Texas inmate executed for prison guard’s death

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A Texas inmate convicted in the death of a prison guard was put to death Thursday after the U.S. Supreme Court rejected his lawyer’s attempts to halt the execution.

Robert Pruett was given a lethal injection for the December 1999 death of corrections officer Daniel Nagle at a prison southeast of San Antonio. Nagle was repeatedly stabbed with a tape-wrapped metal rod, though an autopsy showed he died from a heart attack that the assault caused.

Prosecutors have said the attack stemmed from a dispute over a peanut butter sandwich that Pruett wanted to take into a recreation yard against prison rules.

The 38-year-old Pruett, who was already serving a 99-year sentence for a neighbor’s killing near Houston when he was convicted in Nagle’s death, lost two appeals at the Supreme Court as his execution neared. He became the 20th prisoner put to death this year in the U.S. and the sixth in Texas, which carries out the death penalty more than any other state. Texas executed seven inmates last year.

Pruett’s lawyers had asked the high court to review whether lower courts properly denied a federal civil rights lawsuit that sought additional DNA testing in his case. They also questioned whether a prisoner like Pruett, who claimed actual innocence in federal court because of newly discovered evidence after exhausting all other appeals, could be put to death.

Pruett avoided execution in April 2015, hours before he could have been taken to the death chamber, when a state judge halted his punishment so additional DNA testing could be conducted on the rod used to stab the 37-year-old Nagle. The new tests showed no DNA on the tape but uncovered DNA on the rod from an unknown female who authorities said likely handled the shank during the appeals process after the original tests in 2002.

Pruett’s attorneys unsuccessfully sought more DNA testing and filed a federal civil rights lawsuit arguing Pruett had been denied due process. The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals rejected the lawsuit last week, and the lawyers appealed to the Supreme Court on Tuesday.

Attorneys for Texas told the Supreme Court that Pruett’s appeals were delay tactics after issues were “repeatedly raised” and “properly rejected” by the courts.

No physical evidence tied Pruett to Nagle’s death at the Texas Department of Criminal Justice’s McConnell Unit near Beeville. At his 2002 trial, prisoners testified that they saw Pruett attack Nagle or heard him talk about wanting to kill the guard. According to some of the testimony, he talked about possessing a weapon as well.

Pruett had said he was framed and that Nagle could have been killed by other inmates or corrupt officers at the McConnell Unit.

Pruett’s 99-year murder sentence was for participating with his father and a brother in the 1995 stabbing death of a 29-year-old neighbor, Raymond Yarbrough, at the man’s trailer home in Channelview, just east of Houston. Pruett was 15 when the attack happened.

According to court testimony from a sheriff’s detective, Pruett argued with Yarbrough and then got his father and brother to join him in attacking the man. Pruett punched and kicked Yarbrough and held him down while his father stabbed the man multiple times, the detective said.

Pruett’s father, Howard Pruett, is serving life in prison. His brother, Howard Pruett Jr., was sentenced to 40 years.

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Texas Hold-em Poker Tips That Can Help You Make Money Playing Poker!

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Recently, the sport of gambling has been booming, especially because of Texas Hold-em poker. Everyone is familiar with draw poker, but Texas Hold-em adds a little twist to the game. Whereas a game of 5 card draw is all about the cards you possess, Texas Hold-em is mainly about reading your opponents and betting accordingly. There have been many cases where people who win huge tournaments do not have the better hand, but they were able to out-play their opponents to win very large pots. The key to being a good poker player is being able to determine the probability that you will win a given hand.

The other important skill that you will need in order to be successful in Texas Hold-em is the ability to read your opponent. You will need to figure out what your odds are, but there are a bunch of websites that can do that for you. I will explain how to read strong and weak bets, and also what to look for when your opponent plays certain bets.

