Ironically, in a prime example of why people shouldn’t ignore the threats of major disasters, and warnings to evacuate to safer areas, the many residents of Rockport Texas who vowed to ride out the hurricane rather than evacuate are now being forced to evacuate due to public health concerns. It just isn't possible to live in the devastated town.

Storm aftermath

One of the major problems of such massive natural disasters as Hurricane Harvey, which is now downgraded temporarily to a tropical storm, is that even those who survive the initial event often find themselves in totally destroyed towns with no infrastructure left to enable them to continue living there.

In other words, after riding out a massive hurricane and seeing their town almost wiped out with most residential buildings and businesses destroyed, the people who foolishly ignored warnings to evacuate now face either evacuation or hiding out from authorities and trying to live in basements or damaged buildings with no dependable cell phone service, no fresh water, no electricity, and no sewer system.

This is otherwise known as living in the same conditions as remote villages in third world countries but without the skills and knowledge necessary to live in that environment. And, of course, even people who are adapted to living in such primitive conditions often experience serious epidemics and malnutrition.

Since major cities, such as Houston, are now under threat of major flooding events from the continued rain from Tropical Storm Harvey (which has just been sitting over south-central coastal Texas).

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Many disaster resources are being diverted from destroyed small towns to the big cities, an emergency management triage situation.

Authorities have positioned a number of buses in the town of Rockport this afternoon ready to take any residents to shelters in Corpus Christi or as far as Austin. Even if all resources were available to rebuild the town it would take weeks to get power and water back to enough area to make the town livable.

With no running water, there is the danger of cholera or other diseases spreading since no water means no sewage system. This isn't just a matter of storing enough drinking water to survive a few days, lack of water is now a major public health issue. Now that Rockport has been declared unlivable it is unlikely any emergency services will remain after the town is evacuated so there will probably be no medical or other services available and the only government left will likely be a few national guardsmen or police to guard against looting.

Harvey

Meanwhile, with Tropical Storm Harvey sitting over Texas, massive bands of wind and rain keep pounding a vast region making the ground so saturated that it begins to act almost as if it were the Gulf, helping to keep up the strength of Harvey.

It is also expected that Harvey might migrate back over the Gulf, rebuild into a hurricane again, and move back over the already devastated parts of Texas. The most recent data indicates that Harvey may have begun to move as of noon today. It is difficult to be precise because there is no well-defined eye of the storm to track, but NOAA says that it looks as if the story is moving to the South East at 2 mph, which would confirm the many models which say it could continue back to the Gulf of Mexico’s warm waters and rebuild strength.

Houston

The Texas Tribune newspaper is reporting that just 48 hours into Harvey’s upgrade to a hurricane, the city of Houston Texas is now experiencing the worst flooding in its history. This as rain continues to fall in heavy cloudbursts which are predicted to continue intermittently for up to 4 more days. The Weather Channel is now upping estimates to 50 inches of rain in some areas.

This is already worse than the 2001 tropical storm Allison which left more than two scores dead. The previous record rainfall total for the Houston-Galveston area is 16 inches of rain over a five-day period. NOAA predictions are that the area will receive a minimum of 36 inches of rain during the next few days.

Thousands of people have already been rescued from lower lying parts of the city and the storm has only begun.

911 emergency resources are already overwhelmed with rescue calls from people who, against official directives, went out into the flooded streets and became stuck. There are already 2,000 911 calls just for rescues from people who are stranded but not in any immediate danger, making it impossible to get to some of the inevitable injured or sick which happen every day in a large metropolitan area.

Houston was never under any evacuation order due to Hurricane Harvey and authorities are defending this decision by pointing out that given the short notice and giant population many more people would have been put at risk by any attempt to evacuate a major modern city.