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Houston man goes fishing in Harvey-flooded living room

Amid the chaos Tropical Storm Harvey has brought to Texas, one uninvited Houston house guest has found viral fame.

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Viviana Saldana posted three video clips of her father trying to catch a fish with his bare hands. The fish, by the way, was in their flooded living room.

“Why go out looking for food when the food is coming to our living room?” Saldana wrote in the Facebook post. As of Sunday evening, the videos had been shared more than 366,000 times on Facebook.

In a statement posted to Twitter on Monday, Saldana called her dad “a great example of someone who turns a negative into a positive.”

"At some point, you have to accept the inevitable and make a chooice to enjoy every moment, bring laughter and a little light to your worried family,” Saldana wrote.

"A lot of people assumed our positive outlook ... was a result of having good flood insurance -- in (actuality), we don't. We just know that the material things can be replaced, and family is all that really matters."

She shared her family's thoguths for others affected by the storm.

"One thing we are sure of is that this state is full of hardworking, hustling people who will make it out of anything life throws at us, and we will rebuild together and more united than ever because that's what Texas is about."

[h/t Houston Chronicle]

5 things to know about Tropical Storm Harvey right now

1. Five reported dead in Houston. The death count in Houston from Tropical Storm Harvey is at five, the Houston Chronicle is reporting. Among them is a mother and her child who died in floodwaters on Interstate 10. The city and its southern neighbors were pummeled by thunderstorms overnight Saturday with a foot-plus of rain canvassing all areas of the city.

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Gov. Greg Abbott told Fox News that damages will be in the billions of dollars statewide. No evacuations in Houston are in place, as Mayor Sylvester Turner said doing so would create a “nightmare.” “You don’t put 6.5 million people on the roads,” he said at a press conference. Officials have reported performing at least 1,000 high-water rescues with thousands more needed as homes were inundated by water.

2. Fayette County residents along river told to leave. Officials have expanded their evacuation order to all Fayette County residents living along thre Colorado River, amid projections that the river will crest at 49 feet overnight. The city has opened three shelters: Second Baptist Church on Von Minden Street, St. Paul Evangelical Lutheran Church on Walnut Street and VFW Post 5254 off the La Grange Texas Fairgrounds. Officials will be going door-to-door and making calls to inform residents of the evacuation order, which initially targeted only the La Grange residents near Water Street. The Colorado River has crested at 50 feet three times in La Grange, but not since 1935.

>> Related: Nursing home residents rescued in Texas after viral photo

3. About 50 roads are closed in Bastrop County. And people are discouraged from driving at all after the county got hit with 18 inches of rain in some areas. Two homes along the 500 block of Texas 95 north of Bastrop were under mandatory evacuation. Schools will be closed Monday for all districts in Bastrop County as well as the cities of Bastrop and Smithville. Smithville Mayor Scott Saunders said early Sunday that at least 25 homes have flooded in the city and multiple water rescues were ongoing. The Colorado River in Smithville reached 25 feet, five feet above the river’s flood stage.

4. Second Street closed in Austin. Falling glass from an apartment building prompted police to close Second Street between Colorado Street and Congress Avenue. Police said glass from the Ashton apartment high-rise building has blown out from “multiple floors.” This is a developing story.

>> Related: Good boy: Dog carrying bag of food through Hurricane Harvey goes viral

5. Westlake football game called off. Though almost a week away, Westlake has called off its season-opening football game against Katy. The official Twitter account of Katy’s football team retweeted the cancellation news from a Westlake fan account. The matchup between state powers was set to take place Friday at Westlake, but Katy High will be closed this upcoming week.

Is Obama's delayed visit to Louisiana unusual?

"Where's President Obama, you ask? Well, he is on the golf course," Fox Business anchor Maria Bartiromo said.

"He is unlikely to cut short his New England vacation to see all these floodwaters affecting communities like this one," CBS reporter Manuel Bojorquez said.

"Honestly, Obama ought to get off the course and get down there," Donald Trump told supporters at a campaign event. 

After days of criticism, President Barack Obama visited Louisiana on Tuesday to survey the damage from the devastating floods that have ravaged Baton Rouge. 

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Obama didn't cut his vacation on Martha's Vineyard short to make the trip, and the images of him playing golf while water rescues continued weren't well-received.

Trump visited Louisiana last week, though his campaign reportedly hadn't notified Democratic Gov. John Bel Edwards. Edwards warned Trump not to use the trip as a photo opportunity. 

Trump and his campaign did appear to help in relief efforts and made a donation, and Edwards praised him in return. 

Edwards told CNN he asked the president to hold off on visiting. 

"I didn't want to divert these police officers, sheriff's deputies and state troopers and other essential resources and assets to providing security for the president while they were needed in this region," Edwards said.

That's said to be the same reason President George W. Bush flew over New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina instead of stopping there on his way back to the White House from his vacation. Unlike Obama, Bush did cut his vacation short, though he was still heavily criticized for a slow response.  

