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People walk down a flooded street as they evacuate their homes after the area was inundated with flooding from Hurricane Harvey on August 28, 2017 in Houston, Texas.

People walk down a flooded street as they evacuate their homes after the area was inundated with flooding from Hurricane Harvey on August 28, 2017 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

'A Class of Its Own': No Storm in US History Has Unleashed More Rain Than Hurricane Harvey

"The 3-to-4 day rainfall totals are simply mind-blowing."

Jake Johnson

Having dropped more than 50 inches of rain in an area east of Houston, Hurricane Harvey was officially declared "the most extreme rain event in U.S. history" on Tuesday.

The National Weather Service sent out notice Tuesday morning that Mary's Creek at Winding Road in Southeast Houston reported 49.2 inches of rain, but that number had been eclipsed by mid-afternoon, when Nielsen-Gammon recorded the new high mark at 50.4 inches.

"The 3-to-4 day rainfall totals...are simply mind-blowing," declared a National Weather Service office in Houston.

"All rainfall totals from this storm are still preliminary and require review. But, if verified, this amount breaks not only the Texas state rainfall record but also the record for the remaining Lower 48 states," observes the Washington Post's Jason Samenow. "Hawaii has logged isolated reports of greater amounts at high elevations from tropical systems, but the footprint from Harvey in Southeast Texas is much larger. It has produced at least three feet of rain over most of the Houston region, affecting more than 5 million people."

The astonishing numbers—which Samenow says puts Hurricane Harvey "in a class of its own"—come as many continue to either evacuate Texas or seek shelter within the state. Some estimates put the number of people who could be left displaced by Harvey at around 30,000. By Tuesday afternoon, the estimated death toll from the storm had reached 15.

As Common Dreams reported on Monday, scientists have argued that extreme weather events like Hurricane Harvey—as well as the monsoon flooding that is currently ravaging Bangladesh, India, and Nepal—represent "the new reality" as the planet warms and sea levels rise.

In an appearance on "CBS This Morning" Tuesday, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) said that the destruction wrought by Hurricane Harvey—and the extreme events that are sure to be worsened by human-caused climate change—makes mutual aid and solidarity as essential as ever.

"If there's any silver lining in the terrible suffering that's going on in Houston, it is to remember that we are all one country, and I am sure whether you're white or black or Latino, people are coming together to help each other all over the country," Sanders said. "We are one nation and we have got to stop the type of divisions that Trump and others are bringing about trying to divide us up."

Watch the full interview:


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'We Need Action': Biden, Democrats Urged to Protect Abortion Access in Post-Roe US

"The Supreme Court doesn't get the final say on abortion," Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Tina Smith wrote in a new op-ed.

Kenny Stancil ·


Motorist 'Tried to Murder' Abortion Rights Advocates at Iowa Protest, Witnesses Say

Although one witness said the driver went "out of his way" to hit pro-choice protestors in the street, Cedar Rapids police declined to make an arrest.

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'A Hate Crime': Oslo Pride Parade Canceled After Deadly Shooting at Gay Bar

A 42-year-old gunman has been charged with terrorism following what Norway's prime minister called a "terrible and deeply shocking attack on innocent people."

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'We WILL Fight Back': Outrage, Resolve as Protests Erupt Against SCOTUS Abortion Ruling

Demonstrators took to the streets Friday to defiantly denounce the Supreme Court's right-wing supermajority after it rescinded a constitutional right for the first time in U.S. history.

Brett Wilkins ·


80+ US Prosecutors Vow Not to Be Part of Criminalizing Abortion Care

"Criminalizing and prosecuting individuals who seek or provide abortion care makes a mockery of justice," says a joint statement signed by 84 elected attorneys. "Prosecutors should not be part of that."

Kenny Stancil ·

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