After five days of the most intense flooding the United States has ever seen, huge swaths of Houston, Texas are underwater.
That didn't stop Houston Press from putting out its paper today.
In the wake of the Category 4 hurricane and flooding that far surpasses the waters that inundated New Orleans in Hurricane Katrina, Houstonians are seeking shelter, rescuing their neighbors and wondering how to re-start their lives.
The Press, Houston's alternative weekly newspaper, has been on the ground (and in the water) tracking those harrowing stories. Many of the most remarkable stories were filed by a single reporter, Meagan Turner.
As of today, according to radio station KHOU, the number of confirmed deaths in Houston has spiked to 22. Among them: a police officer whose car flooded on his way to work Sunday morning and a family of six trapped in a family van.
Mayor Sylvester Turner (who decided not to issue an evacuation order after the chaos of Hurricane Rita) has issued a midnight to 5 a.m. curfew in hopes of curtailing looting of evacuated homes.
And, according to the Houston Press, "almost every major company with refineries on the Houston Ship Channel has filed notifications of air emission events." ExxonMobil filed a report with the National Response Center on Tuesday to disclose that damages to their refinery from Hurricane Harvey would mean 15 pounds of the carcinogen benzene being released into the air.
The Houston Press' coverage is all well worth reading. But start with the story of Kevin Hester, who went door-to-door in a rowboat to rescue his neighbors.
"Out on main roads it was pretty dicey, because you have a current going down the roads from the bayous," he said. "On Bellfort, there was a lot of debris. Stuff would just hit your legs. But you can't think about snakes or anything like that. There's not enough snakes in the world to be in as much water as we had."