The flooded area is the "size of Lake Michigan" said the official.
After getting trapped in high water, the officer tried to get out but was unable to.
And Brazoria County tweeted for residents to "GET OUT NOW" after a levee breech at Columbia Lakes.
This is the first time officials have done a release while it is still raining. Rising water levels and continuing rain were putting pressure on the dams that could fail without the release. Water levels in the two reservoirs had already reached record levels Monday evening, measuring 105 feet at Addicks and 99 feet at Barker.
About five percent of the water in the bayou will be from the controlled release, 15 percent will come from the uncontrolled release and the rest will come from the runoff and rain downstream of the dams.
As we've previously noted, Addicks and Barker were classified as two of the most risky dams in the United States as of 2009, and while the Corps has done some repairs since then, issues about the soundness of the structures have remained, which is part of why the Corps went ahead and started releasing water, something it has never ordered during an ongoing rain event since the reservoirs were first constructed more than 70 years ago. "Within the next 6 to 10 hours we will be releasing 4,000 c.f.s. from both reservoirs, for a combined total of 8,000 c.f.s.", the Corps said in a press release read. These are the Addicks and Barker reservoirs, according to the Washington Post. However, Lindner tweeted at 12:21 a.m. CT that the water release had started. Around 2:30 a.m. Monday, however, the rapidly rising water levels prompted the Army Corps to begin releasing water from both reservoirs.
Residents living adjacent to the Addicks and Barker reservoirs were told to avoid driving, especially in water of unknown depth; to remain home unless advised to evacuate; restrict children from playing in flooded areas and to secure valuables. Dam releases are expected to occur for several months following this storm event. The release was necessary, officials said, to avoid a collapse of the reservoirs' dam and inundate downtown Houston, however it put several thousand homes in the area at further risk.
For a video released this afternoon by the corps explaining the Barker situation, go to the army corps of engineers Galveston division Facebook page.
The Harris County Flood Control District noted the structures "have protected greater Houston area residents against loss of life and property over the last 70 years" and that there were no signs of structural issues with the dams.
Homes located near two government reservoirs in west Harris County are flooding and could take on some more water as one of them surpasses its capacity. "So as the pool rises, it will back up to the west, like the water would back up to your bathtub". "If you are upstream of the reservoir, the worst is not over", Linder said at a Monday afternoon press conference, warning that "water is going to be inundating areas that have now not been inundated". The Sierra Club even sued the Corps in a failed attempt to stop construction on a nearby stretch of the Grand Parkway, a major toll road project that some opposed fearing it would coax development in an area that's critical to the region's flood control efforts.