A strong bet is one that is very common and can easily be seen. Generally, a strong bet is placed in one of two situations: when someone has a great hand or when someone is trying to knock someone else out of the hand. A strong bet does not necessarily mean that you have a good hand. A lot of the time, when a player bets a strong bet against a bad player, it is because they are trying to get them to fold their hand. However when a strong bet is placed by a bad player, that player wants to raise the pot. Unfortunately, they do not realize that most players will fold due to this. It always happens that the good players will use the bad poker player’s skill against them.

A weak bet is when a player decides to bet just over the minimum just so that they can see the flop (the first 3 cards dealt). In most cases, a good player will see this and make his opponent either fold or bet a higher amount. However, most of the time, a good player will not make a weak bet because they are already aware of their chance to win a given hand.

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Source by Kevin Olmstead

Texas Furry Fiesta 2016 – Fursuit Dance Competition (1080p60)



First dance competition I get to record at 60 frames per second, dances look really cool at 60p 🙂 00:00 – Sakura (Veteran) 02:29 – Chexy (Novice) 04:02 …

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Stage Collapses Around Carly Fiorina During Texas Event | Mashable News



Surging GOP presidential candidate Carly Fiorina and attendees at a San Antonio event on Sunday afternoon got more excitement than they bargained for when …

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Inside Texas’ Active Shooter Training Simulations

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More than 200 active shooter events have occurred in the United States since 2000, averaging roughly one a month. No one can predict when or where the next one might happen. That’s why law enforcement agencies across the nation participate in realistic training simulations that include gunmen, real bullets, and fake blood.

For his ongoing series Run, Fight, Hide, Spike Johnson shadowed cops, firefighters and other first responders participating in Advanced Law Enforcement Rapid Response Training in Texas. The gritty, black-and-white images resemble surveillance feed stills, with cops busting through doors, taking down shooters and carrying the victims to safety. The goal is to make it as real as possible. “They’re not joking around,” Johnson says. “It’s really serious.”

ALERRT is an FBI-endorsed program at Texas State University, training more than 105,000 police officers and 85,000 civilians since 2002, including Fort Hood responders Sergeants Kimberly Munley and Mark Todd. Former police and military officers teach classes around the country as well as on ALERRT’s 40-acre campus just outside of San Marcos. Trainees rush through mock offices, classrooms, and homes where they learn the best way to stop an attacker, treat the injured, and establish control of the perimeter. Props like dummy IEDs, severed mannequin limbs, and medical equipment add to the reality. Most simulations use rubber bullets, but some courses feature real ammunition. “The more realism we can inject into the training, the better they’re going to be prepared for the things they’re going to see and hear and smell and feel during the real deal,” says John Cornutt, assistant director of ALERRT.

Johnson learned about the program after working on a project about a group of amateur survivalists, preppers, and militia near Dallas. ALERRT felt like the professional side of emergency prep. “Rather than it being civilians that can be easily written off as extreme or paranoid it’s a legitimate national organization preparing for a similar event,” he says. He got permission to photograph ALERRT’s annual conference in San Marcos in November 2016, and a training session at the San Antonio Fire Academy in March.

He spent several hours at an ALERRT warehouse crouched on metal walkways above plywood rooms, watching as cops closed in on an active shooter below. The air hummed with intensity and raucous noise as police banged on doors, shouted at each other and the suspect, then unleashed a torrent of gunfire at a photograph representing the attacker. Johnson also documented a corresponding trade show, and listened to talks by survivors and victims’ families. “Everything’s overshadowed with this emotional reality,” he says.

Johnson captured everything with a Nikon FM2 camera and 35mm film. The images feel frenetic, dark, and almost dystopian. None of it is real, but for the officers involved, one day it could be.

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Storm Harvey: Trump to make second visit to Texas

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Media captionFlood victims have been returning to inspect the damage

US President Donald Trump is due to visit Texas for a second time in the wake of Hurricane Harvey.

The hurricane made landfall in the state a week ago, causing devastating floods.

Some residents have been allowed to return to their homes but flood waters are still rising in other areas.