Hurricane Katrina hit Aug. 29, 2005. Bush flew back to Washington, D.C., on Aug. 31. He traveled to the Gulf Coast on Sept. 2.

One adviser told The Washington Post that Coast Guard helicopters would have been needed to make a stop possible. He said, "Those same helicopters ... would have been pulling people off rooftops."

Nearly 2,000 people died in Hurricane Katrina. By comparison, 13 have died in the most recent Louisiana flooding. 

As The Washington Post points out, it's not uncommon for a president to hold off on visiting a devastated area.

At the mayor's request, Obama held off on visiting New York City for about two weeks following Hurricane Sandy. He visited New Jersey two days after the hurricane hit. 

Obama waited nearly a week to visit Moore, Oklahoma, after a tornado killed 24 people in 2013.

An explosion on the Deep Water Horizon oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico on April 20, 2010, led to the nation's worst oil spill. It took days for experts to realize the extent of the leak. Obama first visited the region about two weeks later. 

So yes, the president has waited longer to visit Louisiana than he has other areas hit by disasters, but not that much longer.

Kirstie Alley criticizes President Obama for response to Louisiana floods

Actress Kirstie Alley set Twitter ablaze on Friday with statements criticizing President Barack Obama's responses to the recent flood crisis in Louisiana.

"On a golf course in Martha’s Vineyard instead of in Louisiana?" she tweeted, along with a Fox News video clip of Obama taking a jab at President George W. Bush for his response to Hurricane Katrina in 2008.

Alley, who has voiced support for Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, entered a heated debate with social media users, saying the president should have "slipped in" to Louisiana or scheduled an "on-air plea."

A Twitter firestorm of people voicing their stances on Alley's statement ensued immediately after.

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"Do you really think POTUS can 'slip into' a city? You're smarter than that," one Twitter user responded.

Social media users also quickly jumped in to compare and contrast the 43rd and 44th presidents' responses to both natural disasters. Alley seemed to backtrack when she criticized Bush's response to Katrina as well.

"I thought Bush waited too long also! I was in Katrina on day 5 & I'm just a gorgeous actress. THEY needed HELP! I didn't need an invitation,” she tweeted.

The White House said Friday that Obama plans to travel to Baton Rouge on Tuesday.

Why is flooding in Louisiana being ignored?

A disastrous flood began wreaking havoc in Louisiana two weeks ago.

Downpours dumped up to 30 inches of rain in some areas.

The floodwaters have damaged tens of thousands of homes, leaving many residents stranded or homeless.

More than a dozen people have been killed.

The Red Cross have called the disaster "the worst to hit the United States since Superstorm Sandy."

But just by looking at national media coverage, you might not know it's even happening.

Many people noticed several major news outlets had failed to put even one story about the flooding on their home pages when it was at its worst over the weekend.

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President Barack Obama signed a major disaster declaration on Aug. 14, but as of Thursday morning, he had yet to make a public address, like he did with Superstorm Sandy in 2012.

The White House said Friday that Obama plans to travel to Baton Rouge on Tuesday.

As for other major politicians, as of Thursday, Hillary Clinton had mentioned the floods once in a tweet.

Donald Trump had said nothing until Friday, when he toured the flood-stricken regions of the state, spoke to people affected by the disaster and helped hand out relief supplies.

So why does it seem like no one is treating the flooding in Louisiana for what it truly is -- a disaster?

Officials in Louisiana have a few ideas.

"When you have a storm that is unnamed, it wasn't a tropical storm and it wasn't a hurricane, a lot of times people underestimate the impact it would have. But this is historic," Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards told reporters.

And a rep for the Federal Emergency Management Agency said, "You had the Olympics, you've got the election, and if you looked at the national news, you're probably only on the third or fourth page."

The Red Cross has estimated it will cost at least $30 million to repair the devastation in Louisiana once the floodwaters recede. The organization is encouraging donations.

2 dead, hundreds displaced by Maryland floods

Video includes clips from WMAR and Twitter / @HoCoGovExec and images from WMAR.

Severe flooding in central Maryland has left at least two dead and hundreds of others picking up the pieces.

The flash flooding struck Ellicott City on Saturday night. Officials said residents Jessica Watsula and Joseph Anthony Blevins were swept away in their cars in separate incidents. 

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"Cars everywhere, sidewalks missing, roads partially gone, utility poles down, cars on top of cars," Howard County Executive Allan Kittleman said of the scene. 

Officials report Ellicott City received more than six inches of rain in a matter of hours. Kittleman said in the aftermath of the storm, the city looked like a "war zone."

"I've seen the flooding in Ellicott City in the past, and it's been bad. It has never been close to being this bad," he said.

Photos from WMAR show vehicles almost completely submerged and water flooding the streets.

As of Sunday, Howard County police had no other missing person reports from the floods.

