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Remnants of storm Harvey force more to flee homes

By Jeff Amy

More people have been forced out of their homes nearly a week after Hurricane Harvey, as heavy rain hit Louisiana and knocked out the entire drinking water system in a Texas city of almost 120,000 people.

It came as the mayor of Houston pleaded for more high-water vehicles and more search-and-rescue equipment as the US's fourth-largest city continued looking for any survivors or bodies that might have somehow escaped notice in flood-ravaged neighbourhoods.

Mayor Sylvester Turner also asked the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to provide more workers to process applications from thousands of people seeking government help.

Harvey victims expect FEMA to work with great urgency, Mr Turner said.

He added that he will request a preliminary financial aid package of $75m (£58m) for debris removal alone.

The remnants of the storm were dying as they pushed deeper inland but remained powerful enough to raise the risk of flooding as far north as Kentucky.

Over 1,500 people were staying at shelters in Louisiana and that number was climbing as more people evacuate from flood-ravaged communities in Texas.

The state opened a seventh shelter yesterday in Shreveport for up to 2,400 people, said Shauna Sanford, a spokeswoman for Louisiana governor John Bel Edwards.

The city of Beaumont, near the Texas-Louisiana line, was evacuating and trying to bring in enough bottled water for people who stayed behind after a water pumping station was overwhelmed by the swollen Neches River.

In Houston, officials turned their attention to immediate needs such as finding temporary housing for those in shelters, but also to the city's long-term recovery, which will take years and billions of dollars.

Authorities raised the death toll from the storm to 39 late on Thursday, while rescue workers conducted a street-by-street search, of tens of thousands of Houston homes, that rescuers began on Thursday.

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