As Hurricane Harvey approached the Texas coast, Houston officials warned residents to dismiss the so-called “hoax” circulating on social media.
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But as the storm continues to churn and the water levels rise, the hoax appears to hold more water.
An email originating from a local law firm in Sugar Land claimed to know inside information on local officials withholding from the public.
A woman by the name of Rebecca Reisig who claims to work for the law firm shared the details on social media.
RELATED: As Hurricane Harvey approaches, Houston officials warn of hoax claims
Reisig posted to Facebook saying the individuals who work at the same law firm she does received information about the true impact of Harvey — information allegedly withheld from the public.
She further stated city officials were told to expect 50 inches of rain, not 24 inches, as the news reported; she also said they expected 100,000 homes to be destroyed, with everything south of Katy “devastated.”
County officials were quick to deny the claims:
This is the REAL rainfall forecast. Ignore unfounded rumors about this storm. Follow @NWSHouston and @hcfcd for weather info. #Harvey https://t.co/sH6fR7wphT
— Houston OEM (@HoustonOEM) August 24, 2017
Ignore unfounded, unsourced weather predictions that have needlessly frightened Houstonians. Get info from trusted outlets. @HoustonOEM
— Sylvester Turner (@SylvesterTurner) August 24, 2017
Thank you to the @HoustonChron for helping shoot down this ridiculous rumor. #hounews #harveystorm https://t.co/8q83Qo1tVm via @houstonchron
— Official Ed Emmett (@EdEmmett) August 24, 2017
In the brunt of the storm, however, residents began to wonder if the claims were indeed a hoax.
Harvey’s heavy rains and flood waters poured into the city, destroying homes and displacing thousands of residents, and the number of inches forecasted for the city did in fact increase as the storm intensified, rising to the so-called hoax’s predicted levels.
The National Weather Service is now suggesting the possibility of rain totals in Texas reaching 50 inches, making Houstonians wonder if the original claims were true.
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Many were able to evacuate before the rising water stranded them, however, over 2,000 peopler required rescuing after being stuck in the flood waters so far.
Local authorities became so overwhelmed by calls they solicited help from the community, asking civilians with high-water vehicles and boats to assist with rescues.
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A massive organized group of Louisiana residents also joined the rescue efforts.
Calling themselves the “Cajun Navy,” the volunteers drove in with boats and supplies to help people trapped in Houston.
Members of the #CajunNavy are organizing and en route to Houston for #Harvey. Follow the group below on Facebook for more info. pic.twitter.com/HRaLftQK1p
— Hilary Scheinuk (@hscheinukphoto) August 27, 2017
In the aftermath, residents can only wonder if the “hoax” warning was a massive coincidence or something more.
This is a developing story.