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Houston could receive record 50 inches of rain, NWS says

A ranch house is surrounded by floodwaters from Hurricane Harvey near Port Lavaca, Texas, August 26, 2017
Rick Wilking / Reuters
A ranch house is surrounded by floodwaters from Hurricane Harvey near Port Lavaca, Texas, August 26, 2017

The National Weather Service now says some parts of Houston and just west of the city may receive a Texas record of 50 inches (1270 millimeters) of rain as Tropical Storm Harvey stalls over Texas.

NWS meteorologist Patrick Burke says rainfall totals will end up around 40 inches (1016 millimeters) or more for Houston on average, but some isolated spots will hit or exceed 50 inches.

Burkes says, "We're in kind of unprecedented territory with this storm."

Local rainfall amounts of 50 inches would exceed any previous Texas rainfall record. The NWS says in a statement that "the breadth and intensity of this rainfall is beyond anything experienced before and is resulting in catastrophic flooding."

So far rainfall totals since Thursday evening have reached about 25 inches (635 millimeters) in south Houston. In Dayton, located 38 miles (61kilometers) northeast of Houston, rainfall has already reached 27 inches (685 millimeters).