Fri Sep 1, 2017 06:28AM
Members of a family remove debris and damaged items from their home in the Twin Oaks Estate after Hurricane Harvey caused widespread flooding in Houston, Texas, on August 31, 2017. (Photo by AFP)
Members of a family remove debris and damaged items from their home in the Twin Oaks Estate after Hurricane Harvey caused widespread flooding in Houston, Texas, on August 31, 2017. (Photo by AFP)

Iran has voiced solidarity with the storm-stricken Americans as well as the families of the victims of Hurricane Harvey, which has left a trail of massive destruction in Texas and claimed over 40 lives.

On Thursday, Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Qassemi expressed regret over the deaths and the multi-billion-dollar damage caused by the monster storm, expressing sympathy with the bereaved families of the victims and those affected.

The Category Four hurricane has killed at least 44 people in Texas, officials said on Thursday, and forced 32,000 people into shelters since it came ashore last Friday near Rockport on the Gulf of Mexico coast, triggering unprecedented flooding.

It was the most powerful hurricane to hit Texas in half a century.

Homeland Security adviser Tom Bossert told a White House briefing Thursday that, “There are still people up to their waists in water.”

Bossert estimated that 100,000 homes had been affected by flooding.

In the most recent numbers, the Texas department of public safety said 48,700 homes sustained flood damage, including 17,000 with major damage, and 1,000 that were destroyed.

The storm officials ordered mandatory evacuation of some communities near the Barker and Addicks reservoirs, which continued to discharge water.

Floodwater left in the wake of Hurricane and Tropical Storm Harvey begins to recede in an industrial area on August 31, 2017 near Houston, Texas. (Photo by AFP) 

Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner said Thursday that the city is now “mostly dry” after having taken an aerial tour of the city.

The two areas still dealing with flooding issues are Kingwood and West Houston, Turner said.

The Toyota Center had been opened as a result of overcrowding at the convention center, which housed 10,000 people at its peak.

Less than 8,000 people are currently at the convention center, Turner said. There are still 37,000 homes in the area without power.

Police have arrested 69 people total, eight of whom were arrested for looting, he said.