Harvey has been blamed for at least 47 deaths, and about 43,000 people are currently housed in shelters. Mr Trump has asked Congress for $7.8bn (£6bn).

The sum would be an initial payment to help with recovery efforts following the flooding in both Texas and Louisiana, which has also hit production at America’s main petrol and oil refining centre.

Governor of Texas Greg Abbott has said the state may need more than $125bn in aid.

President Trump and his wife Melania visited Texas earlier in the week but stayed clear of the disaster zone, saying they did not want to divert resources from rescue efforts.

However, the president was criticised for not meeting victims of the flooding and for focusing largely on the logistics of the government response.

The White House said Mr and Mrs Trump would visit Houston on Saturday to meet flood survivors and volunteers, and would then travel to Lake Charles, Louisiana.

President Trump has declared Sunday a “National Day of Prayer” for victims of Hurricane Harvey.

Emergency funds request

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Administration officials say there will be further requests for funds when the full impact of Hurricane Harvey becomes known.

In a letter to House of Representatives Speaker Paul Ryan, White House budget director Mick Mulvaney warned that failure to raise the US debt ceiling could hinder recovery efforts.

The debt ceiling is a cap on the total amount the US government can borrow. Only Congress can raise that limit.

“This request is a down-payment on the president’s commitment to help affected states recover from the storm, and future requests will address longer-term rebuilding needs,” Mr Mulvaney said.

He said almost half a million households had registered for support for rental assistance and for essential home repairs.

He called on Congress to act “expeditiously to ensure that the debt ceiling does not affect these critical response and recovery efforts”. A vote on the emergency request is expected next week.

It is believed that about 80% of Texans do not have flood insurance to cover the wreckage.

Harvey dumped an estimated 20 trillion gallons of rain on the Houston area. It was later downgraded to a tropical storm but continued to batter Texas and parts of neighbouring Louisiana.

‘Massive’ clean-up

Governor Abbott has warned that the recovery programme will be a “multi-year project”.

“This is going to be a massive, massive clean-up process,” he told ABC News.

As the water recedes in Houston a huge clean-up operation is under way. Firefighters have been carrying out door-to-door searches in an operation that could take up to two weeks.

Mr Abbott warned that in some parts of the state, rivers were still rising and flooding “poses an ongoing threat”.

Media playback is unsupported on your device

Media captionMan plays piano in flooded Texas home – footage courtesy of Greg Aylor

Search-and-rescue teams have continued work in Beaumont, a city of about 120,000 people near the Louisiana border, where flooding has cut off the drinking water supply.

The Environmental Protection Agency has warned that floodwater can contain bacteria and other contaminants from overflowing sewers. It said the biggest threat to public health was access to safe drinking water.

Thousands of homes and businesses remain without power, and many schools are expected to remain closed on Monday.

Meanwhile the Houston Astros, the city’s Major League Baseball team, have announced they will return home for games against the New York Mets this weekend. Tributes will be paid to those who lost their lives in the flooding.

The team abandoned their home stadium this week, playing three games in Florida against the Texas Rangers.

“We hope that these games can serve as a welcome distraction for our city that is going through a very difficult time,” Astros president Reid Ryan said.

“We hope that we can put smiles on some faces.”

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See how Buffalo Bayou and Allen Parkway underpass flooded

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Aerial images show how central Houston underpasses remain flooded, 30 August

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Thousands flee Texas towns flooded by Harvey; gas prices spike

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ORANGE, Texas/HOUSTON (Reuters) – A week after Hurricane Harvey came ashore in Texas, rescuers pressed their marathon search for survivors on Friday in large pockets of land that remained flooded by one of the costliest natural disasters to hit the United States.

The storm has displaced more than 1 million people with 44 feared dead from flooding that paralyzed Houston, swelled river levels to record highs and knocked out the drinking water supply in Beaumont, Texas, a city of about 120,000 people.

