Floodwaters surround a building in North East Houston on Wednesday. (Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post)

Cars leak fluids as floodwaters surround houses and apartment complexes in West Houston on Wednesday. (Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post)

Jeff Lindner, an official with the Harris County Flood Control District on Thursday gave an astounding estimate of Hurricane Harvey’s impact on Houston. He tweeted that at the height of the flooding, 70 percent of the county’s 1,800 square miles were covered with at least 1.5 feet of water. That is an area larger than Rhode Island.

A week ago — a full day before Harvey made landfall — Washington Post Staff photojournalist Jabin Botsford arrived in Texas. Early Saturday, as soon as it was safe for Botsford to leave his hotel room, he headed to Rockport, the first community affected by Harvey’s wrath. For the next six days he covered the hurricane’s impact, capturing the emotional and physical effects of the storm’s devastation. Botsford also covered Hurricane Matthew last year and has been covering the White House during Trump’s presidency since January.

Midweek, he had the opportunity to see the destruction from above for the first time. This is what he saw.

 


The sun sets as floodwaters still surround some neighborhoods in Houston. (Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post)

A boat floats in the center of a cul-de-sac as floodwaters surround houses and apartment complexes in West Houston. (Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post)

The National Guard searches for people to rescue as floodwaters surround houses and apartment complexes in West Houston. (Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post)

Debris floats as floodwaters surround houses and apartment complexes in West Houston. (Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post)

Floodwaters surround houses and apartment complexes in West Houston. (Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post)

Floodwaters and pollution surround buildings in West Houston. (Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post)

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