Harrowing images and video have captured the destruction in parts of Texas after Hurricane Harvey pounded the Gulf Coast with torrential rain, causing rapidly rising floodwaters.
Harvey, which made landfall Friday as a Category 4 hurricane before weakening to a tropical storm, sent devastating floods pouring into the greater Houston area on Sunday turning highways and residential streets into rivers. The metropolitan area is home to about 6.8 million people.
WATCH: Video shows devastating flooding in Houston from Harvey
TV news crew helps rescue stranded truck driver during Tropical Storm Harvey
Some areas have already seen as much as 76 centimetres of rain, according to the National Weather Service, and by the end of the week, some coastal areas of Texas will have seen as much as 127 centimetres of rain.
Images of from the Houston area showed cars submerged in water and residents escaping to higher ground.
Brock Long, the director of Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) said they are anticipating 30,000 will be displaced by the storm.
“Right now this mission is very important. This is a life-safety, life-sustaining mission,” Long said. “Right now in addition to search and rescue, the next objective is to stabilize disaster survivors. We have got to get them into shelters. We are anticipating over 30,000 people being placed in shelters temporarily.”
READ MORE: Harvey’s Texas flooding to cause gas price hikes across North America
Texas under state-wide disaster declaration from Harvey: Gov. Abbott
Texas Governor Greg Abbott has activated the entire state National Guard, tripling the number of guardsmen active in the state from about 4,000 to about 12,000.
“It is imperative that we do everything possible to protect the lives and safety of people across the state of Texas as we continue to face the aftermath of this storm,” he said.
Abbot designated 54 Texas counties as state disaster areas, including 18 that are designated federal disaster areas.
“Our number goal from Corpus Christi to east of Houston is still protecting and preserving life and rescuing every person that we can find,” Abbott told reporters Monday afternoon. “Our second goal is to ensure our fellow Texans have access to necessities, food, water, supplies and power.”
Meanwhile, videos of the flooding in Houston, the sixth largest city in U.S., have shown people being rescued from stranded cars.
Houston City Police Chief Art Acevedo said that officers have rescued more than 2,000 people trapped by the rising floodwaters and there are another 185 rescue requests still pending. The rain and floods have been blamed for at least two deaths.
“The goal is rescue. That’s the major focus for the day and that’s my directive,” said Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner in a Monday morning press conference.
READ MORE: Canadians in Texas grapple with Harvey’s wrath
Houston Emergency Services has handled 75,000 emergency calls as of 9 a.m. CT authorities said.
Images showed the extensive flooding at Buffalo Bayou Park, a 124-acre green space and on Interstate 45 in Houston.
Flooded downtown is seen from a high rise along Buffalo Bayou after Hurricane Harvey inundated the Texas Gulf coast with rain causing widespread flooding, in Houston, Texas, U.S. August 27, 2017 in this picture obtained from social media. (Twitter/@caroleenarn via REUTERS)
Interstate highway 45 is submerged from the effects of Hurricane Harvey seen during widespread flooding in Houston, Texas, U.S. August 27, 2017.
Other video captured of the catastrophic flooding shows residents kayaking and boating through the city streets.
Area residents use a kayak to rescue motorists stranded on Interstate highway 45 which is submerged from the effects of Hurricane Harvey seen during widespread flooding in Houston, Texas, U.S. August 27, 2017. REUTERS/Richard Carson
Flood waters from Hurricane Harvey cover the main street in Dickinson, Texas August 27, 2017. REUTERS/Rick Wilking
The White House said President Donald Trump would visit Texas on Tuesday, accompanied by first lady Melania Trump.