovered on Saturday after another band of strong storms and heavy rain spawned three tornadoes and dangerous flooding in the waterlogged state.

Texas Department of Transportation / Twitter/@TxDOTAustin

The rain kept falling and falling across Texas -- some parts of the state saw more than 20 inches in recent days. Here are five things you should know about the deluge:

Christopher Connelly / KERA News

Update, Sunday night: The rain kept falling and falling -- and when it finally stopped, 21 inches fell in Corsicana in Navarro County, which is about an hour south of Dallas. 

Courtney Collins / KERA News

Some communities hover over the financial edge, while others have completely fallen off. Sandbranch, an unincorporated corner of Dallas County, is one of them. Residents there have no internet, no trash pickup and no running water. 

Bill Zeeble / KERA News

After Hurricane Katrina battered New Orleans, many flocked to North Texas. Meet Kenny and Annette, a couple born and raised in the Greater New Orleans area, just two blocks from the Lower Ninth Ward.  The hurricane played a role in splitting up their previous marriages. In North Texas, Kenny and Annette found each other. 

National Weather Service

Update 4:32 p.m. Tropical Depression Bill’s is moving inland across North Texas and into Oklahoma, according to the National Weather Service.

Parts of the Texas Panhandle could experience some showers or a storm with heavy rainfall from the tropical depression, but most of its activity will stay farther east.

The National Weather Service

Tropical Storm Bill made landfall along the Texas coast at about noon. The National Hurricane Center in Miami says the storm had maximum sustained winds of 60 mph Tuesday morning as it crossed the shores of  Matagorda Island, northeast of Corpus Christi.

National Weather Service

A tropical disturbance in the Western Gulf of Mexico could develop into a tropical depression or Tropical Storm Bill over the next 24 hours, according to the National Weather Service.

The drought finally broke for Texas ranchers late last year. The range and pasturelands on which cattle graze began to recover. Then came the spring. In Cameron, about 140 miles northwest of Houston, the rain began falling at the start of May — and didn't stop all month.

This Sunday, 150 girls ages six to 16 will say goodbye to their parents, grab their trunks and move into their summer cabins at Rocky River Ranch. The 50-year-old camp is a place preserved in time. When alumni drop off their little sisters and daughters, director Shanna Watson asks them if anything looks different.

In the roughly 13 years that Tom Keyser has owned Ino’z Brew & Chew in Wimberley, he’s been flooded three times, and last month’s flooding was the worst.

"This water level inside the building and in the restaurant itself was the highest it’s ever, ever been," he said. 

The restaurant got 18 inches of water in areas including the kitchen and main dining area, which meant Keyser and his partner had to close down the restaurant for five days. That was tough for him, his partner and their 35 employees.

Alan Melson / KERA News

Five stories that have North Texas talking: Dallas-Fort Worth sees its wettest May ever; the campus carry bill heads to the governor’s desk; Bob Schieffer retires; and more.

BJ Austin / KERA News

In May in Dallas-Fort Worth and across Texas, it rained and it rained. And then it rained some more. 

Courtney Collins / KERA News

The Trinity River in Dallas surged 12 feet above flood level Friday. It’s expected to crest at 43 feet Friday night. And that’s brought a surge of spectators to the Continental Bridge.

Alan Melson / KERA News

Update, Saturday morning: A second person has died in the Dallas area following Friday's storms and flooding.

Bill Zeeble / KERA News

One of the worst traffic snarls stopped vehicles at a flooded section of Loop 12 under Interstate 30 in West Dallas.

Rodger Mallison / The Fort Worth Star-Telegram

Update, 3:50 p.m. Thursday: Authorities say floodwaters from the swollen Brazos River are lapping at the foundations of 11 homes in a North Texas community west of Fort Worth.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

Five stories that have North Texas talking: record-setting rain for Texas; a shark fin ban is in the works; Jordan Spieth is at the Byron Nelson; and more.

Texas Department of Transportation / Twitter

Authorities on Wednesday ordered the evacuation of about 350 homes west of Fort Worth because the swollen Brazos River was expected to flood the area.

Valerie Lawhorn / KUHF

Update, 3:15 p.m.: Authorities in Hays County in Central Texas say they're trying to locate more than 40 people after the heavy rain and flooding.

Texas Department of Transportation / Facebook

Five stories that have North Texas talking: Central Texas hit hard by flooding; storms hit North Texas, too; a Dallas high school recalls yearbooks; and more.

Updated at 4:38 p.m. ET

Storms continued to move through Texas and Oklahoma, bringing tornadoes and dumping torrential rains that led to deadly flooding.

Updated at 4:41 p.m. ET

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott is calling the flood damage in the central part of his state "absolutely devastating."

Abbott flew over parts of the Blanco River Monday, a day after storms triggered flooding. The hardest-hit communities were Wimberley and San Marcos. Abbott added 24 counties to the disaster declaration he issued earlier this month to help communities overwhelmed with heavy rains and tornado damage.

The high water forced Peggy Wilborn — and her neighbors — from their homes in Wimberley.

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