Arkema SA (AKE.PA) said that a fire started on Thursday in a truck storing chemicals at a flooded plant 25 miles (40 km) east of Houston had burned itself out by Friday, but that more blasts were likely in eight other trucks storing the same chemicals in the coming days. Police are enforcing 1.5-mile (2.4-km) exclusion zone around the Crosby, Texas facility.

With three months remaining in the official Atlantic hurricane season, a new storm, Irma, had strengthened into a Category 3 storm on the five-step Saffir-Simpson scale, on Friday. It remained hundreds of miles from land but was forecast to possibly hit the U.S. territory of Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic and neighboring Haiti by the middle of next week.

Harvey shut about a quarter of U.S. refinery capacity, much of which is clustered along the Gulf Coast, and caused gasoline prices to spike to a two-year high ahead of the long Labor Day holiday weekend.

With the presence of water-borne contaminants a growing concern, the National Weather Service issued flood watches from Arkansas into Ohio on Friday as the remnants of the storm made their way through the U.S. heartland.

The Neches River, which flows into Beaumont and nearby Port Arthur, had been measured at 19.5 feet (6 m), almost five times flood level late on Thursday. The river was forecast to crest on Friday.

On the highway leading into nearby Orange, Texas, new cars and trucks at a Toyota dealership sat in floodwater midway up their tires. The day before the water at been at hood level.

Inside the county’s convention center, at least 60 people were waiting to be bused to shelters in Louisiana, said Sheriff Keith Merritt. Some had been rescued from their homes overnight, while others had been taken to the center from pickup points around the county.

“We’ve been traveling all night,” said Bessie Johnson, who said she had been rescued from her flooded home in Orange by men in military uniforms. She was due to board a bus to take her to a new shelter in Lake Charles, Louisiana.

Harvey roared ashore a week ago as the most powerful hurricane to hit Texas in half a century. It dumped unprecedented amounts of rain and left devastation across more than 300 miles (482 km) of the state’s coast.

GASOLINE PRICES SPIKE

A group of people carry supplies through flood waters caused by Tropical Storm Harvey in Port Arthur, Texas, U.S. August 31, 2017. REUTERS/Adrees Latif

The national average for a gallon of regular gasoline has risen 17 cents since the storm hit, hitting $2.519 as of Friday morning, the highest since August 2015, according to motorists group AAA. Oil prices have slipped over the week in response. [O/R]

Several East Coast refineries have run out of gasoline to deliver, raising fears that travelers will face fuel shortages during the three-day holiday.

In major Texas cities including Dallas, there were long lines at gas stations, prompting state regulators to tell people they were sparking a panic and saying there were ample fuel supplies.

The storm came on the 12th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, which killed about 1,800 around New Orleans. Then-U.S. President George W. Bush’s administration was roundly criticized for its botched early response to the storm.

Signaling that he did not want to be seen as repeating those mistakes, President Donald Trump plans a second visit to the storm-hit region on Saturday.

“Texas is healing fast thanks to all of the great men & women who have been working so hard. But still so much to do. Will be back tomorrow!” Trump said on Twitter on Friday.

Moody’s Analytics estimated the economic cost from Harvey for southeastern Texas at $51 billion to $75 billion, ranking it among the costliest storms in U.S. history.

At least 44 people were dead or feared dead in six counties including and around Houston, officials said. Another 19 remained missing.

Tens of thousands crowded in evacuation centers across the region.

As signs of normal life returned to Houston, the nation’s fourth most populous city, there were concerns about health risks from bacteria and pollutants in floodwater.

As of Friday morning, some 162,541 customers remained without power in Texas, along with 10,508 in Louisiana, according to the Department of Energy.

