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In Some Areas Of Texas, It's 'Water As Far As The Eye Can See'

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Rescue efforts have been underway throughout southeastern Texas as Tropical Storm Harvey continues to dump rain over this area. Many people remain stranded in their homes, awaiting help as their neighborhoods have flooded. Thousands of evacuees have made their way to shelters outside the flood zone.

SHARELLE FRANKLIN: I'm overwhelmed of all that's going on and not knowing if my home is going to be there, if my dad is OK. It's - this is - I don't know what to say.

GREENE: And we've heard from a lot of people, it sounds like, who are in that position this morning, here. That was Sharelle Franklin (ph). She's a hurricane evacuee from Victoria, Texas. We have Rachel Osier Lindley on the line. She is here in Houston. She's a statewide editor for the Texas Station Collaborative.

Rachel, good morning to you.

RACHEL OSIER LINDLEY, BYLINE: Good morning.

GREENE: What's it been like, walking the streets of Houston?

LINDLEY: So I am on the University of Houston campus, where Houston Public Media is located. So we're very lucky because we have not seen flooding yet on the campus proper. But walking around, it's just a light drizzle, so you'd almost think that - you know, you'd almost think it was just a normal rainstorm. But then you get to the end of a block, and there's a street completely flooded and, you know, just water as far as the eye can see going into a bayou. So it can be misleading like that.

GREENE: Yeah, well - and so, from some of those neighborhoods - people trying to get out of neighborhoods that have flooded - how are the evacuation efforts going to get people to other cities?

LINDLEY: Well, I mean, they're going as quickly as they can, being such an unprecedented event. People, yesterday, were going out in boats. You know, the city asked that anyone who had a boat come and help evacuate folks. And it's - 911 has been inundated with calls.

Mayor Sylvester Turner had to ask the emergency responders to give preference to people who are actually in life-threatening emergencies. I actually heard, on the TV news, one of the anchors say, well, you know if you got a few inches of water in your house, like, don't call 911.

GREENE: Oh, my God.

LINDLEY: It might be uncomfortable, but that's just, you know, that's not a life-threatening emergency. So that kind of gives you a perspective.

GREENE: If you've only gotten a few inches - yeah, really.

LINDLEY: ...Yeah, a new perspective of what people are dealing with.

GREENE: And I understand you've actually been getting some calls at the station.

LINDLEY: Yes. Houston Public Media did continuous coverage all day yesterday, taking calls from people, people asking about, you know, where they could get help, people - letting people know what was going on in their neighborhoods, and just filling people in that couldn't get to different parts of the city about what was it looking like from their perspective.

GREENE: All right - Rachel Osier Lindley speaking to us from here in Houston. She's statewide editor for the Texas Station Collaborative. Rachel, thanks a lot. We appreciate it.

LINDLEY: Yeah, thank you. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

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