MEANWHILE, IN TEXAS…

MEANWHILE, IN TEXAS…

Rest in Peace

Even as the floodwaters recede, the death toll from Harvey is rising. Houston Chronicle reported on Monday that the number of deaths has reached sixty, and the number is expected to rise. Medical examiners are still working to confirm which deaths are related to the storm as authorities continue to search for people who went missing during Harvey. So far, Harris County has confirmed thirty storm-related deaths, all but one of them accidental drownings. At least six people have died in Galveston County as a result of flooding, officials said Tuesday, with one more death that could be storm-related. That total includes two confirmed deaths in Dickinson and one in League City. Montgomery, Aransas, Jefferson, Orange, Jasper, San Jacinto, and Walker Counties also reported deaths.

Water, Water Everywhere

The city of Beaumont is still struggling to provide its residents with running water after the city’s pumps were wiped out by flooding on Thursday. According to PBS News Hour, the latest update from Beaumont is that most of the people now have running water, though it’s only a trickle in some places, and a citywide boil notice remains in effect. The city was able to rig up a temporary pump from the Neches River to the city’s water system over the weekend, and that’s expected to last long enough to fix the permanent pumps, according to the Beaumont Enterprise. Exxon Mobil engineers volunteered to work with two engineering companies, Echo and Tiger Industrial, to help get the temporary pumps working. As of Saturday, the city’s main water pump remained underwater after the Neches flooded. That pump provides about 70 percent of the city’s supply, with the other 30 percent coming from wells in Hardin County, which was also hammered by torrential rain from Harvey. According to the Austin American-Statesman, it could take up to two more weeks to fix the pumps.

Hot Seat

It was a wild (and pretty disappointing) opening weekend for some of Texas’s biggest college football teams, with University of Texas at Austin losing to Maryland, Baylor losing to Liberty, and Texas A&M dropping a thriller to UCLA. A&M coach Kevin Sumlin entered the season with his job in jeopardy, so the road loss to the Bruins didn’t help his cause, especially considering the Aggies blew a 34-point lead by allowing 35 unanswered points beginning late in the third quarter on Sunday. The frustrating loss prompted Tony Buzbee, a prominent Houston attorney who sits on the board of regents at A&M, to post a public rant about Sumlin to Facebook. “Our players were better tonight,” Buzbee wrote in the Facebook post, according to the Bryan Eagle. “Our players were more talented tonight. But coaches were dominated on national TV, yet again. I’m only one vote on the Board of Regents but when the time comes my vote will be that Kevin Sumlin needs to GO. In my view he should go now. We owe it to our school and our players. We can do better.” Literally adding injury to insult, the Aggies also lost two starters during Sunday’s loss: quarterback Nick Starkel and defensive back Donovan Wilson. Both are expected to undergo surgeries, and Sumlin told reporters the pair will “be out for a long time,” according to the Austin American-Statesman.