(For graphic on storms in the North Atlantic, click tmsnrt.rs/2gcckz5)

Additional reporting by Richard Valdmanis, Marianna Parraga, Ernest Scheyder, Ruthy Munoz, Peter Henderson and Andy Sullivan in Houston, David Gaffen in New York, Jon Herskovitz in Austin, Texas, and Brendan O’Brien in Milwaukee; Writing by Scott Malone Jon Herskovitz; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and Bill Trott

Our Standards:The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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Texas crews search for survivors in wake of Harvey’s floods

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PORT ARTHUR, Texas/HOUSTON (Reuters) – A week after Hurricane Harvey came ashore in Texas, rescuers kept up a marathon search for survivors on Friday as large pockets of land remained under water after one of the costliest natural disasters to hit the United States.

The storm has displaced more than 1 million people with 44 feared dead from flooding that paralysed Houston, swelled river levels to record highs and knocked out the drinking water supply in Beaumont, Texas, a city of about 120,000 people.

Chemicals maker Arkema SA (AKE.PA) and public health officials warned of the risk of more explosions and fires at a plant owned by the company. On Thursday blasts rocked the facility, about 25 miles east of Houston and zoned off inside a 1.5-mile (2.4-km) exclusion zone, after it was engulfed by floodwater.

With the presence of water-borne contaminants a growing concern, the National Weather Service issued flood watches from Arkansas into Ohio on Friday as the remnants of the storm made their way through the U.S. heartland.

The Neches River, which flows into Beaumont and nearby Port Arthur, was forecast for a record crest from Friday well above flood levels. The flooding and loss of drinking water forced the evacuation of a hospital on Thursday.

Two of the last people remaining in their flooded home near the river, Kent Kirk, 58, and Hersey Kirk, 59, were pulled to safety late Thursday.

“They were the last holdouts, the last house,” said Dennis Landy, a neighbour who had spent the day in his airboat ferrying people from a small, remote group of houses near Rose City, Texas, close to the Neches’ banks, to safety.

It took an hour of coaxing by a rescuer but Hersey Kirk finally let herself be carried from her wheelchair to the airboat and then to a Utah Air National Guard helicopter.

“I‘m losing everything again,” she said. “We got flooded in Ike, in Rita. My husband just got a new car – well it was new to him anyway. It’s sitting in 5 feet of water.”

Harvey roared ashore late last Friday as the most powerful hurricane to hit Texas in half a century. It dumped unprecedented quantities of rain and left devastation across more than 300 miles (482 km) in the southeast corner of the state.

COST OF UP TO $75 BILLION

Moody’s Analytics estimated the economic cost from Harvey for southeastern Texas at $51 billion to $75 billion, ranking it among the costliest storms in U.S. history. Much of the damage has been to Houston, the U.S. energy hub.

A group of people carry supplies through flood waters caused by Tropical Storm Harvey in Port Arthur, Texas, U.S. August 31, 2017. REUTERS/Adrees Latif

At least 44 people were dead or feared dead in six counties including and around Houston, officials said. Another 19 remained missing.

Some 779,000 Texans have been told to leave their homes and another 980,000 fled voluntarily amid dangers of new flooding from swollen rivers and reservoirs, according to federal estimates.

Tens of thousands crowded in evacuation centres across the region.

A new hurricane, Irma, had strengthened into a Category 3 storm, the midpoint of the five-step Saffir-Simpson scale, on Friday. It remained hundreds of miles from land but was forecast to possibly hit the U.S. territory of Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic and neighbouring Haiti by the middle of next week.

Seventy percent of Harris County, which encompasses Houston and has a population of about 4.6 million people, was covered with 18 inches (45 cm) or more of water, county officials said.

As signs of normal life returned to Houston, the nation’s fourth most populous city, there were concerns about health risks from bacteria and pollutants in floodwater.

The Houston Astros baseball team, forced to play away from the city due to the floods, will return and play at its home field on Saturday. It has invited shelter residents to attend its double header against the New York Mets, Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner said on his Twitter feed.

