State says Harvey's death toll has reached 88

A man walks through floodwaters after surveying his property in Rockport, which was hit by Hurricane Harvey, on Saturday, Aug. 26, 2017.

REUTERS/Adrees Latif

The majority of deaths – 62 – were caused by wind, rain and floods, which led to drownings or trees falling on people. 

Meanwhile, 26 deaths were caused by "unsafe or unhealthy conditions" related to the loss or disruption of services such as utilities, transportation and medical care. The state health agency found deaths caused by medical conditions, electrocution, traffic accidents, flood water-related infections, fires and burns.

Deaths from natural causes are considered indirectly related to Harvey if physical or mental stress caused by the storm exacerbated "pre-existing medical conditions and contributed to death," the agency said.

The agency said another five deaths could be related to Harvey, but there's still not enough information to prove a connection. The final death count for Harvey isn't expected to be released until next year. 

The preliminary death toll is lower than that from Hurricane Rita in 2005, when a chaotic evacuation caused 73 deaths before the hurricane even reached Texas. That was more than half of the 139 deaths attributed to Rita, which veered away from Houston at the last minute and made landfall near the Texas-Louisiana border.

A dozen smaller Texas cities ordered residents to evacuate before Harvey, a category 4 hurricane that hit the Texas coast between Port Aransas and Port O'Connor on Aug. 25. Corpus Christi issued a voluntary evacuation, while Houston and Harris County — which didn't get a direct hit but experienced historic rainfall and flooding — didn't issue evacuation orders.

This article originally appeared in The Texas Tribune at https://www.texastribune.org/2017/10/13/harveys-death-toll-reaches-93-people/.

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.