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As Hurricane Harvey Intensifies, Airbnb Looks To Texans To Open Their Homes Up To Victims

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As Hurricane Harvey intensifies in Texas, leaving large parts of Houston devastated and completely flooded, Airbnb has activated their Disaster Response Program.

The program is set to provide those who’ve been displaced by Hurricane Harvey, as well as volunteers and relief workers, a safe place to stay at no cost.

Airbnb is currently looking for people in San Antonio, Austin and Dallas to open up their homes to victims and relief workers affected by Hurricane Harvey. Homes in those cities are already open to those in need of shelter.

The Houston police chief said 2,000 people were rescued from flooding in the city over the weekend, and that at least 185 critical rescue requests were pending as Tropical Storm Harvey brought catastrophic rains into flood-prone areas. Here, Harris County Sheriff's Deputy R. Johnson rescues two children from high floodwaters in Cypress, TX. Officials released more water from Houston-area reservoirs overwhelmed by Harvey earlier in the day. The move is aimed at protecting the city's downtown from devastating floods, but that could still endanger thousands of homes, even as the nation's fourth-largest city anticipated more rain. To find out how you can help those affected by Harvey, click the ABC7 logo from our profile. Photo: @hcsotexas

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So far, Hurricane Harvey has dropped more than 20 inches of rain in some areas, and it hasn’t let up. According to the New York Times, the rains could continue another two-to-three days and add 15-to-25 inches of rain to parts of Southern Texas. Areas could see up to 50 inches of rain. The Washington Post reports that officials in Texas have put the death toll at eight so far, with more 30,000 people expected to be evacuated from their homes.

People are currently offering spare rooms, living rooms, and entire homes and apartments on Airbnb. If you’re in need of shelter or willing to offer your home for free to individuals and families, click here to find a place to stay or list your home as an evacuation shelter.


READ: After Criticism, Border Patrol Announces It Will Close Immigration Checkpoints In Path Of Hurricane Harvey

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Here's The Latest On Hurricane Harvey And How Texas Are Dealing With The Damage

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Here’s The Latest On Hurricane Harvey And How Texas Are Dealing With The Damage

Twitter/@houstonpolice @YonksHTX

As flooding continues in Southeast Texas, four days since Hurricane Harvey made landfall, we are now seeing the devastation that it has left in its path. And the rain is supposed to continue until tomorrow. The Weather Channel reports that Harvey’s center is currently in the Gulf of Mexico, which means the hurricane is expected to hit the Louisiana coast tomorrow.

Initial reports of fatalities are currently at 14, including a family of six that died while trying to evacuate. The New York Daily News reports that Manuel Saldivar, 84, his wife Belia, 81; Daisy Saldivar, 6; Xavier Saldivar, 8; Dominic Saldivar, 14; Devy Saldivar, 16, were in a van attempting to leave Houston. The van was overcome with flood waters as it tried to cross the bridge

As rising waters continue to overtake various parts of Houston, officials in Brazoria County tweeted that residents had to leave the area quickly because the levee had been breached. NBC also reports that two Houston reservoirs have overflowed.

President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump arrived in Houston and are surveying the damage. But the First Lady is getting clowned for wearing heels and a “FLOTUS” hat on her trip.

The Mexican government has attempted to offer aid to victims of Hurricane Harvey, but Trump has yet to approve any of it.

The hashtag #HoustonStrong is showing us some truly emotional photos of people helping others in need, and is also capturing what exactly is happening in Texas.

Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner also confirmed the death of 60-year-old police officer Steve Perez, who was trying to get to work and help. Police chief Art Acevedo was clearly shaken during a press conference:

This is just one visual of how much waters have risen in Houston.

https://twitter.com/JackDawkinsAD/status/902314793608110080

Yesterday, the Mayor tweeted that undocumented people should not fear seeking help.

https://twitter.com/ABC13Antonio/status/902209173231984641

“If you are in a stressful situation, I don’t care who you are, I don’t care what your religion is, I don’t care what your language is, you come and take advantage of every service that we have,” Turner said, according to The Hill. “If you’re in a stressful situation and you need help, you call us for help. We want you to call. There is absolutely no reason why anyone should not call okay?”

While a lot of the news has been dire, there have been some incredible people that have done whatever they can in order to help. The Houston Police gave a shout out to Taqueria Del Sol, which served food to patrol officers.

In other parts of Houston, the Gonzales family used their boat to help several people evacuate.

These panaderos were holed up in a bakery, so they made bread and gave it to those in need.

Gloria Maria Quintanilla didn’t let flooding stop her from getting to her job.

I worked at the hotel up there,” she said to a New York Times reporter, adding that she only makes $10 an hour. “It was my day to work, and I’m a very responsible person,” Quintanilla said, speaking in Spanish. “I had no idea it was going to be like this.”

READ: After Criticism, Border Patrol Announces It Will Close Immigration Checkpoints In Path Of Hurricane Harvey

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