Flooding has shut some of the nation’s largest oil refineries and hit U.S. energy infrastructure, which is centred along the Gulf Coast. It has sent gasoline prices climbing and disrupted global fuel supplies. [O/R]

The national average for a regular gallon of gasoline rose to $2.519 as of Friday morning, the highest since August 2015, up 17 cents since before the storm hit, according to motorists advocacy group AAA.

The storm knocked out about a quarter of U.S. oil refining capacity and the signs of restarts were tentative.

In major Texas cities including Dallas, there were long lines at gas stations, prompting state regulators to tell people they were sparking a panic and saying there were ample fuel supplies.

Power outages had decreased from peaks of over 300,000 to about 160,000 homes and business in Texas and Louisiana as of Friday morning, data from utilities showed.

(For graphic on storms in the North Atlantic, click tmsnrt.rs/2gcckz5)

Additional reporting by Richard Valdmanis, Marianna Parraga, Ernest Scheyder, Ruthy Munoz, Peter Henderson and Andy Sullivan in Houston, David Gaffen in New York, Jon Herskovitz in Austin, Texas, and Brendan O’Brien in Milwaukee; Writing by Scott Malone Jon Herskovitz; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and Bill Trott

Our Standards:The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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Texas city loses water, 44 dead, but thousands of Harvey survivors rescued

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PORT ARTHUR, Texas (Reuters) – A flood-hit southeast Texas city lost its drinking water supply and police and soldiers rescued thousands still stranded on Thursday after powerful storm Harvey killed 44 people and displaced more than a million on the Gulf Coast.

Some 779,000 Texans have been told to leave their homes and another 980,000 fled voluntarily amid dangers of new flooding from swollen rivers and reservoirs, according to Department of Homeland Security acting secretary Elaine Duke.

The city of Beaumont, about 80 miles (130 km) east of Houston, had its water supplies cut off and was threatened by a rising river that forced the evacuation of its hospital and residents in neighbouring Orange County.

There were explosions at a chemical plant about 25 miles (40 km) east of Houston after it was engulfed by floodwater.

The loss of water and health risks from flooding were among hazards emerging in the aftermath of Harvey, which roared ashore late last Friday as the most powerful hurricane to hit Texas in half a century. It has since been downgraded to a tropical depression as it heads inland, leaving devastation across more than 300 miles (480 km) in the southeast corner of the state.Jessica Richard, 24, said she waited out the storm in her home in Port Arthur, about 85 miles (135 km) east of Houston, until Thursday morning when water on her street rose to waist-high. She was picked up by a passing truck.

Richard said her nephew had been trapped with several family members overnight in a flooded apartment. “He said there were snakes in the water and spiders crawling up the walls. But they got out,” she said.

At least 44 people were dead or feared dead in six counties including and around Houston, officials said. Another 19 remained missing.

HOUSE-BY-HOUSE SEARCH

In the U.S. energy hub of Houston, firefighters conducted a house-by-house search to rescue stranded survivors and recover bodies as some residents began to return to their homes to assess the damage.

Seventy percent of Harris County, which encompasses Houston, was covered with 18 inches (45 cm) or more of water, county officials said.

In Beaumont, doctors and nurses evacuated some 190 people from a hospital that halted operations after the storm knocked out water service in the city of almost 120,000 people.

Orange County ordered remaining residents to evacuate from low-lying areas after a forecast that the Neches River would crest on Friday, threatening homes.

U.S. Vice President Mike Pence visited Texas on Thursday, touring the coastal city of Rockport, where Harvey slammed ashore six days ago.

“The American people are with you. We are here today, we will be here tomorrow and we will be here every day until this city and this state and this region rebuild bigger and better than ever before,” Pence said outside a damaged church.

A group of people carry supplies through flood waters caused by Tropical Storm Harvey in Port Arthur, Texas, U.S. August 31, 2017. REUTERS/Adrees Latif

Gasoline futures soared more than 13 percent on Thursday as almost a quarter of U.S. refining capacity had been knocked offline, raising fears of fuel shortages.

