HOUSTON (KDKA) – Hurricane Harvey has been downgraded to a tropical storm, but it continues to batter parts of Texas.

In Houston, the police chief said they are experiencing a “flood of epic proportions.”

A Pittsburgh native is now an officer in Houston and said it’s the worst flooding he’s ever seen.

Officer Saleem Howze is the son of Pittsburgh school board member Sala Udin.

“I was very worried because the first responders are in the most danger,” Udin said. “I know my son and he would be the first to run towards the danger if he could help someone.”

As of 5 p.m. Sunday, Houston police and fire departments had received nearly 6,000 calls for rescues.

Police officers are working 12-hour shifts to help with rescues. However, police and fire vehicles aren’t equipped to go through the water.

“It’s the neighbors helping out the neighbors because of the police vehicles and the police and fire vehicles aren’t equipped to go through water,” Officer Howze said.

Many of the rescues were of people trapped on their roofs or in their attics.

“A lot of people’s homes are flooded and to see people coming down the street in inflatable beds and rafts with their children and the elderly is very, very disturbing,” Howze said.

Meanwhile, many people around the country are asking how they can help. In response, the mayor of Houston has set up the Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund to accept tax-deductible flood relief donations.

It’ll be run by the Greater Houston Community Foundation. For more information you can head to www.GHCF.org

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