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Photos: Heavy rains flood Paris

Monster truck-driving man saves neighbors from Texas floods in 'redneck rescue'

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As heavy rain fell over southeast Texas overnight Sunday into Monday, a man decided to put his monster truck to good use and cruise around saving his neighbors.

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Cole Geeo, of Weatherford, Texas, got behind the wheel of his 8-foot monster truck Monday and drove around the area looking for people in trouble, WFAA reported.

“That's a redneck rescue, I do believe,” Dina Young Gray told the news station. Geeo saved her coworker, Deborah Wright, from the quickly rising waters of the Brazos River in Millsap, a town 80 miles west of Dallas.

“That's just how Millsap is,” she told WFAA. “We just look out for one another ... If this didn't work, we were going to get a boat.”

Emergency response officials said Monday that others should not follow Geeo's lead and should instead call 911 if they get stuck.

As many as 17 inches of rain fell over parts of Texas between Sunday night and 1:30 p.m. local time Monday, according to the National Weather Service, leading to widespread power outages and flooding.

By 2:30 p.m., authorities in Harris County had made 1,200 high-water rescues, according to the county's Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Management.

Authorities said flooding might have caused two deaths. Officials found a man dead in a semitruck that drove into high water on a Houston freeway service road, The Associated Press reported. Another man, who worked as a contractor for Houston's airport system, was also found dead in a submerged vehicle, according to the wire service.

Watch: Weatherman chokes up when he finally sees sun

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A Columbia, South Carolina weatherman nearly lost it when he saw the sun shining over the city for the first time in days.

WIS-TV's Tim Miller was on the air just before 8 a.m. Tuesday morning when a tower cam shot showed the flooded city bathed in sunlight.

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Over the past weekend, Columbia experienced historic flooding. Fifteen people were killed across the state and many homes and roads were damaged or destroyed.

Miller walked on camera for the 7:56 a.m. forecast and said, “Well, how about that?” He tried to keep going, but walked back off screen as he began to get emotional.

“I don’t know what to say. Sunshine. That’s amazing,” Miller said from off screen.

He then walked back on camera to start his forecast, but seconds later he had to step away again as he talked about the flood warning that’s still in place.

“Come on Tim, get with it,” he said out loud as he tried to regain his composure.

WIS-TV posted the video on their Facebook page with the caption, “SC weatherman Tim Miller gets emotional when he sees the sun. Can you blame him?”

No. No, we can’t.

SC weatherman Tim Miller gets emotional when he sees the sun. Can you blame him? The whole story>> by WIS TV on Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Family saves 87-year-old man, dog from raging floodwaters

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George Osterhues said if Tom Hall and his family hadn't come along when they did, he might have died. Osterhues, 87, was continuing his trip from Ottawa, Canada to Florida when he took a detour off the interstate just before noon on Sunday and ended up on a country road that runs across a creek.  When he got there, the creek had overrun its banks and covered the road. Osterhues found himself stuck in it.

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“Some people were turning around and I was trying to do the same thing, but I was already a little too far,” he said.

Watch raw video below About the same time, Tom Hall was out scouting the roads to see if anyone might need help. He said the creek feeds into a small lake and often floods in heavy downpours.  He pulled up to the creek and could see there was trouble. “We got to about right here, and we could see his car, which is all the way down there,” Hall told WSOC as he stood alongside the still-raging water. Using tree branches to steady himself, he took a chance and waded into the water to get closer to the car, praying it was empty – it wasn’t. “I saw some movement, and then he raised his hand and waved at me, and that kind of broke my heart because I knew at that point we had to go back and get him,” Hall said. By the time he spotted him, Osterhues had been in the water for a couple of hours. Hall managed to get close enough to the car to tell Osterhues that he would be back then went to get his family, a life preserver and some cord -- anything he could use to get Osterhues out of the raging water. He set out into the water one more time. “The water was so strong he could hardly move, and I couldn't move either. I wasn't able to move,” Osterhues said. “I went to the window, and the water was about up to here,” Hall said drawing a line across the middle of his chest with his hand. He was ready to pull Osterhues out of the window, but there was a problem.  He was clutching his small dog, Tila, and wasn’t about to let her go. “George was very calm. I begged him to leave the dog, but he said, 'The dog is going with us,'” Osterhues said. Against Hall’s better judgment, he started towing the two toward shore. “I didn't want to leave the dog, so I took the dog too,” Osterhues said with a smile Monday as he cradled the dog in his arms.

It took almost an hour, but with the help of his son and wife, Hall managed to pull Osterhues to safety. With no car and no one else nearby, the Halls invited Osterhues to stay with them Sunday night and were arranging for a hotel and rental car so he could keep on his way to Florida. The floodwaters that rose so quickly had fallen back Monday, leaving a friendship that will last much longer. “They already did too much for me. They have a big family to take care of and now me on top of that,” Osterhues said.

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