The mayor of Houston has imposed an indefinite overnight curfew to curb looting in the wake of intense flooding that has rocked southeast Texas.
The citywide curfew will last from midnight until 5 a.m., Mayor Sylvester Turner (D) announced late Tuesday, with exceptions for flood relief volunteers, emergency responders, those commuting to work and those seeking shelter.
"Quite frankly, no one needs to be on the road or out [before] 5," Turner said during a news conference.
"There are too many people from across our city, too many residents, that are out of their homes and they are in shelters, and I don't want them to have to worry about someone breaking into their home or looting or doing anything of that nature while they are away," he said.
The mayor said some "may be inclined to take advantage of this situation."
Turner initially said the curfew would begin at 10 p.m. on Tuesday, but later tweeted it would start later "to allow volunteers and others to do their great work."
CURFEW UPDATE: I'm modifying the curfew to start at midnight (and still end at 5 am) to allow volunteers and others to do their great work.— Sylvester Turner (@SylvesterTurner) August 30, 2017
The mayor noted precedent for such curfews, pointing to Hurricane Ike in 2008, saying it "prevented burglaries, looting."
The imposed curfew came as first responders and volunteers in Houston continued to help thousands of people who had sought shelter amid intense flooding in the city.
Harvey made landfall last Friday as a category 4 storm and has continued to blanket Houston and other areas of southeast Texas with historic amounts of rain.