About 189,000 homes and businesses remained without power and nearly 100,000 homes suffered flood damage, utilities and state officials said.

COSTLY DISASTER

Moody’s Analytics estimated the economic cost from Harvey for southeastern Texas at $51 billion to $75 billion, ranking it among the costliest storms in American history.

The event has drawn comparisons with Hurricane Katrina, which killed more than 1,800 people in New Orleans in 2005. Then-President George W. Bush’s administration was criticized for its haphazard initial response to that storm, and Donald Trump’s administration was taking care to be seen as responding quickly to its first major natural disaster.

Trump was to return to the region on Saturday.

Early Thursday, explosions could be heard at a chemical plant in Crosby, Texas, owned by Arkema SA (AKE.PA). Refrigeration systems failed in a truck storing volatile chemicals, which ignited as they warmed, sending smoke plumes 40-feet (12-meters) into the air, according to company and public safety officials.

Public safety officials insisted there was no risk to the public outside a 1.5-mile (2.4-km) safety perimeter, but more fires were expected at the facility, underscoring worries of possible damage at other petrochemical plants and oil refineries that dot the region.

As signs of normal life returned to Houston, the nation’s fourth most populous city, there were also concerns about health risks from bacteria and pollutants in floodwater.

The Houston Astros baseball team, forced to play away from the city due to the floods, will return and play at its home field on Saturday. It has invited shelter residents to attend its double header against the New York Mets, Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner said on his Twitter feed.

Residents began a massive cleanup, dragging water-logged furniture to the curb, hunting for supplies and repair estimates. The city began limited trash pickup and bus services. Hospitals that had struggled to stay open earlier in the week were phasing in clinical operations.

“We are blessed that the rain has stopped,” said Brenda Stardig of the Houston City Council.

Many in Houston were shocked at what they found when they returned home.

Anita Williams, 52, was lined up at a shelter at Houston’s George R. Brown Convention Center to register for aid from the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Williams went back to her home on Wednesday to survey the damage to her one-story house.

“It’s not my house anymore,” Williams said. “My deep freezer was in my living room.”

Additional reporting by Richard Valdmanis, Marianna Parraga, Gary McWilliams, Ernest Scheyder, Erwin Seba, Ruthy Munoz, Peter Henderson and Andy Sullivan in Houston, Ben Gruber in Crosby, Texas, Emily Flitter in Orange, Texas, David Gaffen and Christine Prentice in New York, Susan Heavey in Washington, Jon Herskovitz in Austin, Texas, and Brendan O’Brien in Milwaukee; Writing by Dan Whitcomb; Editing by Jonathan Oatis and Andrew Hay

Our Standards:The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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Hurricane Harvey: FCC Chairman Ajit Pai to Visit Texas

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WASHINGTON — FCC Chairman Ajit Pai will travel to Texas on Tuesday to inspect the devastation caused by Hurricane Harvey and to monitor the progress of restoring communications.

“Working in close coordination with the Department of Homeland Security, the FCC will do everything it can to help restore communications services after this terrible storm,” Pai said.

Earlier this week, Pai said that the storm had knocked out wireless cell sites in Aranas, Calhoun and Refugio counties, with communications networks hit hardest in areas where the hurricane hit landfall.

He said that the FCC has deployed field agents in the storm affected areas.

“Broadcasters and other news outlets have also played a critical role in conveying emergency information, and in some cases, even coordinating live, on-air rescues,” he said. “Everyone who is pitching in deserves our gratitude and support.”

A number of broadcasters are participating in telethons and fundraisers for victims of the hurricane.

In the wake of the disaster, the FCC activated a disaster information reporting system in which communications providers can report problems with communications infrastructure.

Harvey, now downgraded to a tropical storm, made landfall in Louisiana on Wednesday morning. The disaster has claimed at least 30 lives, and 33 counties have been declared disaster areas. Estimates are that tens of thousands of homes were destroyed in the hurricane and the subsequent flooding.

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