Hurricane Harvey: SA woman among thousands forced to evacuate

South African Lee-ann Perkins lives in Houston and has been forced to evacuate.

Residents navigate a flooded street that has been inundated with water from Hurricane Harvey on 27 August 2017 in Houston, Texas. Picture: AFP

CAPE TOWN/ HOUSTON - Houston continues to be pounded by tropical storm Harvey. Forecasters say more rain is expected, worsening flooding that has paralysed the city and forced thousands to flee.

Harvey, the most powerful hurricane to hit Texas in more than 50 years, first hit land on Friday and has killed two people.

Schools, airports and office buildings in America’s fourth largest city have been closed.

South African Lee-ann Perkins lives in Houston and has been forced to evacuate.

“We’ve had a lot of people just lose everything. It’s still going on. They’re now releasing water from reservoirs to try and help with the additional flow. It’s been traumatic than we would have ever thought.”

WATCH: Harvey floods Houston, scores rescued

Torrential rain also hit areas more than 240km away, swelling rivers upstream and causing a surge that was heading toward the Houston area.

Authorities ordered more than 50,000 people to leave parts of Fort Bend County, about 55 km southwest of Houston as the Brazos River was set to crest at a record high of 18 metres this week, 14 feet above its flood stage.

Total precipitation could reach 127cm in some coastal areas of Texas by the end of the week, or the average rainfall for an entire year, forecasters said.

Meanwhile, US President Donald Trump plans to go to Texas on Tuesday to survey damage from the storm, a White House spokeswoman said on Sunday.

Trump, facing the first big US natural disaster since he took office in January, signed a disaster proclamation on Friday, triggering federal relief efforts. Texas Governor Greg Abbott said on Sunday he plans to add 1,000 more National Guard personnel to the flood battle.

LISTEN: The Worldview Report: Harvey causes 'catastrophic flooding' in Houston

Additional reporting by Reuters.

(Edited by Shimoney Regter)