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Dispatches Human Race

Stuart Villanueva/The Galveston County Daily News via AP

A man kayaks to his house in floodwaters caused by Tropical Depression Beta. (Stuart Villanueva/The Galveston County Daily News via AP)

Disasters strike

Flooded and burned

Streets in Houston and Galveston, Texas, flooded on Sept. 22 after Beta, a tropical depression, made landfall near Port O’Connor. By that afternoon, Beta had dumped up to a foot or more of rain in areas south and east of Houston, on top of storm surges. Forecasters started calling storm systems for letters of the Greek alphabet after going through their predetermined seasonal list of names based on the English alphabet for the second time since the 1950s.

Meanwhile, the Bobcat fire, which began Sept. 6 in northeast Los Angeles, continued to spread, scorching more homes and structures in the mountainous area. The blaze had burned through 156 square miles, and many surrounding communities remained on evacuation alert. Firefighters in late September were still battling more than two dozen major wildfires throughout California.

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