fox5krbk.com - (9/4/2017)
Even with some neighborhoods still flooded and under mandatory evacuation orders... Houston's mayor says the city is open for business this week. But there is plenty of work ahead across the region... from removing debris to getting water plants back online.. and dealing with polluted floodwaters.
As water levels continue to drop... relief supplies are flooding in... from people in Houston sharing resources on a grass roots level.. to international neighbors... like the Canadian government sending in cargo planes. Vasken Khabaya, Canadian Consul General in Dallas, "We have in there some hygiene products, some blankets, some pillows, baby formula, baby cribs, baby blankets, etc."
But in hard-hit west Houston... a large number of neighborhoods remain under evacuation as the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers eases pressure... drawing down built-up water in two large... swollen Houston reservoirs.
Health concerns are also growing across the region... from raw sewage and hazardous material contaminants being spread by floodwaters... to mountains of debris being cleared from damaged homes. Gov. Gregg Abbott saying, "We are working with the E-P-A to make sure that we contain any of these chemicals harming anybody in the greater Houston area, or any other place."
Some good news from Crosby, Texas... where people living near the Arkema chemical plant outside of Houston are now being allowed to return home... the evacuation order lifted earlier today after remaining hazards chemicals were burned off.
Back in Houston... some 12 thousand people remain without power... and despite many areas still being under water... officials say the city's tap water is safe.. and the airport and transit system are up and running.
Out west... some residents are returning home after a massive wildfire burned out of control near Los Angeles. The La Tuna fire... being called the biggest fire in Los Angeles history... has burned more than 7 thousand acres since it broke out last Friday. Los Angeles resident Judy Dvoraeck remarking, "I could see it just growing, I just watched it slowly creep over the hill, kind of where it's smoldering right now."
About 800 firefighters have been on the scene... after some cooler and rainy weather... the La Tuna fire is now about 30 percent contained.
In Oregon... authorities say the Eagle Creek fire has grown to around 3 thousand acres with little to no containment so far. Oregon state police suspect the fire is man-made... possibly from fireworks. The fire started Saturday afternoon... and left about 150 hikers stranded in the Columbia river gorge.
One hiker relaying the scene, "There's kids there. And they were screaming. And the fire had jumped up on the trail, was burning all around the trail. And then we ran out of there."
Those hikers have since been rescued. Evacuation orders have been issued for about 130 homes nearby.