Oil markets roiled as Harvey hits USA petroleum industry

Hurricane Harvey

Hurricane Harvey

"Despite the country's overall oil and gasoline inventories being at or above 5-year highs, until there is clear picture of damage and an idea when refineries can return to full operational status, gas prices will continue to increase", AAA spokesperson Jeanette Casselano said in a statement on Monday.

At least 100 people had sought refuge at the Bob Bowers Civic Center - only to see brown, murky water rush in, flooding a large space and leaving water just below the surface of cots. It is expected to bring winds of 30 to 40 miles per hour and a 2- to 4-foot storm surge in the area.

"Everywhere we look this water has cost me money after money after money".

Mayor Freeman warned those affected by flooding to find higher ground and to stay out of attics as he assured people help was on its way.

Closures of major refineries in the Port Arthur and Beaumont area that is north of Houston took more refining capacity offline in the U.S.

Best Buy says the sale was "clearly a mistake on the part of a few employees at a single store". Officials are using bleachers inside the civic center to keep evacuees off the floor.

Marcus McLellan, spokesman for the Jefferson County emergency management office in Beaumont, said Wednesday that Interstate 10 is flooded, as are several highways and many secondary roads. "We can't take the boats out right now".

The city's flood systems could be put to the test again as the heaviest rains of Harvey slowly make their way to New Orleans.

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A US government meteorologist told CNBC that rainfall totals from the Beaumont-Port Arthur, Texas, area may exceed the already historic rainfall totals from Houston due to the storm.

"I'm in my home in Tyler County, and we could not get out unless a helicopter plucks me out or I get my boat and launch it", the Texas Republican told CNN by phone.

The heart of the US energy industry suffered further damage overnight from Tropical Storm Harvey, and supply constraints could last for weeks with almost one-quarter of USA fuel output knocked out.

For much of the Houston area, forecasters said the rain is pretty much over. One of them, Houston police Sgt. Steve Perez, drowned while trying to get to work.

Jefferson County Judge Jeff Branick said Wednesday that numerous rescues occurred in the county's unincorporated areas, Port Arthur, Central Gardens and the Hamshire-Fannett area.

Evacuation centers in Port Arthur are reportedly getting inundated by flood waters. But the National Weather Service said Harvey still has the potential to cause "life-threatening flooding".

Residents said the smell inside the nursing facility was foul.

Some would just "come crying, just wanting help", volunteer Bobba Bedri said.