Houston Police officer drowns in Harvey floodwaters

Houston police chief: 2000 people rescued in Harvey recovery efforts

A Houston police officer drowned Sunday morning when he was trapped by floodwaters brought to the region by Harvey, city officials confirmed Tuesday afternoon.

"In the darkness, Sgt. Perez drove under an underpass. and drove into the water", he said.

Perez was a 34-year Houston police veteran and died two days before his 61st birthday, Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner said.

During the conference, Acevedo emotionally reflected on Perez, stating, "Steve is one of the sweetest persons I've ever met".

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Authorities found his vehicle on Monday night. Crews are working to recover his body. Perez called his chain of command and said, "Listen I cannot get to my primary duty station", the chief said, adding, "Being the dedicated professional this man was, he followed our protocol which was to go to a secondary location, the nearest location he could get to". "That's the ultimate sacrifice". At about 10 p.m. Monday, police had narrowed the search area to the Hardy Tollway and Beltway 8 - an area where they felt there was a high sense of probability that it was the last place he would have been.

The 60-year-old officer's wife had asked him not to go to work, but Acevedo said he went anyway.

The American Red Cross says more than 17,000 people in Texas are seeking refuge in its 45 shelters.

The storm has brought almost 50 inches of rain since it came inland. It has since been downgraded to a tropical storm, and continues to pummel Texas and Louisiana with record-breaking rains.

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