Rock Moye, from Austin, Texas, prepares brisket to serve to volunteers and flood victims in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey on Sunday, Sept. 3, 2017, in Cypress, Texas. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

The Latest: Houston-area homeowners warned about scavengers

September 03, 2017 - 12:06 pm

HOUSTON (AP) — The Latest on Harvey and its aftermath (all times local):

11:10 a.m.

Authorities in the Houston enclave of Bellaire say people who have suffered losses from Harvey are complaining about scavengers descending on their neighborhoods, picking through flood-damaged items piled up in front of their homes.

Police Chief Byron Holloway is asking residents drying items they hope to salvage to not place them by debris intended for trash and to put them instead closer to their homes.

He's also suggesting that people put signs out advising they don't want their items taken, though he acknowledges that may not stop some scavengers.

Bellaire officials are working with contractors to develop a debris pickup schedule.

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9:30 a.m.

Houston city spokesman Kese Smith says officials believe about 300 residents have not heeded Mayor Sylvester Turner's mandatory evacuation order for a West Houston area being flooded by releases from two swollen reservoirs.

Center Point Energy crews have started going door-to-door to check homes and are advising people still left behind in flooded homes that their power is being turned off. He says people in homes that have taken no water will not have their electricity cut off.

Water from the Addicks and Barker reservoirs is emptying into Buffalo Bayou, which in turn is flooding the neighborhoods it borders. Army Corps of Engineers officials say the release is necessary to ease pressure on the reservoirs from rain dumped by Harvey and create space in case it rains again soon.

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8:50 a.m.

Center Point Energy spokeswoman Alicia Dixon says utility crews have started turning off power to residents who have stayed behind in a flooded area of west Houston where Mayor Sylvester Turner ordered a mandatory evacuation.

The area is being flooded by water released from the Addicks and Barker reservoirs. Army Corps of Engineers officials say the release is necessary to ease pressure on the reservoirs from several feet of rain dumped by Harvey and to create space in case it rains again soon.

The mayor ordered the mandatory evacuation amid concerns that emergency responders couldn't reach those areas, if needed. A fire destroyed a home in the flooded area on Saturday.

Officials say some of the homes in the evacuation area may remain flooded for two weeks.

City emergency center officials say they're not immediately certain how many people have been holding out in their homes despite a voluntary evacuation order or how many have left since Turner Saturday made the order mandatory.

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12:15 a.m.

A city that lost its drinking water system is struggling to restore service and a crippled chemical plant that twice has been the scene of explosions remains a concern nine days after Harvey ripped across Texas.

Officials in Beaumont, population almost 120,000, worked to repair their water treatment plant that failed after the swollen Neches River inundated the main intake system and backup pumps failed. In Crosby, outside of Houston, authorities continued to monitor the Arkema plant where three trailers of highly unstable compounds ignited in recent days, sending thick black smoke and tall flames into the air.

Texas began burying its dead and taking steps toward the long recovery ahead. In Tyler, friends and family gathered Saturday to remember a former high school football and track coach whose body was found Monday.

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