HOUSTON (AP) — Even as Harvey is leaving Texas, the death toll from the storm is rising. Here are some things happening on the ground:
Harvey is drenching communities along the Texas-Louisiana border and is expected to move further into Louisiana before heading to Mississippi on Thursday. The storm has lost a bit of strength, with winds dropping to 40 mph (64 kph), from 45 mph (72 kph).
Meanwhile, forecasters are looking at a weather system off the Mexican coast just south of Texas that they say has a one in five chance of developing into something tropical in the next five days. If it does develop — which is still a big question — it would do so slowly, and it's not yet clear whether it would hit Harvey-flooded areas.
The number of confirmed deaths linked to Harvey is at least 23. Authorities are investigating 17 more deaths to determine whether they were storm-related, and they fear many more bodies may be found as floodwaters start receding.
Among the dead was a woman whose shivering toddler was found clinging to her body in a rain-swollen canal in Southeast Texas. A police officer says the woman's actions likely saved her daughter's life.
Houston's 911 headquarters is furiously trying to keep up with tens of thousands of calls for help related to Harvey. Operators are aiding panicked callers even as they're dealing with their own personal losses in the storm. At its worst, from Sunday into Monday, some 75,000 calls poured in, more than eight times the normal 24-hour load.
"This is like nothing we've ever experienced before," operator Erika Wells said during a short reprieve between calls.
An Associated Press investigation found that 9 percent fewer homes and properties in the Houston area have flood insurance than five years ago despite a growing population. The sharp drop in coverage means many residents fleeing Harvey's floodwaters will have to draw on savings or go into debt to fix up their homes — or perhaps be forced to sell. Data from the Federal Emergency Management Agency show that Houston's Harris County has 25,000 fewer flood-insured properties than it did in 2012.
While the urge to donate clothes and other materials is understandable, relief agencies say for now, money is the quickest and most helpful .
Meanwhile, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson praised Mexico's generosity in offering to assistance, and Houston rapper Bun B and music manager Scooter Braun are planning a benefit concert .
But former major league pitcher Curt Schilling is facing criticism on social media for his plan to collect supplies and cash to bring to Hurricane Harvey victims. Critics of the plan say donations should only go to legitimate charities. Schilling said Wednesday on Twitter he would personally drive donations to Texas and give them to storm victims.
"I am taking ALL cash directly to victims, personally HANDING it to them to guarantee they get it," Schilling wrote.
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