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Levee South of Houston Breached, Residents Told to "Get Out Now"

Flooding from Tropical Storm Harvey in Houston.
Flooding from Tropical Storm Harvey in Houston. Photo by Allison Garcia
The catastrophic flooding from Tropical Storm Harvey isn't over yet. On Tuesday morning there was a breach in one of the levees in Brazoria County, located just south of Houston. Brazoria County officials responded to the failure in the Columbia Lakes levee by bluntly urging anyone still in the area to get out immediately.

This comes after the Brazos River rose to historic levels on Monday, a development that made it highly unlikely the levee would hold for the duration of the Harvey flooding. The area endangered is West Columbia, a town of about 4,000 people located about 60 miles outside of Houston alongside the Columbia Lakes, a levee system built to hold back the Brazos River, a part of the section outside of Houston that has seen some of the most intense destruction in the wake of Harvey.

"The Brazos River is being pounded, and all of that water is coming down from the tributaries and creeks into the river," a Brazoria County official told CNN. "All the roads around us are flooded. We don't have any evacuation routes to tell people to take."

Brazoria County officials had already issued a mandatory evacuation of the area on Sunday and Brazoria County Judge Matt Sebesta has said that people were warned in advance that it was likely the levee would be "overtopped" (the nicest way of saying a levee probably won't hold).

And now the water from the swollen Brazos is officially swamping the levee. Hundreds of homes are located in the area and water has already started coming in over the levee from the northeast side of the neighborhood.

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Dianna Wray is a nationally award-winning journalist. Born and raised in Houston, she writes about everything from NASA to oil to horse races.
Contact: Dianna Wray