Now: Houston area continues its recovery from Hurricane Harvey

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WEDNESDAY, Sept. 6

1 p.m. Students of storm-damaged Kingwood High bound for Summer Creek campus

Humble ISD trustees have formally approved moving Kingwood High students to the Summer Creek campus.

But before voting Tuesday night, board members heard from several parents from Summer Creek concerned about the shortened school days for their own children. Under the current version of the plan, Summer Creek students would have class from 7 to 11:19 a.m. Kingwood students would meet from 12:11 to 4:20 p.m.

Trustee Keith Lapeze is sending a child to Summer Creek High and said he had many of the same concerns. Ultimately, he said, the district had to choose between two sides of a bad coin — shorter class days or overcrowded classes.

Assistant Superintendent Trey Kraemer explained earlier in the meeting that a committee looked at a variety of scenarios before deciding on a shared campus. Portables would take months to set up, he said, and would not be safe on the Kingwood High campus as construction is ongoing inside the school.

12:55 p.m. Houston asks west side residents to limit water use

City officials are pleading with west Houston residents to heed calls to limit their water use until two flooded sewage treatment plants can be repaired.

The city’s West District and Turkey Creek wastewater treatment plants still were under eight feet of water as of Monday night and were not operating Wednesday morning.

That means residents in the 77024, 77041, 77043, 77055, 77077, 77079, 77080 and 77094 zip codes are being asked to limit water use – fewer flushes, shorter showers, fewer loads of laundry, doing dishes in the sink and not the dishwasher — until the plants can be brought back online.

Officials stressed that the city’s drinking water remains safe. The problem comes when that drinking water leaves the house, because its normal destination is shutdown. The Turkey Creek plant is at 1249 Enclave Parkway; West District is at 255 Isolde.

Failing to limit wastewater use, officials said, could lead sewage to back up into the homes of people served by those two plants.

12:35 p.m. Houston Bar expands legal advice line to assist those hard-hit by Harvey

The Houston Bar Association has expanded its LegalLine to assist those affected by Hurricane Harvey and set up a toll-free line for Texans outside the Houston area, the group said in a news release.

Volunteer attorneys will answer phone calls from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, through Sept. 29. Extended LegalLine hours will be available from 3 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Wednesday Sept. 6 and Sept. 20.

Those seeking answers to legal questions or referrals may call 713-759-1133 or 1-866-959-1133.

The HBA’s Houston Volunteer Lawyers is working with Lone Star Legal Aid to coordinate legal aid for low-income persons affected by Harvey.

Information: www.makejusticehappen.org/Harvey

12:20 p.m. VA deploys mobile vet centers, medical units to Houston area

The VA has deployed five mobile vet centers, three mobile medical units, one mobile pharmacy and one mobile canteen to greater Houston and other areas affected by tropical storm Harvey. The units will offer medical care, pharmacy assistance, counseling services and benefits referral from Wednesday Sept. 6 to Sept. 30. The hours are 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

They are located at NRG Arena, 1 NRG Park (mobile vet center); American Legion Post 658, 14890 FM 2100, Crosby (mobile vet center); Silsbee High School, 1575 U.S. 96 North, Silsbee (mobile medical unit); the Beaumont VA Outpatient Clinic, 3420 Plaza Circle, Beaumont (mobile medical unit, vet center and canteen); the Lone Star Veterans Association, 2929 McKinney St., Houston (mobile medical unit, vet center and pharmacy); and Wal-Mart, 23561 U.S. 59, Porter (mobile vet center).

Veterans may also call the Telecare Call Center at 1-800-639-5137 or 713-794-8985 for medical issues or questions

11:50 a.m. House approves $7.9 billion initial aid package for Harvey losses

The U.S. House of Representatives voted overwhelmingly Wednesday to provide $7.9 billion in aid to address losses from Hurricane Harvey, a move that could be paired with legislation to increase the federal government’s borrowing limit.

The initial aid package, approved 419-3, is bigger than the amount floated by the White House over the weekend when President Donald Trump made his second trip to Texas in the wake of the storm. But divisions remain among House and Senate Republicans about tying the aid to the debt-limit increase.

The Senate is expected to attach the money to a debt-limit vote later this week. Conservatives in the House and Senate, including Texas U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, have voiced concern about linking the two votes, which Cruz called “unrelated matters.”

Senior Texas U.S. Sen. John Cornyn, the Republican Majority Whip, said he supports the plan as a way to immediately replenish needed funds for the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

11:45 a.m. Postal service continuing its Harvey recovery

The U.S. Postal Service says its continuing the recovery from Hurricane Harvey

“We’re open for business and delivering where it’s accessible and safe to do so,” the postal service said in a statement Wednesday morning.

The following offices have resumed normal operations: Brazoria, Lumberton, Sweeny and Thompsons, the postal service said in a news release on Tuesday. All offices in the Houston District have resumed normal operations except for Bear Creek, Deweyville, downtown Beaumont, Glen Flora, Katy, Mauriceville, Nome, Orange and Stowell. The operations for these offices have shifted to other locations.

The postal service urges customers in affected areas to check its website for updates on service interruptions. Updates on service alerts may be found at: http://about.usps.com/news/service-alerts/resident-weather-updates.htm

Those interested in information about a specific post office may call 1-800 ASK-USPS.

11:25 .a.m. Police look for man who went missing during storm

Houston police are looking for a 44-year-old man who went missing as he tried to drive to work on Aug. 26, as Tropical Storm Harvey was moving into the Houston area.

Police said Joseph Dowell left for work at around 2:30 p.m. from the 5600 block of Kennilwood but never made it to work. He is described as a bald African-American man who is 5 foot 9 and 190 pounds. Anyone with information is asked to call the missing persons unit at 832-394-1840.

11:12 a.m. H-E-B family member donates $5M to J.J. Watt’s relief fund

A member of the H-E-B family has announced a major donation to Houston Texans star J.J. Watt’s Houston Flood Relief Fund.

H-E-B chairman and CEO Charles Butt will deliver a personal, $5 million contribution to the Justin J. Watt Foundation’s fund, which has collected in excess of $21 million. This looks to be one of the largest personal contributions so far going toward Hurricane Harvey relief efforts.

Watt’s fund started last week with a modest total of $100,000 and has now become a global effort with contributions by fellow sports figures, celebrities, business owners and regular people chipping in what they can.

11:10 a.m. Nonprofit focuses on children’s needs after Harvey

The nonprofit group Children at Risk was to host a meeting with more than 20 area non-profit leaders on Wednesday morning to discuss Hurricane Harvey recovery efforts.

“As we rebuild our homes, schools and communities, it is imperative to focus on our most vulnerable residents – children,” the group said in a news release. “The leaders have identified 6 key areas that Texas must be aware of as we move forward with recovery efforts.”

11:01 a.m. Abbott says no hazardous waste sites in Houston area found leaking so far

AUSTIN — Gov. Abbott said Tuesday that an inspection of hazardous waste sites and landfills in the Houston area has found no evidence so far of any leakage or health threats.

At a morning briefing with reporters at the state’s Emergency Operations Center, Abbott said five of 17 state sites have been inspected and show no signs of leakage or other issues so far. He said one site, International Creosote, remains flooded.

Eleven others are awaiting inspection, officials said. Abbott said inspections are continuing at the state sites.

Abbott said Texas Commission on Environmental Quality are working closely with federal Environmental Protection Agency officials to closely monitor the sites for any problems.


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