Gov. Abbott: Harvey to blame for about 80 deaths so far

TEXAS - While the state continues to clean up and recover from Hurricane Harvey, Gov. Greg Abbott said in a press briefing Thursday that about 82 people have died as a result of the storm at this stage.

Abbott said that while they still need confirmation on what caused those deaths, which comes from the local level, he said the death toll is definitely more than 70 and probably more than 80.

He said at the briefing that 3,900 homes and facilities are without power currently. There are also 77 boil water notices across the state, 19 system outages and several waste water issues. 

The Red Cross has also told Abbott that there are still 28 shelters open for overnight stays with more than 5,000 people using them. 

Watch the press briefing here:

According to Texas Department of Transportation, there are two roads that remain closed for flooding and 11 remain closed due to damage. Abbott said all interstates have been inspected and no perceived damage appears to have been done to them. However, Highway 6 in Houston will remain closed for another four to five days, Abbott said.

He also said the process of debris removal is an issue.

“The process of debris removal is going fast but, candidly, not fast enough," Abbott said.

On Sept. 7, Abbott announced the "Governor's Commission to Rebuild Texas" led by Texas A&M University Chancellor John Sharp. Abbott said he and Sharp have traveled across the affected region for three days to talk to local leaders. 

"The primary goal is to establish an effective line of communication to swiftly address the needs in each local area," Abbott said.

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